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Cover image for Return to Umbria
Format:
Title:
Return to Umbria
ISBN:
9781464206092

9781464206115
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
Scottsdale, AZ : Poisoned Pen Press, 2016.
Physical Description:
214 pages ; 23 cm.
Summary:
Orvieto--its very name brings to mind priceless art, colorful ceramics, and straw-colored wine. And the most famous cathedral facade in Italy, a structure of gothic spires, arches, statues, and mosaics. But as Rick Montoya discovers, this jewel of Umbria can have an ugly side as well. When Rick Montoya moved to his mother's Italy from his father's Santa Fe, New Mexico, to work as a freelance translator using his dual heritage, he didn't expect to be helping the Italian police. His maternal uncle, a high-level commissioner in Rome, however, sees no reason not to use the resources at hand. Rick's fourth investigation should not have involved crime. It begins when Rick is asked by his uncle to go to Orvieto to talk some sense into his cousin Fabrizio, whose fling with an older married woman is embarrassing the family. Rick agrees to give it a try, and plans a short but romantic weekend in Orvieto with Betta Innocenti, the woman he met in Bassano. What could go wrong? Less than a day after their arrival, his language skills draw him into the brutal murder of an American visitor. He finds that he knows the policeman in charge, but Inspector LoGuercio has changed since the time they met in Volterra. The murdered woman had studied art in Italy decades earlier. Why has she returned now? And why was she dumped at night on a dusty road? Through her traveling companions, her devastated daughter and best friend, as well as a growing list of those who knew her from her student days, they realize she had come to Orvieto to face the past. And then a second murder occurs in a public park, with Montoya so close that he wonders if he could have been the intended target. Is all this connected to Fabrizio and his affair, or to the American's death? More violence erupts, some of it definitely directed at Rick himself. Strong suspects, tantalizing secrets, concealed motives, and risky behaviors tie to a fascinating landscape and layers of Orvieto's past.
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Library
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MYSTERY Wagner, D.
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On Order

Summary

Summary

Orvieto - its very name brings to mind priceless art, colorful ceramics, and straw-colored wine. And the most famous cathedral façade in Italy, a structure of gothic spires, arches, statues, and mosaics. But as Rick Montoya discovers, this jewel of Umbria can have an ugly side as well.

When Rick Montoya moved to his mother's Italy from his father's Santa Fe, New Mexico, to work as a freelance translator using his dual heritage, he didn't expect to be helping the Italian police. His maternal uncle, a high-level commissioner in Rome, however, sees no reason not to use the resources at hand.

Rick's fourth investigation should not have involved crime. It begins when Rick is asked by his uncle to go to Orvieto to talk some sense into his cousin Fabrizio, whose fling with an older married woman is embarrassing the family. Rick agrees to give it a try, and plans a short but romantic weekend in Orvieto with Betta Innocenti, the woman he met in Bassano. What could go wrong?

Less than a day after their arrival, his language skills draw him into the brutal murder of an American visitor. He finds that he knows the policeman in charge, but Inspector LoGuercio has changed since the time they met in Volterra. The murdered woman had studied art in Italy decades earlier - why has she returned now? And why was she dumped at night on a dusty road? Through her traveling companions, her devastated daughter and best friend, as well as a growing list of those who knew her from her student days, they realize she had come to Orvieto to face the past. And then a second murder occurs in a public park, with Montoya so close that he wonders if he could have been the intended target. Is all this connected to Fabrizio and his affair, or to the American's death? More violence erupts, some of it definitely directed at Rick himself.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

The beautiful Umbrian towns of Orvieto and Todi provide the setting for Wagner's well-written fourth mystery featuring translator Rick Montoya (after 2015's Murder Most Unfortunate). Rick, an Italian-American based in Rome, and his lover, detective Betta Innocenti, are visiting the area with a mission: to persuade Rick's 21-year-old cousin, Fabrizio, to return to his family home in Perugia and break off his relationship with an Orvieto matron. On the way up to Orvieto, Rick exchanges a few words with three American women. When one of them ends up dead, Rick is drawn into the police investigation as an interpreter. The motive for the victim's death seems to be linked to her experiences in Orvieto as an art student many years before. Wagner skillfully inserts nuggets of local culture without slowing down the narrative pace, and perhaps even more importantly, he gets Italy right. He understands the nuances of Italian manners and mentality as well as the glorious national preoccupation with food. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

Orvieto is the latest stop for translator Rick Montoya (Murder Most Unfortunate, 2015, etc.), who stumbles across corpses in every hidden corner of ItalyTheres nothing illegal in the behavior Ricks uncle, Commissario Piero Fontana of the Rome police, sends his nephew to investigate, unless you think its criminally stupid for Ricks cousin Fabrizio to partly set up housekeeping with an older married woman in the ancient walled city a short drive from Rome. Tullia Aragona pays for Fabrizios Orvieto apartment, where she visits him often but goes home to her shady husband, Vincenzo. Ricks mission is to persuade young Fabrizio to return to Rome. Hoping to see the sights, he invites his current girlfriend, Betta Innocenti, along but is soon pressed into service by the police. Detective Paolo LoGuercio, temporarily in charge of the small-town Orvieto force, is confronted with the murder of an American woman, Rhonda Van Fleet. Unused to serious crime, LoGuercio not only needs Rick to translate as he interviews Rhondas traveling companions, her adult daughter, Gina, and her longtime friend Francine, but relies increasingly on Ricks instincts as an amateur sleuth. Rhonda came to Orvieto, where shed learned ceramics as a student, to reconnect with her past. But which of those connections proved fatal?nbsp;As Mayor Bernardo Boscoli and tourism booster Livio Morgante urge LoGuercio to close the case quickly, Rick leaves Betta to explore Orvietos medieval streets on her own while he tries to unmask a killer. Once again, Wagners setting battles his plot for the readers attention, leaving detection in Orvietos soft volcanic dust. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Translator Rick Montoya's uncle, a high-ranking police officer in Rome, asks Rick to travel to Orvieto in central Italy to convince Rick's young cousin to end his affair with a wealthy, married older woman and return to his family in Perugia. Rick accedes to the request, seeing the possibility of a short vacation with his girlfriend, Betta. While traveling on the funicolare (a cable railroad) to Orvieto, Rick and Betta briefly meet three American women, one of whom is later murdered. After contacting the local police department to share information about his encounter with the women, Rick is asked by the detective to serve as translator when the victim's traveling companions are interviewed, and he soon becomes involved in the police investigation. The novel is framed by the beauty of the Umbrian countryside and Orvieto, its architecture and art, and its long, fascinating history; and the author seamlessly weaves Italian life and culture into a mystery that involves secrets from the victim's past and highlights a well-drawn main character whose half-American, half-Italian heritage provides an interesting point of view on both the setting and people.--O'Brien, Sue Copyright 2016 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Translator Rick Montoya (Murder Most Unfortunate) is in Oreiveto to persuade his cousin to return home to Rome when he gets drawn into investigating the murder of American Rhonda Van Fleet. Did Rhonda's past in Oreiveto, studying ceramics, lead to her death? The setting almost overwhelms the plot, but Rick is a charming and appealing amateur sleuth. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.