Serena Jones has a cat, and she’s single, but she’s not a spinster cat lady. She’s just too focused on her new career with the FBI’s art crimes division to have time for a love life. Serena’s passionate about art, and about the job, and she harbours a lingering hope that somewhere in her investigations she’ll find the painting stolen from her grandfather years before.
Her mother wants her to quit investigating and take a safe, factory job – until she can get married and start producing grandchildren. Her father’s quietly proud of her. And her aunt… well, Aunt Martha may truly be a crazy, cat-loving spinster, although now she lives with Serena’s parents and her cat lives with Serena.
Here’s how Serena describes her aunt:
Aunt Martha was like one of those extreme sports nuts who didn’t realize “safety harness” was a pseudonym for “hang on for dear life or you’ll die harness.” [Kindle page 235]
In the midst of this fast-paced whodunit, there’s still time for family complications, personal danger for Serena, and the beginnings of a rivalry for her attention between her trainer and her apartment superintendant. Tanner and Nate are both such nice men, I feel bad for whichever one of them loses out. Interestingly enough, at the end of the book there’s a way for readers to vote on which one she should end up with. I wonder if the vote will carry it, or if the author already knows…
I’ve read most of Sandra Orchard’s books and always enjoyed them. A Fool and His Monet is the best one yet. With a snappy delivery, characters to care about, action, and a strong thread of humour, this one may show up as one of my books of the year. Someone called it “laugh-out-loud” funny, but to me it’s the kind that gives me a satisfied grin – and endears a story to my heart.
Sandra Orchard is an award-winning Canadian author of Christian romantic suspense. A Fool and His Monet is the first in her Serena Jones Mystery series, and as mentioned, there’s a romantic thread but it’s just beginning in book 1. This is also more of a “clean read,” without an overtly Christian thread. Serena is a church-goer, but the story isn’t about a spiritual lesson so much as about a crime and about her family and relationships. Book 2 comes out in the fall: Another Day, Another Dali. For more about the author, and to find some bonus book features, visit sandraorchard.com.
[Review copy from my personal library.]