Mystery with a splash of romance…
Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. When Grace is assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a lakeside mansion and her boyfriend bails on her, she brings Emma as her plus one. The night is going smoothly until Emma finds the host’s brother unconscious in the study. Though at first it is thought he was tipsy and stumbled, it soon becomes clear more is afoot, as the wall safe is empty and a three-million-dollar diamond necklace is missing. With visions of becoming ace investigative journalists, Emma and Grace set out to solve the mystery, much to the chagrin of the handsome local detective.
The Great Jewel Robbery by Elizabeth McKenna is the first book in a new cozy mystery series. I enjoyed this new cozy debut very much. I read a lot of cozy mysteries and I liked that the main crime in this book was not a murder but a theft. I also liked the two protagonists, Emma Moore and Grace Warner. They are both reporters for the Chicago Tribune, Emma in sports and Grace in the Life and Style department. Grace comes from a wealthy family and that is the connection that sees them covering the charity event to raise money for inner city kids. The story takes place in Fontana, a small resort town outside of Chicago. When the jewels that were up for auction disappear, everyone present is a suspect. Grace wants to be taken seriously as a reporter so she convinces Emma to help her solve the crime so she will be able to write about it and move out of Life and Style. Emma agrees, but it seems she does most of the investigating.
I liked the characters in this story. Grace and Emma are smart, intuitive, nice and are easily accepted by those they meet and talk to. Detective Ryan O’Mara is the investigating officer. He is handsome, easy going and seems to have an interest in Emma. Emma seems to be interested in him as well. Whether this relationship will go anywhere in future books remains to be seen. With Emma living in Chicago and Ryan in Fontana, is doesn’t seem like it will work, unless she doesn’t go back???? The secondary characters were also interesting and added some intrigue to the book. They were not all likable, but they were interesting. As I said earlier, I liked that the mystery was not a murder, although there is an accidental death later in the story. When the auction ends and the jewels are missing, there are a lot of suspects. I thought I had it figured out, but kept changing my mind. One of the suspects I seriously considered was the right one, but there was enough uncertainty in my mind with all the questions, red herrings and twists in the story. I loved the setting of this story. It takes place in one of those beautiful renovated mansions complete with a rooftop pool, a billiard room, and even an indoor mini-golf course. They had fireworks, hired a personal chef and so much more. I would love to be invited to an event like that someday, of course, there is the expectation of a huge donation to the charity. Overall, I enjoyed this cozy mystery. It was a quick read and once I started the book, I didn’t want to stop until I figured out who the thief was. I definitely recommend this story to cozy mystery lovers and look forward to the next one in the Front Page Mystery series. I received a copy of this book from Great Escapes Book Tours upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She combined her love of history, romance, and a happy ending to write Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, is loosely based on her life during her teens and twenties. The Great Jewel Robbery is her debut cozy mystery, and she hopes readers will like it as much as they have enjoyed her romances.
Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.