Monday, February 27, 2017

Zadok's Treasure: Review

When Sir Toby Glendower's long-time colleague and friend disappears from his archaeological dig near Jerusalem, Toby is persuaded by Bill Pearson's wife Valerie to travel to Israel and track down the missing archaeologist. He is especially intrigued when he learns that Bill was on the trail of the legendary treasure of Zadok, high priest to Solomon. The historical stakes are high--but the monetary stakes are even higher and there are rumors that a high-rolling collector may have been dogging Bill's heels. Toby is a prominent archaeologist himself and more than capable of following up any clues his friend might have left behind.

Toby convinces his partner in crime-solving, American anthropologist Penny Spring, to join him on his quest. Her job will be to conduct inquiries in Jerusalem and keep tabs on Valerie--who seems more interested in various other men connected to the dig than she does in her husband's fate. When Toby discovers the tortured and mutilated body of his friend hidden a cave far from camp, he also uncovers a cleverly concealed document that, if authentic, may be an even more valuable historic find than any legendary treasure. Penny's researches in Jerusalem mirror Toby's discoveries and she finds that this new artifact may have placed Toby in extreme danger. The normal course of their investigations generally find Penny in danger with Toby snatching her from a villain's clutches just in time. This time, the tables are turned, and it's up to Penny to race against time to save Toby from a murderer who has no problem killing anyone who stands between them and archaeological riches.

Zadok's Treasure (1979) provides the reader with a nearly complete package--high adventure and narrow escapes in the desert, a closed set of suspects, a classic investigation with our two amateur detectives following up clues to discover the culprit, and a dramatic wrap-up scene with Toby confronting the killer from his hospital bed. Arnold does a fair job of producing a fair play mystery although Toby does hold a couple of clues close to his chest in Holmesian fashion. For the most part, however, Arnold gives us an enjoyable academic cozy with well-developed characters--particularly her detectives Toby and Penny. For those of us who are well-acquainted with the pair, it was fun to see Penny riding to the rescue for once. ★★★★

With the water from a cistern on the cover, this fulfills the "Body of Water" category on the Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt card.

All Challenges Fulfilled: Vintage Mystery Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, How Many Books, Cruisin' Thru the Cozies, Charity Challenge, Craving for Cozies, A-Z Reading Challenge, Wild Goose Chase, Cloak & Dagger, My Kind of Mystery, Where Are You Reading

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