"A picture is worth a thousand words but the photograph art historian Vicky Bliss has just received gives rise to a thousand questions instead. At first glance it appears to be the famous portrait of Frau Schliemann adorned in the gold of Troy. But closer study reveals the picture to be contemporary -- which is odd since Vicky knows the Trojan gold vanished sometime around the end of World War Two. And if she needed further proof that something was terribly amiss, a quick look at the blood-stained envelope the photo arrived in should do the trick. Yet Vicky is not the only expert to receive this mysterious mailing. And the entire circle is gathering for a festive Bavarian Christmas -- one, hopefully, to be made even more festive by the rediscovery of an ancient lost treasure. But the celebration could prove to be short -- and bloody -- courtesy of a very determined killer in their midst"--P.  of cover.… (more)
To Dominick with respectful admiration, admiring respect, and much affection
Fire stained the night.
I had never mentioned my aesthetic tastes to John, since he was vain enough already. (Chapter 5 - p.103)
I sat there morosely drinking beer and wondering what the hell John was up to. Oh, I knew part of the performance was designed to calm Tony and persuade him to do what John wanted him to do, i.e., spend the night at the house. He succeeded in the former aim; I saw Tony's frown smooth out, to be replaced by a pseudo-tolerant smile as he studied John's graceful gestures and winning smiles and deceptively slender build. I thought John was overdoing it a bit when he started calling Tony "duckie" and patting him on the arm -- John's great weakness is a tendency to get carried away by a role -- but Tony has the usual prejudices against well-groomed men who bat their eyelashes at him. (Chapter 5 - pp.120-121)
Like all men, he is quite willing to believe that a young and beautiful girl will adore him when he is eighty. (Chapter 6 - p.137)
Since it was still early, we poked around the shops for a while, and Tony, who was still smarting from what he considered my treacherous behavior, got his revenge by carrying out an act of atrocity from which I had dissuaded him on several previous occasions. He bought a pair of lederhosen.
Lederhosen are those short leather pants. Let me repeat the word "short." They do not come to the knee, or just above the knee, or to mid-thigh; they are, not to belabor the point, short.