Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Counterfeit Conspiracies - Review

Counterfeit Conspiracies (A Bodies of Art Mystery Book #1) by Ritter Ames

Rating: It's Okay
Source: NetGalley
Description:  Laurel Beacham may have been born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but she has long since lost it digging herself out of trouble.  Her father gambled and womanized his way through the family fortune before skiing off an Alp,leaving her with more tarnish than trust fun.  Quick wits and connections have gained her a reputation as one of the world's premier art recovery experts.  The police may catch the thief, but she reclaims the missing masterpieces.  The latest assignment, however, may be her undoing.  Using ever ounce of luck and larceny she possesses, Laurel must locate a priceless art icon and rescue a co-worker (and ex-lover) from a master criminal, all the while matching wits with a charming new nemesis.  Unfortunately, he seems to know where all the bodies are buried - and she prefers hers isn't next.  (from Goodreads)

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book:  I love books around art theft so how can I resist a book where the main character is a recovery expert?

My Impression:  So I've been watching a show called The Catch on ABC the last few weeks.  It's Shonda Rhimes' newest and is about a con-artist and a super glam private detective.  It's super slick with lots of split screen shots of two POVs and the characters say things like "You want to play? Let's play." quite a bit.  Why am I talking about a TV show in a book review?  Because the who time I was reading this book it reminded me quite a bit of the show.  Like to the point that Laurel and Jack looked like the actors who play the two main characters in my head.
In this book there's a lot of running around to get to people, to lose tails, to misdirect, and too look for clues.  No one is quite what they seem and Laurel finds herself in a bit of a mess.  I loved the slickness of it.  It was kind of like reading a James Bond novel in a cozier format.  It was a fun sprint through London on the search for jewels and treachery.

However, because of all the running I never felt like I was doing more than skimming the surface of the story and the characters.  We start off with Laurel in the middle of an art theft (but stealing back something that was stolen) and we get a bit of an inside look at her motives but then after that it becomes one continuous chase and I felt like I needed more of a connection to really enjoy the book.  As it was it wasn't a bad read but it was a story that hooked me.

It's very clear that this book continues into the 2nd book and nothing is really wrapped up by the end of this story.  However, it does feel like one part of the investigation has finished so it didn't feel too cliff-hangery.  I don't know if I'll be picking up the 2nd book.  I did like the characters and the hunt and am a little curious to find out what happens next but I don't know if I'll even remember in a few days once I get another book between me and this one.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: I don't know.  I'm not opposed to reading more from Ames but I won't be pre-ordering the next book.

Would I Recommend this Book?: Probably not.


  1. Well, we surely try differ books and they don't all rock our world. Too many books to read to plow through one that is so-so.
    Thank you for your comment about Inspector Banks on my book site. 😀

  2. Art theft isn't a theme I gravitate toward anyway, so this probably isn't for me. Thanks for the honest opinion.

  3. The art recovery angle reminds me of that Pierce Brosnan/ Rene Russo movie (can't think of the name, but I know it was a remake)- it was hokey at times but fun. Sounds like this one had too much action and not enough character development maybe? Sorry it didn't quite work out.

  4. I love the London and the art setting so it's a cozy that I'd love to try someday. I get what you mean about all the running around leading to a lack of connection but it sounds like a super fast paced book which I'd enjoy!

  5. It's too bad there wasn't more of a balance with the action and characters. I like action, but it helps to have some breathers where we learn more about the background and perhaps why things are happening. Good review, Katherine.

  6. Sometimes too much action can just take over and the book suffers. Hmm like the sound of Shonda Rimes new one Catch - great review of it!! Must see if it is out this way.

  7. The cover is kind of cute but yeah, that kind of ending would bug me. I hate cliffhangers. I always think of the Harry Potter books, how they flow into one another and never left us hanging.

  8. Disappointment. But I get you, those books that are a good time well reading them but utterly forgettable are actually the worst. You take nothing from them. At least with a terrible book you'll remember what made it awful and be able to come into a conversation about the book in the future. This kind of book, nope.

  9. Sometimes books like this appeal to me, but I do tend to prefer books that stick with me awhile. I am sorry this one didn't work for you. I love a fast paced book with lots of action, but I need more than that to really enjoy a book.

  10. I love the premise, but this just doesn't sound like it had the depth to hold a reader beyond book one. Great review!

  11. Your description of a James-Bond-esque book, but cozier, is very appealing, but the lack of depth and "memorability" you describe makes me think I'll pass. I do like art theft books, but for now I'll stick to Aaron and Charlotte Elkins' "Alix London" series to get my art theft fix.