Tag Archives: Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Review: Legacy of Lies, by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Legacy of Lies cover artLegacy of Lies, by Jill Elizabeth Nelson (Love Inspired Suspense, 2010)

When recently-widowed Nicole Keller-Mattson moves in with her elderly grandmother in small-town Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to discover an infant’s bones that will reopen a 50-year-old investigation and incriminate the grandparents she’s always loved and admired.

Police chief Rich Hendricks is already swamped with a spate of robberies and no clues in sight, but he needs to see justice done for the baby’s family… even though they’re a dysfunctional and secretive brood who’d like to see him fail.

Nicole is the first woman Rich has noticed since his wife died, but she’s determined not to marry another cop. And if he has to arrest her grandmother, forget the chances of a relationship.

Jill Elizabeth Nelson is a strong suspense writer who has proven herself able to craft longer novels (with her “To Catch a Thief” series) and although I’ve followed her to Love Inspired, it limits her scope. Despite the smaller word count and the genre-specific need to focus on the hero and heroine’s mutual attraction that faces insurmountable obstacles, she delivers richly-crafted characters, a complex suspense plot, and some fun and fresh writing.

Take this description, where she doesn’t stop with telling us Nicole’s sensation but expands until we feel it too: “Nicole’s skin crawled as if tiny bugs scampered across her flesh.” (p. 106)

And the way Nicole describes one of the other characters: “Fern’s a good half a bubble off-centre…” (p. 156) If you’ve never used a carpenter’s level you might miss that one, but it’s new to me and I liked it.

Legacy of Lies is a hard novel to put down. Most of the chapters end with a stakes-raising twist that will have you reading the next page before you know it.

Love Inspired books only stay on store shelves for the month of release, but you can order them as paperbacks, large-print paperbacks, or ebooks through the major online retailers.

You can learn more about Jill Elizabeth Nelson at her website. To get a feel for Legacy of Lies, check out this excerpt. I’ve reviewed some of her previous books: Reluctant Burglar and Reluctant Smuggler.

Watch for her newest title, Season of Danger, with Christy-Award-winning author Hannah Alexander, releasing November 29, 2011. From the Amazon listing, it looks like the book has two short novellas, one from each author: Silent Night, Deadly Night and Mistletoe Mayhem.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

Review: Reluctant Smuggler, by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Reluctant Smuggler, by Jill Elizabeth Nelson (Multnomah, 2008)

Desiree Jacobs, art security expert and successful breaker of her competitors’ security systems, is back in the third and final novel in Jill Elizabeth Nelson’s “To Catch a Thief” series.

This time we join Desi in Mexico, where she’s negotiating for a contract with a world-famous Mexico City art museum. Instead, she finds art thieves, a dangerous gang, and personal attack. She’s still grieving her father’s death (book one: Reluctant Burglar) and struggling to find time for a relationship with handsome FBI agent Tony Lucano amidst their busy schedules.

Back in Boston, Tony’s high-profile case is about to intersect with Desi’s own. And I won’t tell you more—except that this is perhaps the fastest-paced novel of the three. I loved it. Desi and Tony are two of my favourite characters. Readers can count on plenty of action, fast quips, and a story that will make it hard to stop reading at bedtime.

Reluctant Smuggler is an older title now, and I don’t know why I waited so long for this final instalment. Maybe I didn’t want to finish the ride with these characters. But it’s a fun read.

I bought the epub version from Kobobooks and although I’m usually happy with the product quality, I’d recommend getting a paper copy of Reluctant Smuggler. The file conversion didn’t work well and there are plenty of mangled words.

Here’s a link to an excerpt from Reluctant Smuggler. If you’re new to the series, I’d strongly suggest starting at the beginning. (See my review of Reluctant Burglar here.)

Jill Elizabeth Nelson is an American author of Christian romantic suspense, and she’s published four novels with Steeple Hill since the “To Catch a Thief” books (her most recent is Legacy of Lies). I’ve enjoyed those too, but I hope someday she’ll move back into longer novels where she has more room to manoeuvre. You can learn more about Jill Elizabeth Nelson and her books at her website, or check out the Jill Elizabeth Nelson page on Facebook.

Review: Reluctant Burglar, by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Reluctant Burglar, by Jill Elizabeth Nelson (Multnomah Publishers, 2006)

Desiree Jacobs inherits more than just the family business when her father is killed. She’s horrified to find a cache of stolen paintings.

Should she turn them over to the authorities and ruin her father’s reputation – and the family business? Give them to the menacing “Chief,” who ordered her father’s death? Or carry out her father’s plan to secretly return the paintings to their owners?

Dare she trust attractive FBI agent Tony Lucano? Dare she trust her friends, for that matter? But she trusts God….

Desiree is a wonderful character: spunky, determined, real enough to have self-doubts and struggle to apply her faith… and she’s got a quirky humour that I love.

Reluctant Burglar is fast-paced and fun, with some daring antics that had me holding my breath. Full marks to Jill Elizabeth Nelson for delivering a great read.

Click here to read an excerpt from Reluctant Burglar. Odds are, you won’t want to stop there! Right now it’s available for an incredible price at Christianbook.com. Of course the next two books in the “To Catch a Thief” series, Reluctant Runaway and Reluctant Smuggler, are full price, but you may want to order them at the same time. If you prefer eBooks, Reluctant Burglar is now available at Fictionwise.com.

Jill Elizabeth Nelson’s most recent novels are Calculated Revenge and Witness to Murder, from Love Inspired. You can learn more about the author and her books at the Jill Elizabeth Nelson website.  Jill is currently offering a contest to win an autographed copy of Calculated Revenge. I like her contests because they’re more than just “enter your name here”—they’re fun, and those of us who aren’t likely to get the answers all correct won’t be disqualified. All we have to do is try.