Cold Tuscan Stone (Rick Montoya Italian Mystery, #1) by David P. Wagner

Cold Tuscan Stone (Rick Montoya Italian Mystery, #1)

Rick Montoya has just moved from Santa Fe to Rome, embracing the life of a translator. He’s beginning to embrace la dolce vita when school friend Beppo, now senior in the Italian Art Squad, recruits Rick for an unofficial undercover role. Armed with a list of galleries, suspects, and an expense account, Rick would arrive in Tuscany posing as a buyer for a Santa Fe gallery and flush out traffickers in priceless burial urns. But, before sunset on...

Details Cold Tuscan Stone (Rick Montoya Italian Mystery, #1)

TitleCold Tuscan Stone (Rick Montoya Italian Mystery, #1)
Release DateSep 1st, 2013
PublisherPoisoned Pen Press
GenreMystery, Fiction, Cultural, Italy, Crime

Reviews Cold Tuscan Stone (Rick Montoya Italian Mystery, #1)

  • Nigel
    A laid-back mystery with some nice local colour that builds slowly and promises more than is actually delivered. Engaging but unmemorable.
  • Michael Dunn
    A first effort and it shows.The book plods along for 150+ pages. mostly is a travelogue for Volterra, the town.I easily guessed the guilty party when first introduced.The main character is personable, if a bit naïve, but then he's not a trained investigator.The girlfriend is an annoying bitch, wonder why the character is sodden with her. I hope she disappears.The story did contain some good red herrings and such a good twist for the ending, thou...
  • Jennie
    Loved the setting of this book in a mountain village in Tuscany and the theme of illegal trafficking in ancient artifacts. Brought back memories of a display and presentation on this that I viewed in Rome in 2016 - so the story came across as authentic and contemporary. Reading was good, though perhaps a little more tension would have created a stronger sense of urgency. I will definitely come back to enjoy another adventure of Rick Montoya in hi...
  • Jill
    This is the first of the Rick Montoya Italian Mysteries and my last. At least 75% of this book could have been written by the Italian Tourist Department. After Wagner finishes discussing each and every detail of each and every meal he then goes into a detailed discussion of the wardrobe of each and every person (including their shoes). Basically it boils down to less than 10% of the novel has anything to do with the mystery.
  • Brace1737
    Rick Montoya lives in several worlds. He loves New Mexico and loves Italy. I had a friend with that happy problem.Now in Italy and living in Rome, a friend asks him to take an undercover assignment and go to Tuscany for a few days to investigate the thief of Ancient art.Sounds like an Italian version of Tony Hillerman's A Thief of Time? Perhaps. This novel is a good first effort. I may read some of the other novels in this series.
  • Sylvia Dugan
    This is the first book in a series featuring Rick Montoya, an American with an Italian mother and uncle in Rome. He is recruited by a friend from school who is in the Italian Art Squad to help uncover who is trafficking in the sale of priceless Etruscan antiquities in the town of Volterra. In addition to the mystery, we learn a bit about the ancient Etruscans who carved the beautiful funeral urns and sculptures that are being stolen and sold on t...
  • Lance Wright
    Though there are relatively few suspects in this debut murder mystery set in Tuscany, there are a lot of characters and it helps when they take a break to dine or discuss art, giving readers a chance to get acquainted with them. The storyline itself is nicely crafted, if also a little thinly plotted, but given how well structured the environment in which the investigation plays out it hardly matters. A fine start to this series.
  • Desiree
    Nice detective story set in Volterra, first in a series about Rick (Riccardo) Montoya, half Italian, half American translater who does some undercover work for the ministry of culture (bene culturali) in the art scene in Volterra to discover the source of illegal Etruscan funerary urns.He "unearths" more then he set out for.
  • Caroline
    I feel the setting and the cultural references place this book in an interesting genre. It is a murder mystery but also provides insights into the township of Volterra and the surrounding area of Tuscany in Italy.
  • Vicky
    Probably more like 3 1/2 stars. This was a new author for me when I picked up a later book in the series [Return to Umbria] and I liked it well enough to go to the library and get the author’s first one, featuring American-Italian interpreter/translator Rick Montoya. He is a personable sleuth, along with the Italian police characters. This first one revolves around art theft and forgeries which I always find interesting. The Italian settings ar...
  • Mary
    "Cold Tuscan Stone" is the first in a series of mysteries set in Italy. David P. Wagner does a good job of establishing the character and setting. Our lead character, Rick Montoya, is a dual-nationality Italian-American. His father was a diplomat and his mother is Italian. Rick has ties to New Mexico, but he is making a living in Rome as a translator. When a school friend who is in the Italian cultural ministry asks Rick to pose as an art buyer i...
  • Eugene
    First of a new series. While the plot was a bit bare bones, the story was told well, the characters were interesting, and the setting in Tuscany was great fun. Much mystery has in recent years been set in France (which is great), perhaps this will begin an entertaining trend of whodunnits set in Italy. The story moved along well, one’s interest remained engaged, altogether a good read. Will look for another of Wagner’s efforts.
  • Dee
    A new author to read! Recommended by Joe Heywood, a likewise good author and personal acquaintance. Rick has moved from Arizona to Italy. He has old friends in Italy and relatives, too. One friend in the Ministry asks his help in searching for the links in a case they are trying to solve. Well done plot, action but not too fast, a little romance but that's just a sidebar. I'll have to read some more of this series.
  • Jayhawk
    I liked this book. Lots of info about a great area of Italy. The other ones aren't available to me as audio books yet.
  • Edward Smith
    Since I have read the later books in this series it was great to see where they started.Wagner gives Tuscany it's due and entertains in the process.
  • Cathy Cole
    Cold Tuscan Stone is a good set-up for Wagner's series. Montoya is a smart, likable main character-- and so is Italy. The cobbled streets of Volterra, Tuscany come to life under the author's pen as do the mouthwatering descriptions of food and the sharp insights into the Italian national character.I've always enjoyed mysteries concerning art history, and the one here is good, but by book's end I felt that it was a bit lightweight. The foundation ...
  • Victor Gentile
    David P. Wagner in his new book, “Cold Tuscan Stone” Book One in the Rick Montoya Italian Mystery series published by Poisoned Pen Press introduces us to Rick Montoya.From the back cover: Rick Montoya has just moved from Santa Fe to Rome, embracing the life of a translator. He’s beginning to embrace la dolce vita when school friend Beppo, now senior in the Italian Art Squad, recruits Rick for an unofficial undercover role. Armed with a list...
  • Laura
    Former Texan Rick Montoya lives in Rome working as a freelance translator. Immersing himself in Italy’s rich culture and cuisine, he is an unlikely candidate for an undercover agent working for a local police department in Tuscany. But when his old high school buddy Beppo Rinaldi, who now works for the Italian Ministry of Culture, asks for his help he is intrigued and quickly steps up to the challenge. There are art thieves in the city of Volte...
  • Lynn
    Very well done mystery set in Volterra Italy. An American running a translation company is enlisted by an old school friend to go undercover in an art theft investigation. Wagner understands and loves Italy, its culture, food and people and that shows in the details that add a lot of interest.Leisurely paced and the mystery itself is quite intriguing. First of a series and I will definitely look for the next one.
  • Scott
    Rick Montoya, his mother Italian and father Latino, learned to speak perfect Italian. He has moved to Rome from New Mexico to work as a translator. A friend in the Italian Art Squad calls upon Rick to go under cover as an art buyer from Santa Fe to help with a murder investigation in Lucca in Tuscany. The book takes place over a matter of a few days as he shops for illegal Etruscan artifacts. He finds three potential sellers, each of whom may be ...
  • Susan
    Rick Montoya, translator and interpreter, travels from his home in Rome to Tuscany to provide undercover help in discovering who has been illegally selling Tuscan art treasures. Rick Montoya is a clever, perceptive protagonist, and I look forward to reading more of his adventures.Wagner, a retired foreign service officer who has previously written tourist materials about Italy, has created a lively set of interesting characters and has captured t...
  • Alan
    Rick Montoya, with a New Mexican father and an Italian mother, holds dual citizenship. He is currently living in Rome and is working as a translator. His boyhood friend, Beppo, now works for the ministry of culture and asks Rick to help with an investigation into the smuggling of Etruscan works of art, which are part of the Italian National Heritage and cannot be exported.Of course there is a murder. Lots of red herrings. It is a good quick read....
  • Kathleen
    I found this author by exploring the Poison Pen Press website. With school starting up again (lots of reading for Children's Lit this semester) I was looking for: mystery, short, easy on the brain.Mr. Wagner did well by me. This first in a series about a dual-citizen guy (US & Italy) living in Rome was enjoyable. They mystery was pretty deep, he, though not a cop, was working undercover for the Ministry of Art, so not just some nosy guy annoying ...
  • Margaret1358 Joyce
    The main protagonist in this fabulous art crime thriller is the setting itself: Italy, in all its aesthetic beauty. The writer indulges his obvious love of the country in his tender descriptions of the architectural , food and other cultural wonders. He has a sharp eye for detail, and allows the reader to drink it all in. The plot is clever, well paced and fun. The male "co-protagonist" ( along with the setting, Italy) is an intelligent and rathe...
  • Janet Martin
    American Rick Montoya has moved to Italy, his mother's birthplace, to make his way as a translator. But what should be a cut and dried career move, takes on sinister overtones when he is recruited by the Italian Art Squad for an undercover assignment in Volterra to look for Etruscan forgeries and antiquities smugglers. Bodies pile up in the medieval town, and no one is to be trusted. This mystery is fast paced, filled with fascinating detail, and...
  • judy
    All Italian mysteries are alike. Lengthy food descriptions, elegant manners and great clothes with wonderful fabrics. Endless scenery and ancient historical sites designed to make you call up your travel agent. For most people, these are wonderful books. A tiny minority of us have absolutely no desire to visit Italy (even having taken Latin, Art History 101 and a graduate level course on the history of Rome)largely because we actually don't like ...
  • Val
    I really enjoyed this first mystery of a new series featuring American/Italian translator Rick Montoya. In this first book, he has just moved to Rome from New Mexico to begin work as a translator. He is asked by an old school friend to work undercover in Tuscany to help uncover a ring of antique art thieves. Like any good mystery, this one has plenty of red herrings and wrong turns, but also enough clues to help guide you to the correct conclusio...
  • Susan
    Translator-interpreter Rick Montoya is asked by an old friend, now in the Ministry of Antiquities, to go to the old Etruscan town of Volterra to see if he can identify what dealer is illegally selling genuine Etruscan artifacts. One of the first contacts he makes is murdered, leaving the world-weary police commissioner suspicious of him. There's also a new cop in town, who seems to be a sketchy figure in his own right. And there's Rick's Roman gi...
  • Julie
    I received this free as a Goodreads First Reads. Wagner gives good descriptions on characters and settings in Italy. Too many details especially on food and such are given throughout. His mystery moves at a slower pace making it difficult to stay involved reading it. Rick Montoya, an interpreter/translator, is an interesting character but falls short as a makeshift detective. I think this was a good start to writing mysteries but adjustments are ...