The Matador's Crown (Rogue Angel, Book 38)
Alex Archer, Michele Hauf
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An invitation too irresistible to refuse from the Museum of Cadiz leads archaeologist Annja Creed to the sun-drenched southern coast of Andalucia, Spain. In a region rich in Moorish and Roman ruins, she leaps at the chance to join a dig across the Bay of Cadiz, where she unearths a bronze bull statue that makes the entire trip worth every minute. Until the day after her discovery, when she sees the same artifact beside the body of a dead Spaniard, killed by the estocada, the final sword thrust used by bullfighters to bring down the bull.
Whoever killed the man left clear signs of having taken something. And yet the bronze bull remained. What was so valuable the murderer chose it over a priceless artifact? How had her find come into this dead man's hands? With few leads and a growing body count, Annja's investigation takes her through a colorful world of flamenco and bullfighting to a renowned matador and an illegal—and deadly—collection of Visigoth votive crowns.
excavation unit marked off with stakes and string before she’d arrived days earlier looked like the pit to hell, blackened by the shadows. It was only four feet deep. Crockett had gotten a lot done with the few college students who had occasion to drop in for a day at a time. No one except Crockett stayed on-site overnight, so either they had all taken a day off or had decided to start late. Really late. It was after noon. She called out, but no one replied. Crockett’s tent door was untied and
spectacle. Was Diego’s murderer watching this display of savagery? Where had Diego gotten the bronze bull? Thinking about the few valuable items unearthed from the dig, Annja wouldn’t consider any of them the correct size for the wood crate. If Professor Harlow suspected a local gang of selling artifacts, it was possible they had either obtained pieces from various locations through theft or could have received them from other countries through the shipping port. Had it been the police who
in their aesthetic qualities. Yet if he’s that desperate for money, as Ava implied, that he was involved with the sale of the crowns, he couldn’t be that bad off now. No. I don’t understand the assistant’s involvement.” “Lost him.” Garin pulled the Jeep to a stop near a chain-link fence in front of a stretch of warehouses along the shore. “You’re sure it was one of Cristo’s bulls?” “It had a half circle above a bar brand.” “That is Cristo’s brand.” He adjusted the rearview mirror to keep an
authenticated. “You going to report me to Soto?” “For some reason, I suspect Soto would arrest me instead of you. Besides, artifact theft should be reported to the local museum, as well as the authorities. Did you hear about the man who was murdered a few days ago in the Hotel Blanca?” “My focus is on the ring. It would prove deadly if I littered my mind with every little problem in the world. War, terrorism, senseless killings and natural disasters.” He was deflecting the topic. Annja
then I promise I’ll get on a plane soon after.” “Sounds like a deal.” He offered his hand and she shook it. “I guess I owe you my thanks. If Harlow hadn’t explained the details to you in there I might still be searching.” “You said there was a dirty cop on the force. Would that be a woman?” “I’m not sure I even want to know how you come by your information, but yes, the officer is female. Maria Alonzo. We arrested her less than an hour ago and she gave us Harlow.” Annja recalled the officer