For a dealer in antiques, the job offered by the wealthy client certainly seemed ideal. Having spent thousands of dollars on remarkably valuable antiques and art objects, he wanted Canadian antiquarian Lara McClintoch to fly to the Mediterranean island of Malta, to oversee the placement of those new purchases in his newly-renovated apartment there. What could go wrong?
Well, a great deal, in fact, could - and did - go wrong. The apartment wasn't finished. Weather and strikes delayed the shipment of those antiques. And when the shipment from Toronto did arrive, so did the body of the client - in one of the packing crates.
Welcome to The Maltese Goddess, by Lyn Hamilton, the second in her series of mysteries featuring archeologist and antiques dealer Lara McClintoch. First published in 1998, The Maltese Goddess is the subject of today's audio review on the Classic Mysteries podcast, and you can listen to the complete review by clicking here.
The Maltese Goddess combines a traditional mystery with a plot that also contains elements of a political thriller. It becomes clear pretty quickly that somebody is not at all happy that Lara is in Malta. There's a mysterious nighttime prowler hanging around near her door. Somebody appears to have tampered with her car's brakes. And then her client's body turns up in that shipment from Canada. There will be more murders committed and attempted before the mysteries are sorted out.
Lyn Hamilton's archeological mysteries are quite enjoyable, and Lara McClintoch is an engaging protagonist. The Maltese setting is fascinating - Hamilton gives us a good deal of the island's history and culture as well. The Maltese Goddess is entertaining, and I'm looking forward to reading more of Hamilton's books. It has been reissued as an e-book from Bev Editions, which made a copy available to me for this review.