Thursday, November 3, 2016

Without a Doubt - Mystery Review

Without a Doubt (Carol Childs #3) by Nancy Cole Silverman

Rating: Very Good
Source: Author

Description:  As radio reporter Carol Childs investigates a series of Beverly Hills jewelry heists, she realizes her FBI boyfriend, Eric, is working the same case. Even worse, she may have inadvertently helped the suspect escape. The situation intensifies when the suspect calls the radio station during a live broadcast, baiting Carol deeper into the investigation.

In order for her to uncover the truth, Carol must choose between her job and her personal relationships. What started out as coincidence between Carol and Eric becomes a race for the facts—pitting them against one another—before the thieves can pull off a daring escape, leaving a trail of dead bodies behind, and taking the jewels with them.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book: This is an author I've been wanting to try since I saw a review of the first book in the series and I love a jewel heist plot!

My Impression:  I always enjoy when the main character is a reporter of some kind because it gives them a valid reason for investigating but still be able to poke their nose into situations that law enforcement wouldn't be allowed.  Carol didn't disappoint!  She's intelligent and quick witted but I never felt like she put "getting the story" ahead of her relationship with her son and her friends.  We don't see her son a lot in this book but her friend Sheri is a regular character and I really enjoyed their friendship.  Sheri calls Carol on her nonsense but at the same time didn't cross into "with friends like these..." territory which so often happens with close friendships in fiction.  As well she is trying to juggle actually investigating the jewelry heist/murder story as a reporter and cooperating with Eric who is an FBI agent as well as her boyfriend (Significant other?  Friend?  I loved that Carol spent some time trying to figure that out as well.)

I really enjoyed the inside look at life in the radio news industry.  While I've seen a number of reporters Carol is one of the first I've come across in the fiction world that works in radio.  One of my pet peeves when a character has a really interesting job or one that they announce quite a bit is when it just feels like window dressing.  With Carol I really got a peek behind the scenes and the politics of the radio station as well as the characters that populated that world. I also think that Carol's job influenced the feel of how the story was delivered.  It's fast paced and entertaining but I felt like the focus was more on reporting the story than the emotions that Carol and the others were feeling.  I think this really influenced the pacing which while never feeling rushed did make it feel like a very fast read.

The mystery starts off with a bang, quite literally,  as Carol's chocolate tour report is interrupted by an explosion at nearby Harry Winston's.  There's murder and mayhem with a dash of celebrities and some jewelry descriptions that made my mouth water almost as much as the chocolate descriptions!  We then get a bit more complicated (but not convoluted) with a murder and a unknown ring of jewelry thieves.  I wasn't quite clear on the relationships between some of the characters - particularly Mimi and Kari - in a professional level as some seemed to have connections to characters who were also connected to the murder victim.  I'm not sure if this is because I haven't read the first 2 books in the series or if it was a small detail that I missed.  However, while I didn't quite understand those relationships it didn't keep me from understanding how each character was involved in the story itself and had no impact on my enjoyment of the mystery.

There was also bonus points for a Hugette Clark mention.  I've been fascinated by the heiress since I read a biography on her a couple of years ago and this book has me wanting to learn even more about her.

I really enjoyed this fast paced mystery with an interesting detective and great side characters.  It kept me entertained through out though the chocolate tour in the beginning had me craving truffles!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely!  I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next for Carol and am looking forward to read the earlier books in the series.

Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely!  I think most mystery lovers would enjoy this.  While it does fall into the cozy genre it's a solid mystery that doesn't stray into cutesy.


  1. The book and author are both new to me so I did enjoy the update.

    1. Thank you for dropping by and commenting. Stay Tuned for more. Book 4, Room for Doubt, debuts in July 2017.

  2. A jewel heist does sound fun- and I love the cover with its old- timey glitzy look. The reporter angle is nice, and yes it is also nice to have a plausible reason for investigating. :) I like the sound of the competition (?) as well with her FBI boyfriend.

    1. I think it's more balancing than competition but it makes for an interesting read. I love the glitz too and there is definitely some in the story as well.

    2. Thanks for the comments. Carol Childs has been an interesting character to write. Much of what she covers is, as they say, pulled from the headlines.

  3. Hmm I am going to keep this is mind, I am going to look for a cozy mystery series to read next year - although was thinking more on the bookish or quilting scene but this sounds great and I am seeing the Very Good at the top - not given lightly I know!

    1. This is a fun mystery but It's more plot driven than character driven so it may not be the best cozy for reading tastes - especially for a first cozy. I d I look forward to end up seeing what you choose!