Thursday, June 2, 2016

Without a Doubt (A Carol Childs Mystery Vol. 3)

Author:  Nancy Cole Silverman
Genre:  Mystery

Paperback, Ebook
ISBN #:  9781635110258
Henery Press
258 Pages
$15.95; $4.99 Amazon
May 24, 2016

Five Stars

As radio reporter Carol Childs investigates a series of Beverly Hills jewelry heists, she realizes her FBI boyfriend, Eric, is working the same case.  Even worse, she may have inadvertently helped the suspect escape.  The situation intensifies when the suspect calls the radio station during a live broadcast, baiting Carol deeper into the investigation.  In order for her to uncover the truth, Carol must choose between her job and her personal relationships.  What started out as a coincidence between Carol and Eric becomes a race for the facts - pitting them against one another - before the thieves can pull off a daring escape, leaving a trail of dead bodies behind, and taking the jewels with them.  

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Carol Childs is on the street with her microphone and her best friend Sherri, taste testing specialty chocolate shops for charity.  Just when they are ready to leave they look across the street and see Carol's FBI boyfriend Eric...with another woman, the socialite Carmen Montague, leaving a high end jewelry store.  She knows he's probably undercover, and resolves not to think any more about it, when, right as they're entering the limousine, a bomb goes off in the store.  Carol, her reporter's instinct kicking in, heads over to the store to see if she can find out the truth of what's going on.

After interviewing a couple of people and relaying the information to her station manager, Tyler Hunt, she heads back to her jeep, meeting an old woman with shopping bags heading in the same direction.  Carol offers to help her, and in return, the old woman presses a gift into her hand and disappears - a lovely, jeweled phoenix brooch.

When Carol returns to the station, she finds that Kari Rhodes, the entertainment reporter, is out ill with chicken pox and Carol will have to do Kari's job until she returns.  Which seems easy enough, but all is not what it seems...

Carol soon finds herself mixing with the celebrity crowd, and that means mixing with Carmen Montague and her escort, the now-she's-sure-he's-undercover Eric.  And he isn't pleased by the intrusion, even though she assures him that she had no choice in the matter.  It also isn't helping that the station owner's wife, Bunny Morganstern, has insinuated herself into the mix and decided she wants to take over for Kari instead.  But when Carmen unexpectedly dies at an awards after-party, with dozens of people around, has Carol wondering if she wasn't murdered, and if so, who would want her dead and why?  And then there's the little fact that there are high-end jewelry heists going on, and that the old woman may not have been an old woman after all, but a jewel thief - and Carol's suddenly smack-dab in the center of the action.

Carol, her reporter's instinct always on, is determined to find who murdered Carmen while trying to stay out of what is obviously an FBI investigation.  But she finds it's not so easy when the FBI knows the jewel thief has suddenly decided to make her the person they'd most like to speak with instead...

What we have is another lively book by Ms. Silverman that is filled with intrigue, action, and more than one person who isn't what they appear to be.  She has a true talent for filling the pages with engaging dialogue, interesting characters, and a plot that is taut, well-written, and draws you into the tale right from the beginning.  When we reach the climax, there is both completion and a promise of what is to come, leaving the reader with a feeling of bittersweet satisfaction and sanguine expectations.

I truly enjoyed this book and it kept me riveted from beginning to end.  This is the third book in the series, but can be read as a stand alone.  Highly recommended.



More on Nancy Cole Silverman's books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/s/nancy-cole-silverman/                                                                               

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