Rick Montoya, eager to experience more of his Italian mother's culture, heads to Rome to start his own translation business. He's armed with curiosity and an appetite for local food and wine.
Rick's maternal uncle is a Roman cop with one eye to his nephew's welfare and another to how Rick might be useful, perhaps widen his career choices. So Commissario Piero Fontana pulls Rick into an investigation: the murder of Count Umberto Zimbardi.
The wealthy count enjoyed indulging a circle of convivial friends and a hobby collecting oral histories by interviewing residents in the city's centro storico. After heading home from such an afternoon, he was found dead on a bridge over the Tiber.
As a newcomer and an investigator, Rick makes rookie mistakes. He's learning the ropes as an amateur sleuth and that living in Rome is different from visiting. Plus he's distracted by a woman pressing him into service as a tour guide and the arrival of a college friend on a mission to sell Argentine wine to the Vatican.
In Roman Count Down, the city emerges as another character in David Wagner's ..".usual deft mix of travel and suspense" (Kirkus Reviews). Like all the Rick Montoya Mysteries, this prequel is rich in food, drink, and local culture and landmarks.
David P. Wagner is a retired foreign service officer who spent nine years in Italy, learning to love things Italian. Other diplomatic assignments included Brazil, Ecuador, and Uruguay, as well as two hardship postings to Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Mary, live in Pueblo, Colorado.