After the unveiling of the Magyar Venusa head and torso of a woman carved from mammoth ivory during the Upper Paleolithic periodone of Lara's friends commits suicide. Determinedly tracing the Venus's provenance to Budapest, Lara discovers a truth that arises from the secrets of the past.
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Toronto's Cottingham Museum has just acquired the Magyar Venus, an artifact supposedly 25,000 years old. The museum's director is an old college friend of Lara McClintoch's. She reunites with a lot of her old college chums. Questions about the artifact's authenticity arise and Lara begins to investigate this as well as the death of one of her college friends that night. She leaves for Budapest to investigate the artifact. She is quickly followed by all her friends.I found the book very slow in getting started. I also found quite a few plot elements to be unplausible. For example, would all of the friends actually have valid passports and be able to leave on a moment's notice? Would the airlines really have that many last minute seats available so that all the Divas could get there on the same flight? I found the last 75 pages or so much more interesting than the remainder of the book. This is where the action really picked up, true discoveries were being made, etc.
It isn¿t every person who could own and work with an ex-husband but Lara McClintoch manages quite nicely. In fact Clive Swain carries most of the business load because Lara is depressed because she broke up with her long time lover. In downtown Toronto Lara meets an old schoolmate who is on her way to meet some other college friends. Lara joins them because she shared an apartment with them and was one of the Dovercourt Divas as they were called. The six divas attend an exhibit at the Cottingham Museum hosted by new curator, Lara¿s former lover Karoly Ndmar. He displays the Magyar Venus that he acquired for the museum. Some of the divas think he committed fraud so Lara goes to Hungary to trace the history of the three inch ivory statue. While there the man who sold the Venus to Karoly dies. The police believe he slipped but Lara thinks someone killed him; she also believes that one of the Divas didn¿t commit suicide but was chased and fell off the bridge trying to get away from someone she knew. Determined to find out the truth, Lara goes to London where she finds the evidence she needs to confront the perpetrator and almost loses her life in the process. Lyn Hamilton¿s archeological mysteries always make the reader want to travel to the setting of her latest book and THE MAGYAR VENUS is no exception. She makes Hungary come alive in the mind¿s eye with her descriptions of the country and its people. The heroine is a fascinating and complex person who has the courage to do what is right even if it means putting herself in danger. The armchair travel crowd and fans of excellent amateur sleuth novels will want to read this book in one sitting. Harriet Klausner