Monday, July 30, 2007

Mystery Book Review: The Gold of Thrace by Aileen G. Baron

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of The Gold of Thrace by Aileen G. Baron. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.The Gold of Thrace by Aileen G. Baron

The Gold of Thrace by Aileen G. Baron
A Tamar Saticoy Mystery

Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-59058-430-9 (1590584309)
ISBN-13: 978-1-59058-430-9 (9781590584309)
Publication Date: July 2007
List Price: $24.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): When the first member of the staff at a Turkish excavation is murdered and a mosaic floor disappears overnight from her site, archaeologist Tamar Saticoy plunges into a shady world of the antiquities trade in the quest to discover who is responsible for the theft of important artifacts.

Tamar traces the mosaic floor to Basel, Switzerland, where the captivating prince of antiquities dealers, Gilberto Dela Barcolo, and his enigmatic friend, Enzio Egidio, charm her. Soon she finds herself enmeshed in a tangle of deceit, theft, and forgery.

Battling smoke and mirrors, she discovers that no one is who they seem. Two more members of the excavation staff are killed: her venal colleague Chatham, who has discovered a hoard of Thracian gold in Bulgaria, and Orman who--like Tamar--is following the trail of the stolen mosaic.

Unless she can crack this case, Tamar herself may become the next target for murder.

Review: Tamar Saticoy and a team of archaeologists visit Turkey in The Gold of Thrace, a mystery by Aileen G. Baron, author of the Lily Sampson series.

On an archaeological dig in Tepe Hagarken, Tamar, Binali Gul, Orman Celibi, and Andrew Chatham unearth a spectacular mosaic floor, one which they feel would be perfect for the entrance of their museum in New York. Before they can ready it for shipment, however, it is stolen and completely removed from the site. Soon thereafter, Binali Gul is stabbed to death becoming an unsolved murder. Next, Andrew Chatham decides to leave inasmuch as the mosaic is gone. He boards a train and encounters a man and woman who need his help. They have the gold of Thrace in their possession, know who he is, and want him to get the best price for the gold. When he leaves to do their bidding, he is killed, and the gold is stolen. Orman Celici thought he had traced the mosaic to The Hague, Netherlands, but not only did he not find it, he was killed by one of the thieves who had originally stolen it. Tamar, quite logically, follows the money. She goes to Switzerland where she meets the king of antiquity dealers, Gilberto Dela Burcolo, and his mysterious friend Enzio Egidio. These men take Tamar into places of fraud, thievery and murder. The people she must deal with may not be who they say they are. Three of Tamar’s friends are already dead. Will the thieves go after and find Tamar next? Will her new friends help her find the mosaic and keep her safe? Are these friends really friends?

Baron's knowledge of archaeology and history add an authentic touch to this complicated story of people that are or are not who they claim to be, and antiquities and artifacts that may or may not be what them seem to be. There are many twists and turns that keep the reader interested, if only to see how it all is connected. But despite the intriguing plot, in the end, it's a bit disappointing. The conclusion is not very satisfactory and several plot threads remain unresolved. If The Gold of Thrace is the first in a new series, possibly their resolution will serve as an introduction to the next book.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of for contributing her review of The Gold of Thrace and to Poisoned Pen Press for providing an ARC of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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