Trojan Gold by Elizabeth Peters

Among the many pieces of art looted from European museums at the end of WWII was a set of jewelry Heinrich Schliemann discovered on his controversial Trojan dig; the set has perhaps best been memorialized in the photo of Schliemann’s wife adorned with the jewels.  Locating this long-missing treasure would be quite a coup for the finder so Vicky Bliss is definitely intrigued when she receives a photo in the mail which perfectly mimics the Sophia Schliemann picture.  Unfortunately the photo arrives without any information—only a bloodstained envelope.

Vicky’s quest to solve the mystery takes her to an Alpine village this time—the location of a conference she’d attended just a year before.  She’s not completely surprised when she learns that her colleagues, representing the best museums in America and Europe, arrive soon after.  Someone who knew the current location of the Schliemann jewelry wanted to share that information—but, as the bloodstained envelope implied, someone else is willing to kill in order to claim the treasure for their own.  Who can Vicky trust?

As with previous entries, the fourth Vicky Bliss mystery offers a nice combination of mystery, humor, romance, and art history. Another perk to this series is the sense of locale—Vicky is always in a new country and Peters has a flair for description.  I have to note that Schmidt’s ogling scenes did creep me out a bit—I suppose it fits, every other man ogles Vicky—but it still creeped me out.  I also felt liked I was missing something when the occasional German phrase was used (I don’t know German).

*This set of jewelry did go missing after the fall of Berlin in 1945—Trojan Gold was written in 1987—Russia admitted to having the jewelry in the 1990s.  http://artnews.com/issues/article.asp?art_id=2407

photo courtesy of wikipedia

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