- Series: Claire Montrose Mysteries
- Hardcover: 290 pages
- Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (December 8, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 031230403X
- ISBN-13: 978-0312304034
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,686,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Buried Diamonds: A Claire Montrose Mystery (Claire Montrose Mysteries) Hardcover – December 8, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Claire Montrose, the Portland (Ore.) gal with a fondness for vanity license plates and a penchant for trouble, finds plenty of both in this fourth solidly entertaining mystery from Henry (Heart-Shaped Box, etc.). Claire's accidental discovery of an unusual diamond ring embedded in an old stone wall has a startling effect on her housemate, Charlotte "Charlie" Heidenbruch, an octogenarian concentration camp survivor. Charlie recognizes the ring as one that belonged to a beautiful young women she knew more than 50 years ago. The woman's tragic and inexplicable suicide still haunts the group of friends that dispersed after her death. As Claire and Charlie try to find the ring's rightful owner and learn how it came to be buried in the wall, the surviving members of the old group begin to reconnect with deadly results. Cozy trappings, from Claire's ditzy mother's antics to developing romantic relationships, effectively contrast with chilling glimpses of Charlie's concentration camp days and interludes of seemingly unrelated modern-day hate-crimes in Portland. A vivid cast of elderly characters, including Frank, whose newfound popularity can be traced to his ability to drive at night, and Nova, who continues to live as recklessly as ever, will especially please senior fans.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Holocaust comes to Portland, Oregon, in Henry's fourth Claire Montrose novel. Claire's elderly Jewish roommate, Charlotte "Charlie" Heidenbruch, is forced to relive the past when hate crimes occur in the neighborhood. Charlie's vivid and disturbing memories of life in a concentration camp are interspersed throughout the story, which also focuses on a more recent event in Charlie's life--the death of her friend Elizabeth's fiance in the 1950s. Back then, everyone assumed it was suicide, but Claire's discovery of Elizabeth's diamond ring hidden in a stone wall eventually leads Charlie to suspect murder. As Charlie looks up old friends and lovers to question them about Elizabeth, Claire waits impatiently to see if her New York-based boyfriend, Dante, will get a museum curatorship in Portland. A solid entry in a solid series, helped by the historical material, but none of the Montrose novels are in the same league with Henry's outstanding stand-alone mystery, Learning to Fly (2002). Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
One day while jogging in her Portland neighborhood, Claire stumbles upon a diamond engagement ring lodged between the crevices of an old rock wall. Her old friend and roommate, Charlie, believes she recognizes the ring as the one which belonged to a friend who ended her engagement and then killed herself fifty years earlier. But how, they wondered, did the ring end up embedded in that old wall when Charlie is certain her friend had returned the ring to her fiancé when she broke the engagement?
Did the woman really commit suicide all those years ago? To Claire, the pieces of the story seem as fractured as the very wall in which she found the ring, so she sets out to learn more about the ring and the tragic woman to whom it once belonged. However, she better watch out because there's someone harboring a secret about those events who is poised to stop Claire dead-in-her-tracks before she learns too much.
Claire is a likeable character with a girl-next-door quality, an innate curiosity and a sharp intellect. She will need the latter to carry her through this case of past and present danger.
Two thumbs up and five stars to this intelligently written gem.
Upon returning to her home, Claire shows her prize to her roommate octogenarian Charlotte Heidenbruch, who immediately recognizes the jewelry. Charlie insists the gem belonged to her friend Elizabeth Ellsworth, who committed suicide herself years ago. The elderly woman though Elizabeth returned the ring to her fiancé Korean War veteran Allen Lisac, when they broke off. Unable to resist and encouraged by Charlie, Claire investigates what happened fifty years ago. The players in this tragedy do not realize that the suicide might have been murder and someone today is willing to kill to hide the truth of yesterday.
Fans of the series will appreciate the latest Montrose tale though newcomers will wonder about the license plates that start each chapter. The story line turns darker than previous novels as anti-Semitism raises its ugly head targeting Holocaust survivor Charlie. Still the investigation is fun even if Claire inadvertently sets off a series of events that leads to death and destruction for some of the participants then and now.
The characters were varied and sometimes quirky. The suspense was created by tension in personal relationships and from physical danger. The setting details did a good job of bringing the story alive in my imagination.
There was a very minor amount of bad language. It was implied that most of the characters were having unmarried sex, but there were no sex scenes. Overall, it was an interesting mystery.
a bright and likeable heroine and her investigation into the
suicide of Charlie's friend Elizabeth never flags. Flashbacks to the 1950's could have
slowed the novel in the hands of a less skilled writer but that is not the case here. This is
a darker novel than the earlier series entries but I think it is the best thus far.
Buried Diamonds is a good read and one I recommend, don't miss this one.