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Summary

Bea Abbot's plans are disrupted by the unexpected arrival of one of her clients, bearing a brown leather briefcase full of expensive jewellery. Magda Summerleys has been working as a housekeeper for wealthy art expert Lucas Rycroft, who, she says, entrusted her with the briefcase for safekeeping - and who seems to have disappeared without trace. 

Drawn into the tangled affairs of the dysfunctional Rycrofts, Bea soon discovers that other members of the family are determined to get their hands on the jewels - by whatever means necessary. Also caught up in the chaos is her ex-husband, Piers, who had been commissioned to paint Lucas Rycroft's portrait. Then a body is discovered at Lucas' home.... 

©2017 Veronica Heley (P)2019 Soundings

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Mystery with a small touch of romance

Bea Abbot mysteries are usually a not too violent investigation into the world of crime. Although most of the deaths happen "offstage" this book must rival Midsomer for its murder count! A little romance creeps in between Bea and her ex, Piers, which is nice, and it would be good to see this develop further.
The woman coming to Bea for help is Magda, and she was hired as a capable housekeeper, but spent the first quarter of the book being anything but capable. An irritating watering-pot, she nearly drove me to abandon the book, but I managed to persevere, and it was worth it, as the end was well tied together by the clues we had been given.
I also did wonder at the lack of sense they all displayed in going back to Lucas' flat, when they knew 2 bullying Rycrofts were on the warpath, and likely to visit the flat.
Unfortunately, we dont hear anything about Bea's son in this book, nor any of her previous lodgers/helpers, eg Oliver