Secrets in Stones
Baker & Taylor
Shakespearean scholar and private detective Ulysses Finnegan Donaghue finds his vacation in the south of France cut short by the murder of archaeologist Oliver Hardcastle and must confront a group of feuding, egotistical intellectuals to unearth the killer
Blackwell North Amer
Renowned London private detective Ulysses Finnegan Donaghue and his tall, beautiful secretary, Bridget (who is the secret object of his romantic desires), are two of a disparate and polyglot party of seventeen people who have come to the Vallee des Pretres in the Franco-Italian Alps to see Bronze Age rock drawings. The drawings were recently discovered by Oliver Hardcastle, protege of celebrated archaeologist Sir Hilary Compton, the first to find drawings in the valley in 1972.
Bridget, Ulysses, and his long-time friend, Dr. Clothilde Blanche, a retired plastic surgeon, are staying at a refuge run by Michou and Mario Santinelli. Also in residence are Lady Compton and her husband, Sir Hilary, who will be authenticating the drawings; an Italian paleontologist with his attractive, wayward wife; an acerbic English investigative journalist; two pretty French art students who are identical twins; an American archaeologist who is convinced that Hardcastle faked his findings; the handsome, womanizing Hardcastle himself; an earnest archaeology student; a local shepherd who happens to be mute; the polyglot guide who will accompany the tourists to the somewhat dangerous and inaccessible site of the new drawings; and Petrocelli, the refuge's talkative parrot.
When the horned bulls, wedge-shaped daggers, and other hieroglyphics in the rose-colored rock are found to be fakes, not a few reputations are at stake. Who is the forger in the party?
But the discovery of Oliver Hardcastle's floating body in the treacherous pool called the Lake of Shadows shows that lives, not just reputations, may be on the line. It is up to over-curious Donaghue to put his intuition into play and find the murderer (or murderess) amongst them.
Shakespearean scholar and private detective Ulysses Finnegan Donaghue finds his vacation in the south of France cut short by the murder of archaeologist Oliver Hardcastle and must confront a group of feuding, egotistical intellectuals to unearth the killer.
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1996.