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.
beneath. It was amazing the punishing motions she could perform so forcefully and yet gracefully. Must be hell on the Achilles tendons. Annja’s sight fell on the black mark on the woman’s wrist. Looked like a tattoo, but her rapid movement wouldn’t let Annja make out the design. Clutching her skirts at her hips, the dancer brought her dance to an end with a triumphant thrust of her hand to the sky. The crowd cheered and some called for another performance, while the dancer’s head tilted down
off in pursuit of the shooter. Remarkable. So brave a female I have not before known. Señor Braden tells me you lost track of the shooter, though.” “Yes, I’m sorry. I tried. Though I did get a good look at her and gave that description to the police. I’m sure they’ve shown you the picture. Do you have any idea who she could be?” “Me? Why should I? Aficionados far and wide love me. I am as startled by the event as everyone else.” “No enemies? Jilted lovers?” “Ah…” His wince didn’t go
Wish I was there.” In one of very few places that was still generally untouched by civilization. Though even then the island did have a small air-landing strip. She tapped the pen on the notepaper. “Louis XIII? And his Austrian princess?” She thought over what she knew about the French king who had ruled in a time when Versailles had been considered the capital of France. The princess Anne of Austria had been daughter of Philip III of Spain. It was a time when Cardinal Richelieu reigned more
He stood back, thumbs hooked into the front pockets of his brown, creased slacks. He wore the force’s green flak jacket with the gold policia emblem emblazoned across the back over a yellow-and-blue-striped shirt. Visible under his left arm, a holstered pistol. The big silver buckle of his belt was either a black enameled bucking horse or a bull. Annja couldn’t be sure and didn’t want to look too closely. “César Soto,” he offered, but didn’t offer his hand. “Chief Inspector, Cádiz PNP.” He wore
gun held more casually now, but Annja would not let down her guard. She could draw up the sword and finish this conversation with one sweep of the blade, but getting a confession was more important right now. “No one ever is who they claim to be,” he said. “We all wear a mask. Even you, Annja. After finding the dead body, you let Jonathan Crockett leave.” “Because I had no reason to suspect Crockett. I reported Simon’s death as soon as I returned to Cádiz. The professor isn’t guilty of a