A Serena Jones Mystery Series / by Sandra Orchard. 11.14.2016

A Fool and His Monet / by Sandra Orchard. (A Serena Jones Mystery, 1)

Revell ISBN 9780800726713

Another Day, Another Dali / by Sandra Orchard. (A Serena Jones Mystery, 2)

Revell     ISBN 9780800726690

Adult     Rating: 5

Award-winning Canadian author Sandra Orchard pens a new contemporary mystery series featuring a female FBI agent/art detective.

In A Fool and His Monet, Serena Jones finishes an undercover assignment for the FBI Art Crime Team. Her friend Zoe, the acting head of security at a local art museum, asks her help in recovering a stolen Monet. The big problem is that the museum board doesn’t want any publicity about the theft. Can she catch the mastermind behind the theft? Can she recover the missing artwork before the theft becomes public?

In Another Day, Another Dali, Serena is asked by her grandmother to help track down a friend’s stolen Dali painting. Serena and her grandmother have a strained relationship, and Serena sees this as an opportunity to change that. But what seems like a straightforward investigation turns into a tangled web involving forgery, an art theft ring, corrupt cops, and possibly the unsolved murder of Serena’s grandfather. Will Serena solve the case before someone stops her? What will her grandmother’s friend say when the thief is found to be someone close to her? And what does the secret that Serena has kept from her family have to do with her grandmother?

Orchard does an excellent job in her character development. Serena is a confident single woman; she’s not looking for romance, even though she is tripping over eligible bachelors like Tanner, her FBI partner, and Nate, her landlord. Her opinionated Aunt Martha fancies herself a detective too and has a mobster friend who comes to Serena’s rescue.

Unlike some romantic suspense novels, this is a mystery series with a very light romance and humor on the side. The faith element is also very light. The next book, Over Maya Dead Body, is due in Summer 2017.

Recommended for church libraries and adult collections in public libraries. 

Carol R. Gehringer, CLJ