A Harry Przewalski Novel
by Leonard Krishtalka
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 26 Nov 2019 | Archive Date 31 May 2021
New Hard-Boiled Detective Series Uncovers Bones, Murder & History.
Paleontologist turned private investigator, Harry Przewalski, excavates the dirty underbelly of people’s lives, unearthing sexual betrayals, treachery, fraud and murder buried beneath the science of petrified shards, skin and bones. Ultimately, he must face a brutal killing in his own past, when he fled to a desert war and came back with a gun and a license to detect.
In his second case, Death Spoke, the murder of an expert on prehistoric cave art immerses Przewalski in a famous painted cavern in France, a World War II atrocity, an archaeological fraud, and a diabolical act of revenge. Przewalski excavates the deadly archaeological layers of the case finding lives torn by deceit, vendetta and redemption.
As dean, Fulbright’s ruthless academic politics brought power and deadly enemies. As an archaeologist, she and her academic adversaries are engaged in a bitter fight over the sudden appearance of magnificent cave art across southern France and Spain 32,000 years ago. Who ochred the luminous paintings of bison, deer, mammoths, and horses? And why? Her studies threatened to embarrass French cultural heritage and ruin professional careers––the art in one of the most famous caves was likely forged in the 1950s to attract tourists. Equally explosive is a bold theory that the cave artists were not hunters or shamans, but outcasts who retreated into the deepest recesses of the caves, driven by their precocious talent and psychological isolation.
The second installment in the Harry Przewalski series. The first book in the series is The Bone Field.
“The best this genre has to offer: a riveting exploration of a crime … a deeply stirring examination of human nature.
A cinematically immersive murder mystery …
an intellectual drama.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
Gold medal, best novel, Fiction––Mystery/Thriller, Midwest Book Awards
Author online events and videos coming fall 2020!
Author online events and videos coming fall 2020!
Average rating from 6 members
This book kept me on my toes! It kept me second guessing who the real murderer was. It was the first book I´ve ever read of Leonard Krishtalka and I just want to say that I loved the way in which he wrote this story. I could´t put the book down!
Another wonderfully researched and crafted murder mystery. Rooted in historical facts the author then flicks an internal switch that draws on all these accounts and then weaves fact and fiction into a new and exciting story. From Pittsburgh to Abilene, Kansas. Then back to Europe and Cave Art at Rouffignac in the Dordogne, France. This ability to write around real-life events and twist them into a convincing and compelling novel. Drawing on the darker days of Nazi occupied France we are given an insight into academic struggle to the top and intellectual renown. Although, the suspects tend to be professors and the elite of university life the skill is to have a murder victim who was universally disliked with people queuing up to kill her. I appreciate the historical context and the stretching of events to fit the story. Our reluctant PI is bright and comfortable around these people as we learned in the first book. He seems to be able to probe and ask difficult questions. He has no side kicks so the clues are littered about after each fresh interview; so he never lets us into his thinking, and we have scope to flit from suspect to suspect. It is a terrific skill to keep the field of suspects all in the frame and conceal motive for the duration of a novel. No cheap tricks here just a simple ability to write expansive fiction, in interesting locations and unusual characters. I was moved by the interactions with Harry’s parents and vast landscapes and weather that fills the page and the scientific hints around archeological and art history study. The introduction of the Tour de France and cycling in general was another added bonus. The love and care that author Leonard Krishtalka gives to such subjects is the additional bonus that brilliant writing brings. I’m grateful to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to read and review. My opinions are mine alone but the book is available to all.
In the second Harry Przewalkski novel, we again get a murder mystery with a house full of suspects all of whom are brimming with motive. This time Harry takes a case out of Abilene, Kansas, where the KU anthropology department is doing a cross-state goodwill bus tour. If you thought anyone was vicious, you haven't yet tangled with college faculty members who have had their tenure applications rejected or their academic theories torn to shreds. And, that's even before you get to all the sleeping around to get ahead, the vicious ex-spouses with a grudge, and the twisted affairs criss-crossing the faculty offices. There is also a backstory with respect to Nazi-occupied France and the cruelties heaped on the people of an occupied village and ancient cave drawings. Not too many murder mysteries are set in small Midwestern towns, but understand that, for many, murder is only a fit of anger away.
I have found another series to read and one I think you will like too. With a mixture of history, archaeology, and murder all combined with the academic world you end up with a really good "who done it?" I like the main character very well, not your usual gumshoe but one with an interesting background. He take on the college scene with chutzpah and holds his own in the cut-throat world of academic tenure. I thought workplaces were scary. So glad I didn't try and become a college professor. The ending is perfect and I think you will enjoy the others in this series. I plan on going back and reading more.
June Albright is the Dean of the faculty of liberal arts and science at the university of Kansas and an expert on prehistoric cave art. She is also ruthless and uses her power as dean to force sexual favours from the male faculty of the department. When she is murdered, no one is surprised. There are plenty of suspects to choose from - men who's careers were ruined when they spurned her advances as well as many of her adversaries from archeology whose theories she has ridiculed. But the most obvious suspect is her latest lover, Dr Porter. But Porter swears he's innocent and when he's arrested, he hires one-time paleontologist and now private detective, Harry Przewalski to prove it. Harry isn't completely convinced of Porter's innocence given the evidence against him but he is intrigued by the case, especially its links to the question of the authenticity of cave art near Rouffignac, a small village in France and the site of an unspeakable atrocity during WWII. Death Spoke is the second Harry Przewalski novel by author Leonard Krishtalka and it is already near the top pf my list of best modern mystery series. It is intelligent, well-written and blends real history and science seamlessly into the story. It also has one of the most interesting protagonists in Harry that I have encountered in mysteries since...well, forever. But most importantly, it is engrossing and damn near unputdownable. A definite high recommendation for anyone who likes smart mysteries with plenty of suspense and twists and turns as well as a look behind the curtain of academia and references to history that rarely gets taught in school. <i>Thanks to Netgalley and Anamcara Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review</i>
I do like this private detective tory. It is the second one I have read of this series. Harry is asked to clear a professor from a murder charge. The length he goes to gather evidence is amazing. He has so many folks that wanted the victim dead. As he runs down the stories on each potential suspect we get to go along to learn all he unearths. I thought his methods interesting and detailed. The ending was a good one. I liked the book.
Sex, cave art, murder, cycling - what's not to like. This really is a good book. If you live in Lawrence and ride a bicycle it will be especially of interest to you. I know most of the streets and buildings that are part of the story. This is a mystery who-done-it that keeps the pages turning. As a bonus, there is an interesting discussion of southern France cave art and various theories surrounding them. The story is fast moving and a page-turner and the author is an expert paleontologist who explains the science and history accurately.