On The Hook: Smith and Westen Mysteries Volume 1 – by Cindy Davis
A Picasso painting, worth a hundred million dollars, disappears en route from Chicago to New Hampshire. Literally-en route. The painting goes missing while the truck is moving. The painting is there, then it’s not. It’s gone, but it can’t be. Kendra Jean Valentine, underwriting agent for the policy, is on the hook. She scrapes together enough to hire two women to work the case.
Westen Hughes owns a failing pet shop. With creditors phoning daily, she jumps at the chance to earn a bundle of easy money, even though the offer comes from her old nemesis KJ Valentine, who stole everything in high school: head cheerleader, homecoming queen and the star quarterback. KJ pairs her with Westen’s total opposite: Phoebe Smith, a snake-loving, underwear-hating, tuba player with more baggage than Logan Airport.
Ten percent of a hundred million is…well, it’s a lot so Smith and Westen join forces on a rollercoaster ride to find one of the world’s most valuable paintings.
Transporting hundred million dollar valuables by vehicle presents many challenges as Kendra Jean Valentine, agent for NH Property and Casualty Insurance well knows. Her job requires that she covers all bases. This job was no different from the others. She chose the trucking company, interviewed the two truck drivers and handpicked four security guards to drive in two separate vehicles, one in front and one behind the truck to assist her in driving from Chicago to Buffalo and then non-stop from Buffalo to Concord, New Hampshire.
Arriving at their destination Kendra is relieved to arrive and more than happy to turn Picasso’s The Old Guitarist painting over to the curator, Henderson McGee. The painting was secured and padlocked in a six foot cube wooden crate. Only Kendra and the curator in Chicago had the keys. When the crate in opened the painting is not inside and Kendra is on the hook. Her exact thought “How was it possible for so many things to go wrong for one person at the same time? She must’ve done something really awful in a past life.”
With strong characters and good dialog the reader is submerged into a fast paced mystery that is led by two untrained, inexperienced and incompatible women named Smith and Weston. Out of their league these two sleuths find themselves in many situations. I quote one from page # 103 in my copy.
“Smith and Westen started up the walk side-by-side. Westen twisted the antique glass doorknob and they went in, footsteps thudding on the bare hardwood floor, stained by at least fifty years of shoes and boots. The place smelled like a combination of pine cleaner which obviously hadn’t been used in the hallway and vanilla scented candle. They climbed the steep stairs. Westen tried not to touch the railing. She hadn’t brought any hand sanitizer.”
Well written mystery by Author Cindy Davis that will keep you guessing until the end.
Theodocia McLean endorses On The Hook (Volume 1) in the Smith and Westen Mysteries. After you read On The Hook, Just Smashing (Volume 2) and Two Million Reasons (Volume 3) are waiting for you to solve. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 29, 2015.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense