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Reviewed by Velma Lang for Readers' Favorite
Did he fall or was he pushed? So begins Dick Rosano’s mystery, The Etruscan Connection, on the Italian coast. Darren Priest is informed that an archaeologist died on a dig. He and his partner, Alana, a Viennese cop, head to the ancient remains of Etruscan civilization. Their investigation reveals that Charlie died on the site of a cache of coins, which may be evidence of a Lydian tribe from Turkey colonizing the region before the Etruscans. Darren thus encounters archaeologists, Turkish diggers, government officials, coin collectors, and traders whose interest in the coins is suspicious. At intervals, the reader accompanies Tyrrhenus on his mythical voyage from ancient Turkey to the western coast of Italy. This journey connects us to the ancient Lydian king, Croesus. What was the curse of Croesus that may have caused three deaths? Can Darren uncover the murderer or will the curse be the only answer?
The Etruscan Connection combines the magical ambiance of the Amalfi Coast, the cultural conflict over ancient treasures, and the perilous journey of times past. Overall lies the mythical cloud of the curse of archaeological digs where those who dig come to mysterious ends. Dick Rosano provides a plethora of details about ancient Italy and Turkey which educate the reader and establish solid motivations for the characters’ actions. The characters are lively and animated as they enjoy food and wine and informative discussion. This is a romantic, historical setting with intrigue that offsets the wealth of archaeological information. This well-executed, intriguing mystery with a twist at the end deserves applause.