Roommates from college draw Lara McClintoch into an encounter with an old lover and the mystery surrounding a 25,000 year-old statue. To find if the antiquity is real or fake, Lara traces the path of a 19thC adventurer who is said to have found the statue in Hungary. Both her old lover and her old college friends follow her to Budapest. Lara learns that digging up the past can be dangerous, whether it is someone else’s or your own in this Arthur Ellis-nominated crime novel.
“The eighth in Hamilton’s appealing series takes chatty, always upbeat antiques dealer Lara McClintoch to Hungary to research the provenance of the Venus, an ancient bust carved from mammoth ivory. Lara’s tireless quest gives an absorbing view of post-Communist Budapest and its surrounding prehistoric caves full of archaeological treasures. A lively blend of romance, humor and occasional tragedy.” Publishers Weekly
“She’s three inches tall and over 25,000 years old. Or is she? That’s the question Lara McClintoch must answer, as a suspicious suicide, a rekindled flame, and the clues and lies given to her by six old college chums lead her to the fascinating city of Budapest. Hamilton has executed a thrilling mystery full of flawed but lively characters, each with his/her own agenda…..I highly recommend this book.” The Best Reviews
“It’s always a pleasure to follow Hamilton and Lara around the Globe.” Deadly Pleasures
“This is the eighth novel in the series featuring antiques expert Lara McClintoch and to say it’s as good as the rest is no insult. She gives us a puzzle, a recurring heroine, an interesting setting, a fabulous antique object, some history and some travel – and a whiff of forbidden romance.” Globe and Mail
The ninth in Hamilton's appealing series (The Thai Amulet, etc.) takes chatty, always upbeat antiques dealer Lara McClintock to Hungary to research the provenance of the Venus, an ancient bust carved from mammoth ivory. Charlie Miller, aka Karoly Molnar, onetime lover of most of the "Dovercourt Divas" (six University of Toronto chums, including Lara, who lived in tiny apartments above a Chinese restaurant), unexpectedly turns up as curator of the Cottingham Museum and wastes no time in running up a huge expense account with the purchase of this mysterious objet d'art. This tale bristles with confusing coincidences, such as the simultaneous arrival of assorted members of Toronto's social set in Budapest on various missions. Yet Lara, unfazed by her friends' skepticism, is determined to prove this million-dollar artwork's authenticity and also the honesty (or lack thereof) of her ex-boyfriend from those heady university days. Interspersed with excerpts from a 100-year-old diary by the Venus's original finder, Lara's tireless quest gives an absorbing view of post-Communist Budapest and its surrounding prehistoric caves full of archeological treasures, like an old skeleton that she inexplicably decides to conceal under her hotel-room bed while making a side trip to London and Edinburgh. A drawn-out resolution comes as a bit of a letdown in this lively blend of romance, humor and occasional tragedy.