Genre: contemporary romance.
Who says crime doesn't pay?
A year ago, Samantha Jellicoe robbed from the rich and gave . . . to herself! Now, though, she's using her larcenous skills for good as a private security consultant, trying to walk the high road for her sexy billionaire boyfriend, Richard Addison, and asking herself if there's anything more torturous than tracking down priceless artifacts (only to give them back!).
So when the Metropolitan Museum of Art asks for her help, she's only too happy to leap into the fray again: If nothing else, this adventure will help her avoid that little (not!) sparkly item Rick's been hiding in his pocket, and postpone another kind of walk—down the aisle. It's only when she's targeted by a deadly adversary after the same treasure that Sam starts to think that "till death do you part" is maybe the lesser of two evils . . .
To her own joy, Samantha gets a job offer from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Apparently, 10 years ago they had a very successful exhibition of ancient Japanese weaponry and art, and afterwards, the most important item, the ancient armor and ceremonial swords of the very first shogun, Minamoto Yoritomo was stolen. Japan is getting ready for a new travelling exhibition the Met would be very pleased to host, but they are getting excluded due to that unsolved theft. So Dr. Visconti asks Sam to look into things. The first job she tried, was a very quick dead end, and this one also won’t be easy. After 10 years, the statue of limitations has run out, and whoever owns the armor, owns it legally. So even if she can find out who has commissioned the theft and for whom, the Met cannot even ask for its property back.
But Sam also has a second theft to investigate. Olivia Donner’s class was the proud owner of a new anatomy dummy, named Clark. And Clark has been stolen. Of course many parents have offered to replace Clark, but that is just not right. They want their own Clark back, and the thieves punished. And even though it will not be very exciting for Sam, as the police thinks it is just a prank by some schoolkids, or perhaps from the highschool next door, Sam promises Livvie to look into it. After all, there is a lesson to learn in this all for the children.
Rick is really not happy with this new job for Samantha, as he foresees all kinds of danger. He knows she is bored in her new security job, and she needs the adrenaline, but he wants her safe, and where she is in his reach. They have been together for a year now, and he wants to marry her. Wants to have kids with her. But he has no idea if Sam is ready for all this. After all, he gave her the garden to redecorate as she saw fit 9 months ago, and she still has not started the work. Of course, a garden means putting down roots, and Samantha has lived a travelling life ever since she was a little kid. She still has an emergency backpack in the closet, and clothes under the bed.
He also doesn’t like it that she wants to pick his brains about his acquaintances, who are collecting Japanese art and objects and weaponry, and who had enough money 10 years ago to commission the theft. Stoney is also not happy to give up his information. People are not trusting him anymore, and what if they have to go back to their former life? He is very reluctant to share what he knows on the names Rick has come up with. He only does tell her she did one job for one of the suspects, Toombs, once. Luckily, there is Aubrey, who knows everything in Palm Springs, and he can introduce her to Toombs, or Wild Bill as he likes to be called. Even though Tooms has the reputation of being dangerous. And when Walter disappears and won’t answer his cellphone, not even for his girlfriend, Sam gets worried. What happened to Stoney? She really needs his advice now that she has figured out what Rick is about to do!
When Visconti keeps pushing for results, he finally tells Sam she has only 10 days to find the goods. Sam doesn’t like it that he kept that from her, now she has no time to plot and plan as carefully as she usually does before a job. She even has to take Kate Donner with her when the opportunity arises to take a sneak peak in the house of some of the other suspects. Kate is horrified at first, but also thrilled at the opportunity to be a getaway driver in case the inhabitants get home too soon.
And through it all, Sam also investigates the disappearance of Clark the anatomy man. She has a lead quite soon, but she has to be very careful how to follow this up. And I have to admit, this was all quite funny.
The plot of this book became really scary for a moment for Sam, and Rick who insisted on accompanying her, was furious. In the end though, the one who made things right, was a surprise! A really great book, unfortunately, the last in the series. The plot is great, even after reading it multiple times, the characters feel like friends, there is humor, action, friendship, lovescenes and everything a great book needs.
I do believe this last one is the best, and I keep hoping for a new book or short story in this series. After all, Sam and Rick are such great characters. With her new job of stolen art retrieval for musea, there sure are new plots and suspense twists to write! And I do admit to being curious about her mother, was she really fine with Martin taking off with Samantha when she was only 5 years old?
This is a series I do recommend to everyone. Perhaps even to Anachronist ;)
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian