Friday, February 26, 2016

Sandra Orchard: A Fool and His Monet

By Kelly Bridgewater

Description (From Amazon):

Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art--one that's surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She's joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother's pleas to do something safer--like get married--Serena's learning how to go undercover to catch thieves and black market traders.

When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Jones leaps into action. The clues point in different directions, and her boss orders her to cease investigating her most promising suspect. But determined to solve the case and perhaps discover another clue in her grandfather's murder, she pushes ahead, regardless of the danger.

With spunk, humor, and plenty of heart-stopping moments, Sandra Orchard gives readers an exciting string of cases to crack and a character they'll love to watch solve them.

From Amazon
My Review:

I have read a number of Sandra Orchard’s Love Inspired Suspense and enjoyed them, so when she started to write longer novels for Revell, I itched to read them. She does a good job at creating characters that I enjoyed spending a long time with. Her newest book A Fool and His Monet didn’t really hit the mark for me.

First, there were moments in the story that didn’t make any sense. For instance, Serena was in a situation where she was in a faceoff with Stan, a brother of a suspect, and Matt, a fellow police officer, and they followed her to her apartment. She parked around back. Orchard allowed another man to checking out her house, so he got jumped by Tanner, her teacher. Orchard ended the chapter and moved on without showing me what happened with Stan and Matt who were waiting in the front of her apartment building. I was upset that Orchard didn’t finish that train of thought.

I really didn’t like the plot. Serena spent a lot of time doing things like traveling to the shady part of East St. Louis, but because she believed her FBI badge would stop the bad guys from harming her, Serena went anyways. If this was reality, Serena’s badge would mean nothing to the bad guys, so it was realistic. Yes, being an avid mystery reader, I wanted to know who did it, but the story didn’t move along fast enough. At times, the story dragged, and I wanted to put the novel down.

As for the character of Serena, Orchard made her to irresistible for the male species. For the majority of the book, men were falling over Serena, wanting to date her, but she wanted to find her grandfather’s killer and do her job, so she really didn’t pay much attention to the multitude of men falling at her feet. Orchard should have left the men population to two or three then it would have been more believable for me, but the story is told in Serena’s perspective, so maybe she just thinks every male wants her.

The story idea is original and unpredictable. I didn’t see the ending coming or who the bad guy was. I even found the bad guy totally unbelievable because the bad person didn’t show some of the psychological issues until the end of the novel. Orchard should have shown some hints of the issues to make it more believable for me.

Not one of my favorite mystery books, Sandra Orchard created a lackluster plot with an inflated heroine who believed all men wanted her. While the mystery was different, Orchard lost me in places as her story led me places and then changed to something else. If you enjoy cozy mysteries like Lorena McCourtney and Christy Barritt, then this is a book you might want to try.  

I received a complimentary cop of A Fool and His Monet from Revell Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

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