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The Swap: A Nicole Graves Mystery (Nicole Graves Mysteries Book 1)

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Boyarsky’s weightless complications expertly combine menace with bling, making the heroine’s adventures both nightmarish and dreamy. Even Antonia, nice as she seemed, could have enlisted others to help out with a get-rich-quick scheme like kidnapping wealthy women. But when her client’s son, Brad Rexton, is killed trying to protect his wife, Ashley, from a home invasion-turned-kidnapping, the firm is hired to investigate. But when the witness goes missing during the trial, Nicole is caught up in a tangle of lies that turns deadly.

The murder of the firm’s in-house investigator, his mysterious wealth, and his inexplicable bequest make Nicole a target for the police, the paparazzi, and the killer. When Nicole Graves arranges a summer-long swap of her Los Angeles condo for a London couple’s house, she thinks it’s the perfect arrangement.Her debut novel The Swap-book one of the Nicole Graves Mysteries-won the prestigious Eric Hoffer award for Best Micro Press Book of the Year. Now, six weeks later, Victoria Reina was still missing, and the police didn’t seem to have a clue to her whereabouts. In the first case, the husband, whose name was never disclosed in the news, followed the abductors’ instructions to the letter.

Vibrant street scenes, swift pacing, and Nicole's steely nerve make The Entitled an entertaining adventure. I can see a really close working (and personal) relationship developing between these two in the future. The businessman mistrusts his daughter-in-law sufficiently to think she may have been involved in her own abduction. In the previous kidnappings, the wife had been taken while the husband was left drugged, tied up, but otherwise unharmed.The plot within this story was quite simple and nowhere near as involved or intricate as in the three earlier novels. She also contributed to political anthologies, including In the Running, about women’s political campaigns, and The Challenge of California by the late Eugene Lee. The walls and furnishings were in pale neutrals: whites, beiges and grays, accented by dark-brown furniture. Inside, the lobby was minimalist in décor so that the front wall of windows, with its view of the beach and water, provided the focal point. Her benefactor, Robert Blair, had been the in-house investigator for the law firm where Nicole was office manager at the time.

On this occasion Nicole's boss has requested she meet with a wealthy businessman whose son Bradley Rexton has been killed, and the son's wife Ashley has been kidnapped. What the author has given us is nothing, new, startling, revelatory or indeed great literary prose – it is what it is; a straightforward crime mystery story but it is definitely one of the better offerings, of the ilk, that I have read. Nicole Graves is the best fictional sleuth to come down the pike since Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone. Nicole is shocked to learn that the police have decided Jerry's death was murder and even more shocked that she's their only suspect when there's no shortage of people with motives.Nicole was not a close friend to this workmate and does not know why he was murdered or why he left all his wealth to her. As her sight adjusted, she looked around and, still seeing no one, fixed her eyes on a gold statue standing on a mahogany table in the center of the room. Her most recent mystery, The Entitled, fifth in the series, received praise from Foreword Reviews for "vibrant street scenes, swift pacing, and Nicole's steely nerve.

Nicole's first solo case abroad as a private detective has just turned a lot more deadly than she ever anticipated. She got to the Blue Cellar a few minutes early to make sure she wouldn’t have to share a booth with Chip. When the threats get more bold, she realizes if she’s going to be successful in her rescue efforts, she has to make a choice: continue cooperating with the police and risk angering the kidnappers more, or go about this all alone. When their most terrifying threat is delivered to her door, Nicole is faced with a dreadful choice: Can she count on the police or must she risk going it alone? I did not enjoy it anyway as much as her earlier novels which I thought had far, far better plots and a much stronger personality from Nicole.She has strong ties to the community and believes strongly in giving back to the community that has given so much to her. Nicole is a strong, independent woman who has carved out a successful career for herself in the rough and tumble world of the private dick. Or was this rash of kidnappings something else altogether, like a sophisticated insurance scam or a weird, twisted prank that was the product of a sick mind? He delivered fifty thousand dollars ransom in cash—unmarked bills of assorted denominations—as demanded. Surely, he didn’t expect her to investigate a murder-kidnapping when law enforcement would be all over it.

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