The Color of Death by Elizabeth Lowell

 

SuspenseRomance The Color of Death by Elizabeth Lowell The Color of DeathAnn Maxwell; Morrow 2004WorldCatKate Chandler is a gem cutter. She is commissioned to cut a rough sapphire into different stones that get called the Seven Sins. Her half brother is the courier designated to deliver the stones. But Lee disappears at Sanibel Island, Florida, and so do the stones. The FBI believes Lee took off with the stones and a busty blond to a Caribbean Island and is not living the high life. Kate believes differently.

A prominent raw gem show is an annual event in Scottsdale, Arizona, near where Kate lives. She decides to go to see if any of the Seven Sins happens to appear. Lee has been gone about half a year now. The FBI didn’t believe her thoughts on Lee’s disappearance. The last time she had called the FBI, she received an anonymous phone telling her that if she persisted in the search for Lee she would die. Since Kate can no longer trust the FBI, she decides to start looking on her own.

Sam Groves is the black sheep FBI agent who happens to catch Kate as she adroitly switches sapphires at one of the pre-shows of the gem show. Sam doesn’t follow the rules of the FBI but has a good enough arrest record to keep from being fired. His career has been spiraling downward, though. Sam is part of an FBI task force trying to catch the South American gang that has been stealing gems from couriers and shows. He wants to connect Kate with the group he believes is responsible for the gem heists. Kate proves her innocence of being a gem thief. Sam comes to believe her story and works with her to clear her brother’s name, find him, and discover who is really behind the newest round of thefts and murders within the raw gem trade.

Elizabeth Lowell remains a favorite author of mine for suspenseful romance novels. In this one she teaches the reader about the precious colored stones, how they are treated, and how the different grades of stones are judged. Since I own what are scathingly referred as “mall stones”, this is a world beyond my reach. Lowell uses it as a backdrop for her romance of a very independent woman able to care for herself and a rogue FBI agent who keeps bucking the system.

The gem education was interesting. The overall writing of this novel is nicely average. I enjoyed it, but it was easy to put down and ignore for a few days. The characters are likeable, but don’t come off the pages. It’s an enjoyable novel.

Notice: Explicit sexual situations

More books by Elizabeth Lowell

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