A Brilliant Plan
After the not quite so entertaining play I read last (see previous post), I was really lucky with my next read: "A Brilliant Plan" kept me interested and entertained throughout, and had more than one surprise in store.
I'd not heard of Alex Ames before, but he is one to come back to. With Calendar Moonstone he has created a character I (mostly) like - apart from her "hobby" of being a cat burglar, specialized on the theft of rare and expensive jewels. She is no modern Robin Hood, but avoids stealing from people who would truly suffer the loss of whatever piece she is after. In her day job, she runs a small jewellery shop, creating and selling her own pieces.
One night during what she thought of as a straightforward job she comes across the dead body of a watchman. That completely changes things for her, and she leaves the scene without having accomplished her original goal.
The next day, she finds herself on top of the list of suspects, but manages to convince the police of her innocence - and becomes most useful to them with her expert knowledge of rare and precious jewellery as well as the markets, offical and shady ones, for such items.
During the course of the investigation alongside the police detective (whom Calendar finds very attractive), she is confronted by her ex-fiancé, has to handle her best friend's love for her without losing his friendship and support, travels to Mexico and back, meets up with her parents (former hippies who have turned into wealthy pillars of their community), comes across another murder victim and is almost killed herself.
In the end, she unravels the mystery, keeping information to herself (and from the reader) until the last chapter. The solution does not disappoint, and although not ending on a cliffhanger, the story is clearly the start of a series.
I found it as a free ebook on Amazon's kindle shop, but unlike so many free ebooks, this one was well written and edited.
Alex Ames has written several books the sound of which I like. You can find out more about the author and his books here.