As an employee at a museum in Germany, Vicky Bliss is alarmed when an almost perfect imitation of the Charlemagne Talisman is found by the police in the pocket of a dead man. Experts assure her that it is a fake, yet the design is remarkably like the original piece. Because it is probable that other replicas were made and people were cheated, Vicky is sent to Rome to solve the mystery of who is making these perfect copies, and who is in charge of this money-making scheme.
When in Rome, Vicky breaks and enters into a small shop on the Street of the Five Moons. A watch dog guards the entrance, but Vicky befriends him and is able to look around and leave unnoticed. Unfortunately, the next day she returns to the shop, posing as a tourist, and the dog recognizes her. The owner realizes she must be the burglar and has Vicky followed. That very day she is kidnapped by members of the gang which produced the talisman, but a man named John Smythe betrays his fellow gang members and sneaks her away demanding that she return to Germany and forget the replica entirely.
Vicky, being the natural investigator that she is, does not leave Rome, and instead seeks out the principessa, Bianca, hoping for a lead. She is introduced to Pietro who brings her to his country villa- the den of the very gang she is hunting. At every opportunity, Vicky snoops around the villa, and eventually stumbles upon a hidden workshop in one of the gardens. This is the workshop of the extremely talented Luigi. She has found where the replicas came from, but immediately after, Vicky is captured and thrown into a locked and guarded room. Sometime later that day, Smythe is imprisoned with her because he tried to defend her again.
That night, they attack the guard, and sneak away, although John is wounded in the chase. Nevertheless, together they make it by stealing clothes and hitching a ride on a truck back to Rome. Upon arrival at John's private apartment, the pair discover the dead body of Pietro's mistress, Helena, on the bed. They realize they are being framed for murder, so John forces Vicky out the window to escape without him. He allows himself to be taken away by a group of men. As soon as he is gone, Vicky pieces the facts together and realizes that John has been kidnapped. She must hunt down the gang in Rome once more to save the man who helped her on two separate occasions, and finally discover the mastermind behind the entire crime.
The Charlemagne Talisman, a treasure from the National Musuem in Germany is found on the dead body of vagrant. On further examination, the museums's directors determine it a master forgery. Vicki Bliss's boss, Doctor Schmidt asks her to take on an investigation to track down the forger. Knowing her success in a previous investigation he expresses complete confidence in her ability. Vicki is doubtful; but when a clue on the body points in the direction of Rome, she decides she needs a much deserved sunny vacation.
Little expecting to find anything, she finds herself on the Street of Fives Moons in the antique district of Rome and before she knows it she is neck deep in a mysterious plot to debunk the rich of their art treasures. Throw in a very large dog,an incredible Italian Villa, an amorous count and his mistress, a tempermental artist and an arrogant Englishman, Sir John Smythe, as Vicki tries to determine who's scamming who.
She soon learns that as amusing as some of her companions are; they are in deadly earnest to keep their secrets safe and their forgery ring alive.
Things take a nasty turn when Vicki stumbles into the secret studio where masterpieces are reproduced and in a startling turn she finds herself fighting for her life alongside the master thief she has determined to bring to justice.
The review of this Book prepared by readurr
In this delightful, humorous mystery, art historian Dr. Vicky Bliss is pressured by her boss, Herr Doktor Schmidt, into investigating a rumors of a forgery ring located in Rome, Italy. Her investigations lead her to the aquaintance of one Sir John Smythe, a charming, brilliant British art thief. Unfortunately, she has no hard evidence with which to accuse him, and is led on a wild goose chase through the Roman streets, famous museums, and an enormous, centuries-old mansion, in search of his connection to the other forgers. Along the way, she encounters rather more than she expects.
The review of this Book prepared by Guildenstern