Berkley, April 2004, 22.95, 256 pp.
It isn't every person who could own and work with an ex-husband but Lara McClintoch manages quite nicely. In fact Clive Swain carries most of the business load because Lara is depressed because she broke up with her long time lover. In downtown Toronto Lara meets an old schoolmate who is on her way to meet some other college friends. Lara joins them because she shared an apartment with them and was one of the Dovercourt Divas as they were called.
The six divas attend an exhibit at the Cottingham Museum hosted by new curator, Lara's former lover Karoly Ndmar. He displays the Magyar Venus that he acquired for the museum. Some of the divas think he committed fraud so Lara goes to Hungary to trace the history of the three inch ivory statue. While there the man who sold the Venus to Karoly dies. The police believe he slipped but Lara thinks someone killed him; she also believes that one of the Divas didn't commit suicide but was chased and fell off the bridge trying to get away from someone she knew. Determined to find out the truth, Lara goes to London where she finds the evidence she needs to confront the perpetrator and almost loses her life in the process.
Lyn Hamilton's archeological mysteries always make the reader want to travel to the setting of her latest book and THE MAGYAR VENUS is no exception. She makes Hungary come alive in the mind's eye with her descriptions of the country and its people. The heroine is a fascinating and complex person who has the courage to do what is right even if it means putting herself in danger. The armchair travel crowd and fans of excellent amateur sleuth novels will want to read this book in one sitting.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner