Berkley, May 2002, 22.95, 304 pp.
McClintoch & Swain is an antiques store in Toronto, Canada run by two ex spouses, Lara McClintoch and Clive McSwain. Since Clive spends more than he should on items for the store, Lara is the one who goes on the buying trips locally and abroad. In Rome, Lara is brought to meet Crawford Lake, a reclusive mega-billionaire who hasn't been seen in public for over fifteen years.
Crawford is an art collector and whenever he is interested in purchasing an item, the owner marks up the price. To prevent this, he uses intermediaries and Lara is the one chosen to purchase a piece of Etruscan art from a Mr. Goddard in Vichy, France. A flattered Lara agrees to take on the job for a generous fee but before her quest is concluded, three men are murdered. Lara inadvertently becomes a smuggler and an innocent bystander winds up in jail for its theft.
Lyn Hamilton is a very creative and colorful writer who always manages to bring the past to life in her archeological mysteries. Her latest work, THE ETRUSCAN CHIMERA is a conspiracy buff's delight. The supporting cast have schemes within plots that Lara innocently and unwilling participates in them. This is one mystery that will take a genius to solve.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner