//I have created a fictional international team of detectives dedicated to preventing the theft of works of art and their sale to collectors on the shady side of the art market. If you like 'foreign' detectives like Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen and Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti, then you are bound to like French Commissaire Pierre Rousseau and Greek Chief Inspector Antonia Antoniarchis! So far there are five titles in the series which are all available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback:
To read the first chapters go to the title page on the sidebar.
Joker in the Pack
Realizing that there is a mole in MI5, he sends his researcher to Prague to contact a former friend and to discover what happened to one of the mystery informers. Old memories of the repression which took place after the Prague Spring of 1969 are painfully revived and old rivalries between the CIA and MI6 lead to the death of more than one agent. The dénouement is both tragic and a complete surprise.
The background to this thriller starts with the Siege of Troy, more than three thousand years ago. When Zeus commanded Paris, Prince of Troy, to judge which of the goddesses Hera, Aphrodite or Athena was the fairest, Paris decided in favour of Aphrodite. She awarded him the love of Helen, Queen of Sparta and wife of King Menelaus. With Aphrodite's help Paris carried off Helen to Troy and the stage was set for the Trojan War. During the siege of Troy Achilles and his friend Patroclus fell in battle and were buried together, their ashes combined in a single golden urn.
In modern times, a private collector commissions two London art dealers to find their tomb and to retrieve the battle helmet the two heroes shared. They engage a team of Italian tomb robbers to find it, but unbeknown to them, a rival collector sends another gang to keep watch on their progress and to steal the helmet. The tombaroli find the tomb and extract the helmet, all the time also observed by the Interpol team of French and Greek detectives, who bide their time in the hope of tracking down the collectors who have commissioned the thefts. The tombaroli fall out amongst themselves and are double-crossed by their own leader. The rest of the gang exact terrible revenge.
The bid to smuggle the helmet out of Greece to London hots up as the rival gangs compete to keep control of the helmet. During a sea chase around the Greek Islands and across the Mediterranean the helmet changes hands more than once. But Pierre Rousseau from Lyon and Antonia Antoniarchis from Athens are never far behind and we are left wondering who has the real helmet and who has the replica.
The plot is a real page turner. The international cast is involved in murder, treachery, romance and deception. A must read.
The Athenian Connection
The same gang of Italian tombaroli are behind an attempt to steal a valuable fourteenth century icon out of Greece. A French gang of jewel thieves becomes involved and the two cases intertwine with fatal consequences for both sides.
Rousseau and Antoniarchis need to discover the link between the two gangs and the reason why the leader of the French gang has drawn attention to the fact that he has escaped from prison. If he is not the man behind bars in Lyon, who are they holding in his place?
When a local Greek millionaire's wife is kidnapped with their son, the tombaroli warn Rousseau and Antoniarchis not to interfere. But is the kidnap as straightforward as it seems and what exactly do the kidnappers want? Has an icon really been stolen from the Athens museum? If so, by whom? Why have the American collectors turned up again?
Pierre Rousseau and Antonia Antoniarchis need the help of former Greek resistance fighters to solve the mystery.
Book 3 in the Rousseau Mysteries series
The Crusader's Chronicle
Centuries later an American art collector commissions Giovanni Lucca, an experienced Italian tomb robber and smuggler of artifacts, to find the original manuscript. He in turn is being tracked by a French jewel thief who is bent on killing him.
In France, a young French architect, Katja Kokoschka, hammers on the door of a book dealer in the early morning. The dealer is later found inside his flat. In Greece, the ruins of an ancient monastery are disturbed and a monk is found dead at the bottom of a cliff. Kokoschka is used by Lucca to find and authenticate the manuscript. Frightened by him, she confides in the police.
Commissaire Pierre Rousseau teams up with the Greek Art Fraud Squad and sends colleagues to the Lousiós Gorge to investigate. They find the manuscript and substitute a facsimile knowing that one of Lucca's men has tracked them there . They allow him to steal the facsimile and and he leads them to Lucca. A trap is set and the final sting leaves the American collector looking foolish, Lucca arrested and the manuscript safely in the museum in Athens.
Book 4 in the Rousseau Mysteries series:
Return to the Parthenon
Pierre Rousseau and his Greek colleagues become involved in what could be the find of the century. After 200 years, could there really be lost sculptures from the Parthenon which could be returned to Greece and placed in the new Acropolis Museum? Or is the whole thing just a hoax to attract more tourists to the island?
Book 5 in the Rousseau Mysteries Series:
In the present, two works by Alberto Giacometti are discovered in a château in Brittany and a German tourist is found dead in the library.
Rousseau is on the trail of Sherlock Holmes in Meiringen. Can he use the great detective's methods to make the connections?