Dunne, Nov 2003, 22.95, 192 pp.
Czech-American Dr. Andrew Fenimore becomes concerned when repeated calls to his cousin Anna Borovy in Prague go unanswered. Rationalizing that his relative and her ailing husband Vlasta are on vacation, Andrew tries at four in the morning Czech Republic time. Someone picks up the receiver but immediately hangs up the phone. Anxious for his cousin, Andrew flies from Philadelphia to Prague to insure that the two Czech professors are okay.
In Prague, his second cousin Marie, daughter of Anna and Vlasta, informs Andrew through hieroglyphics, as neither is proficient with the other's language, that thugs with guns abducted her parents. Andrew talks to Anna's colleague Ilsa Tanacek, who takes him to the adult puppet show of menacing Jan Redlik. Andrew's attendance makes him a focus of nasty individuals who want him to back off his inquiries. He continues his quest but the evildoers might prove to great for him and his American lover (who has joined him) to overcome.
The latest Dr. Fenimore tale is an engaging thriller that showcases the delightful Prague. The story line is action-packed and the use of hieroglyphics to communicate is clever and adds depth. The cast from both continents is a solid group that either propel the mystery forward, add degrees of tension, or enhance understanding of Andrew. Newcomers will enjoy dining with this novel. However long time fans will need to adjust as Andrew is not the focus of an amateur sleuth cozy, his usual sub-genre. Instead he seems out of place in the middle of a sinister thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner