Every so often, it's Mommy and Daddy's Day here on Bookworm for Kids because parents like to read too. These books do not contain content, which can be considered more inappropriate than the average Young Adult read. In other words, these aren't books you'll need to hide under your bed and hope they aren't discovered by prying eyes.
The Great Jewel Robbery
A Front Page Mystery, Book 1
by Elizabeth McKenna
May 28, 2019
Tour dates: August 19-30, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (There is no profanity. There is drinking, desire, and a kiss.)
Mystery with a splash of romance…Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. When Grace is assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a lakeside mansion and her boyfriend bails on her, she brings Emma as her plus one. The night is going smoothly until Emma finds the host’s brother unconscious in the study. Though at first it is thought he was tipsy and stumbled, it soon becomes clear more is afoot, as the wall safe is empty and a three-million-dollar diamond necklace is missing. With visions of becoming ace investigative journalists, Emma and Grace set out to solve the mystery, much to the chagrin of the handsome local detective.
To read more reviews, please visit Elizabeth McKenna's page on iRead Book Tours.
This is a cute, lightly funny, and definitely not boring mystery with all sorts of unexpected twists...and a few blunders... along the way.
Emma agrees to accompany her best friend to an annual charity ball, although the world of the wealthy isn't really her cup of tea. While trying to not to stick out to much, Emma watches her friend cover the party for an article in the magazine they both work for. And it works until the charity auction ends with the theft of $3 million jewels. Knowing that an incident during the ball has placed her on the suspect list, Emma still agrees to help her friend find the criminal on their own. But soon she wonders if they have a chance, and if it's the biggest mistake they could ever make.
Emma is a very sweet character with a few quirks and a heart of gold. Her insecurities, especially when placed in the environment of the wealthy, make her easy to like and root for. She isn't super keen on solving the mystery, and her intentions of helping out her best friend make her that much more golden. She's clever but makes mistakes, and she's a bit awkward yet still on top of her game when it counts. Her decision and deductions are pretty understandable, and her sometimes brutal honesty adds nice pokes of humor.
The mystery is pretty straight forward without becoming overly obvious. It keeps the read light hearted, while interesting enough to want to keep reading until the last page. I had no trouble reading it in one sitting and enjoyed every page. There is romance, but it only dusts the main plot and could have been worked in a bit more at the end. Still, it was a treat and I can't wait to see what the next book in the series will hold.
What genre do you write and why?
My first three books were romances, two historical and one contemporary. I chose that genre because I love history and a happy ending. If I’m going to invest time in reading a story, I want everything to work out in the end. I don’t want to be sad (or mad). For my fourth book, I decided to try something different—a cozy mystery. I grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys (I still have all of my copies), and I love mysteries. At the moment, I’m fascinated with British TV mysteries, so I think that’s what started me down this new path in writing.
Your book is set in Fontana, Wisconsin. Have you ever been there?
I live in the village of Williams Bay, which is also mentioned in The Great Jewel Robbery. Fontana is just down the road from me. Fontana, Williams Bay, and Lake Geneva are all villages on Geneva Lake. Most of the story takes place in a mansion on Geneva Lake. I based the inside, outside, and history of the mansion on an existing mansion, though technically that one is in the Lake Geneva and not Fontana. I switched the location because I didn’t want readers to be confused over “Lake Geneva” (the village) and “Geneva Lake” (the lake).
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing fiction since 2008; however, I was a technical writer and editor for over twenty years in the corporate world. I decided to write my first book when one of my daughters asked if I liked my job. I try to be honest with my girls, so I said, “No. I’d rather be writing books.” She said, “Why don’t you do that instead?” I could have gone into a deep discussion on the family budget and the need for my corporate salary, but instead, I started writing in my spare time. I felt it was important to show my children that it is never too late to follow your dreams.
Do you have another profession besides writing?
Currently, I do freelance editing and proofreading when I’m not working on my creative writing.
Favorite travel spot?
Definitely Europe. I love the history and architecture. I’m fair-skinned, so beach resorts are not appealing to me.
What advice would you give budding writers?
Get a professional editor, cover designer, and beta readers before you publish your book. With The Great Jewel Robbery, I used beta readers for the first time, and I learned so much. I think their comments really made the story stronger.
What is your next project?
I was working on a dark mystery, Killer Resolutions, before I started writing The Great Jewel Robbery, so I am finishing that story. It’s a reimaging of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, though it is set in a remote northern Wisconsin lodge during New Year’s Eve. After that, I will write book 2 for the Front Page Mysteries series.
The Great Jewel Robbery is her debut cozy mystery, and she hopes readers will like it as much as they have enjoyed her romances. Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.
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Ends Sept 6, 2019