Secrets in Stones: A Ulysses F. Donaghue Investigation

Anna Shone, Author
Anna Shone, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-14043-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 48 pages - 978-0-373-26247-2
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The second ingenious puzzler starring London PI and scholar Ulysses Finnegan Donaghue (Mr. Donaghue Investigates) gathers a disparate cast in the remote, rugged Alpine Valee des Pretres where, 20 years earlier, archeologist Sir Hilary Compton had discovered Bronze Age rock drawings. Handsome Oliver Hardcastle, rising young archeological star, has found additional drawings there, as well as some unlikely hieroglyphics. Are they authentic or are they fakes? Compton and Hardcastle, along with students, other academics, hikers and a reporter, check into the valley refuge. Donaghue and his gorgeous secretary, Bridget, are vacationing there with old friend Clothilde Blanche, retired plastic surgeon and dedicated outdoorswoman. Some interesting romances blossom, and jealous tensions simmer, too, exacerbated by a storm and a rock fall that cuts off the site. Three plot threads are meticulously woven together: Hardcastle's annotated list of the nine women present, all of whom he planned to seduce during the five-day visit; the assessment of the new pictures and deciphering the hieroglyphics; and Hardcastle's sudden, mysterious death in the dangerous Lake of the Shadows. The strands of the plot lead to a conclusion both surprising and logical. (Apr.)
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