Which matters more: an engagement ring or a funeral brooch?
Art historian Sweeney St. George (Judgment of the Grave, 2005, etc.) has two problems on her hands. She has to prepare for the opening of her exhibit on Egyptian funeral jewelry at Boston’s Hapner Museum of Art, and she has to decide whether she loves live-in beau Ian enough to move to London with him. Problem #1 gets more complicated when a necklace she wishes to put on display can’t be found in the museum’s storeroom. Neither can an alabaster stopper to a canopic jar, which was probably used to bash in the head of poor Olga, the cleaning woman lying dead on the floor. All this complicates Problem #2 because solving the murder entails dealing with Quinn, the hunky cop Sweeney may like more than Ian. Alas, the Hapner will claim another victim and raise many questions about the provenance of most of its treasures before Sweeney ties the present-day travails to the suicide of a young graduate student back in the ’70s.
Taylor, who seems to think Leningrad’s Hermitage is in Moscow, might have been less concerned with Sweeney’s love life and more diligent in her research. On the other hand, she does explain what canopic jars are—not once, but three times.