Llewellyn (The Masks of Rome, 1988) seems to have slipped easily into the Parthenon of Old Reliables in the realm of popular...



Llewellyn (The Masks of Rome, 1988) seems to have slipped easily into the Parthenon of Old Reliables in the realm of popular romantic suspense. This second novel, involving an adventure in Sicily, marvelous scenery, cliff-edge dangers, and a myth of a fertility goddess (having a great deal to do with a Stygian cave and golden bees) has Mary Stewart's decorative delight in the ancient world and Whitney's overlay of mystery. Alison Jordan, a humble ""fact grubber"" at the American Embassy in Bonn, is asked by political officer Luke to research the history of Hugo Raphael, glamorous American archeologist and architect, reported working for Qaddafi. Now, however, Hugo has left Libya--but to go where? Hugo, Alison admits, is her long-absent father, and soon she's joined by her 15-year-old half-brother Jay, who, like Alison, has a clue that Hugo might be near the ruins that he had mentioned in letters--a castle and tower in a tiny, remote village in Sicily. Here, Hugo had said, might be the center of fertility-goddess worship, and rumor has it that somewhere is buried a golden honeycomb dedicated to the goddess. Eventually, Alison and Jay make it to the tiny village, where they meet: the queenly American bee lady, Clio Hunt, who tends her hives and owns a coin medallion exactly like the one Hugo gave Alison years ago; Don Calogero, who owns the village and knows the debt that he and others owe to Hugo; the Den's sinister nephew, who--along with Hugo's bafflingly bland, handsome one-time assistant, Elliot Carter--distributes Clio's honey, and Luke, who seems to have decided to take a Sicilian vacation. Alison and Jay will join Elliot in Hugo's tower, and there will be a gathering of evil forces--which will bring death; a terrifying, spectacular cave journey; a buzz of myth and mystery; a bizarre family reunion; and a dazzling view into the heart of a labyrinth. Tops--with lots about beekeeping, caving, and ancient cults.

Pub Date: April 1, 1990


Page Count: -

Publisher: Scribners

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1990