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David P. Wagner Books In Order

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Publication Order of Rick Montoya Italian Mystery Books

Cold Tuscan Stone (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in the Dolomites (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Most Unfortunate (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Return to Umbria (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Funeral in Mantova (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Roman Count Down (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
To Die in Tuscany (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Best Served Cold (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Bound by Mystery(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

David P. Wagner is a bestselling mystery fiction author from Portland that is best known for the “Rick Montoya Italian Mystery” series of novels. The author used to work for the foreign service and at some point, he spent nine years in Rome and Milan.
David met his wife while he was studying at Michigan State University where she was also a student. After they got married, the couple used to move all over the world together as Wagner was employed at the foreign service.

Afterward, they both went to Chile to serve in the Peace Corps before they returned to Mount Vernon, New York, which is Wagner’s hometown. It was here that David P. Wagner would teach high school English before he retired to become an author.
Several years ago, David and his wife downsized and moved to Colorado’s Pueblo as they desired a quieter life which New Mexico could not offer. Their son lives a few hours away and occasionally drops in to see how they are doing.

It was while David P. Wagner was working in Italy that he developed a love for Italian culture and way of life. Upon retirement, they moved to New Mexico, where he worked on “Italia Roadrunner,” a tourism service that he founded.

His company was involved in preparing self-guided day trips for people interested in traveling to Umbria and Tuscany. It was from this interest in Italy and all it had to offer that he thought that maybe he should try his hand at writing mystery fiction.
He had always been a huge lover of mystery and hence it was no wonder that he found himself drawn to the genre. Nonetheless, it is important to note that David’s first ever work was a nonfiction work that looked into the origin of Rome’s street names.

When that work did not sell he decided to circle back to writing what he loved which was in his case mystery fiction and Italy. During that time, he used to love the works of the likes of Camilleri, Leon, and Dibdin, who also pushed him toward mystery fiction set in Italy.
Wagner published “Cold Tuscan Stone” the first novel of the Rick Montoya Italian Mystery series in 2013 and has never looked back since.

Just like with many things, the character of the lead in his novels is inspired by his love for all things Italian. Rick the lead detective was introduced very early on when he was writing his first manuscript and remained pretty much unchanged despite the many edits and rejections.

Writing about what he knew, he made his protagonist the son of a diplomat with New Mexico roots since he was then living in the state.

David Wagner had always loved languages and hence he made the protagonist an interpreter and translator so that he could indulge in pointing out and researching interesting words in the languages.

“Cold Tuscan Stone” by David P. Wagner opens with the lead protagonist Rick Montoya having recently moved to Rome from New Mexico where he is living as a translator.

He had been settling into la dolce vita when he is recruited into the Italian Art Squad for an undercover role by an old school friend.

With an expense account, suspects, and a list of galleries, Rick makes his way to Tuscany where he is to flush out traffickers of burial urns while posing as a buyer for a gallery in Santa Fe.

But before the day is over a gallery employee meets his death in a brutal fall from a cliff. The local Commisario and his team see Rickas foreigner and an amateur and now things just got complicated as he is the main suspect in a murder.
While the detective squad in Volterra is pursuing its leads Rick follows several leads. He interviews a sensuous heiress with a private art clientele and specialty, a low-profile export/import businessman, and his hard-working assistant, the owner of a top gallery and a museum director.

When Erica his girlfriend arrives to visit Rick from Rome she rekindles a friendship with a dangerous but very alluring acquaintance that could put Rick in the scope of both criminals and cops.

David P. Wagner’s novel “Death in the Dolomites” sees Rick Montoya taking a break from his Rome-based translation business and heading to the Italian Alps alongside Flavio his buddy from college.

Enthusiastic skiers have descended on the picturesque town of Campiglio, where they can enjoy the steep slopes and eat great Italian food. However, his idyllic holiday is cut short when a body is discovered buried under the ski lift in the deep snow.
Pushed by his uncle who happens to be a policeman in Rome, Rick gets sucked into the investigation. The dead man is an American banker but all the suspects are Italian except for his sister who is set to inherit the family fortune.
Rick teams up with an eccentric local police officer and begins navigating small-town politics as they poke around Campiglio and unearth a huge list of possible suspects.

There is the pompous mayor and his former wife, a gray-haired woman who is the owner of the best bakery in town, a hotel owner, the lanky landlord of the victim, and a cutthroat real estate investor.
However, this is not going to be an easy investigation as the man they are looking for is determined to do anything to stop them.

“Murder Most Unfortunate” by David P. Wagner opens with Rick Montoya wrapping up an interpreter job. He had been working at a conference in Bassano del Grappa where famous native son Jacopo da Bassano was performing and now has all the time to explore the small town.
Rick intends to investigate the history of two missing paintings which had raised quite a storm among the usually staid group of scholars at the workshop.

It may be a small town but Bassano has a lot to offer to tourists starting with several walled and very picturesque towns, an ancient castle, and the famous covered bridge.

Rick is planning to try out a local cuisine that combines dishes from the Po Valley, Venice, and the surrounding regions. His plans have to be put on hold when one of the professors at the workshop is found dead.

Rick is then sucked into the investigation as two local police officers personify the worst and best of the police force in Italy.

It is also at this time that he gets into a relationship with the daughter of the owner of a local gallery Betta Innocenti who is just as fascinated as him about lost paintings.

Book Series In Order » Authors » David P. Wagner

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