Thursday, August 21, 2008

Blue Smoke and Murder by Elizabeth Lowell

Jill Breck receives word that her great-aunt Melody has passed away. Melody lived in the original Breck family ranch and somehow caught the house on fire when filling the stove with oil. She perished as did the house and the barn. Jill goes back to the land and to the original farm house that is on the property. When she goes to pump water into the bucket, she finds a note from her Aunt telling her to check her favorite childhood hiding spot and to be aware of danger. In the hiding spot Jill finds 12 of the 13 paints that have been in the family for generations. She soon learns that her Aunt sent one of the paintings to an art dealer to see how much it would be worth. The painting was lost but considered not worth much because it wasn't signed. Jill thinks it is odd that in the same letter, the art dealer offers a large sum of money for the painting. Jill takes pictures of some of the other pieces of art and emails them to several other galleries to get additional information. Jill also begins to believe that her great-aunt was murdered and she is sure it had something to do with the paintings.

Soon, Jill receives a call from one gallery owner who is very interested in seeing the paintings. When she agrees to meet him at a public place, the guy never shows. When Jill heads back to her car, she finds that somebody trashed her car. Lucky, Jill recently met a man who worked for St. Kilda counseling and ended up saving his son. He gave her his card and said to call if she was ever in trouble. This seemed like the perfect time for Jill to make that call.

Zach works for St. Kilda and is asked to protect Jill. They are attracted to one another right away, but don't want it to interfere with the work. They soon realize that the paintings might be unsigned work of one of the most famous western artists. They start a mission to figure out if they are originals by this guy and why somebody wants to destroy the paintings, and Jill, if she continues to be in the way.

I loved this book. It's a romantic suspense and while I love these, for whatever reason I haven't read one in awhile. So this book was right up my alley. I haven't read books by this author before, although I have had her on my wish list for awhile. I wasn't disappointed. This book is the 4th (I believe) in the series. I didn't realize this at first, but while reading it, it seemed like there was a background to St. Kilda Consulting and some of the characters. So I looked it up and sure enough, it's the 4th. You can definitely read this book and not miss anything though. I certainly loved it enough to plan on reading the other 3 in the series.

Please see below for links to other reviews of this book. (If you have read this, please contact me so I can add a link to your review).

Heidi's Books reviewed this one here

( author.404pgs)


Heidi said...

Happy to read that you loved it. I can't believe you have never read any of her other books.. I thought I was a better enabler.

Kris said...

haha - don't worry - you are a master enabler! I always saw her on your list and thought I should pick up one of her books, it just took me forever to finally read one. Now I'm hooked!

Heidi said...

Ok I was worried that I was being a slacker. LOL