The Tulip Virus
Minotaur, Apr 27 2010, $24.99
In 2007 in London Frank Schoeller calls his nephew British painter Alec with a plea for help. Dropping everything, Alec rushes over to his beloved uncle's house. There he finds Uncle Frank brutally battered and near death. Frank tells Alec not to call the police, get out of the house and take a four century old book on tulips with him.
Alec calls the cops, but insists he found his Uncle Frank dead. He needs to know why his relative was tortured and murdered. To do that he needs to know what is the value of a book focused on the 1636 Tulip War in Holland that his uncle gave him on his deathbed.. Obtaining the help of his Dutch friend Amsterdam antiques dealer Damien Vanlint, he investigates learning more than he wants about 1636 Holland and about the danger they now face due to their inquiry.
Although somewhat a standard exciting thriller, the tulip connection to seventeenth century Holland adds a fresh spin. Fast-paced throughout, fans will root for the amateur sleuths to survive the ordeal as several adversaries, unconcerned with collateral damage or using hostages, will kill again to keep a secret concealed.