A Promise to Die For
by Jacqueline Pelham
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432830557
Date: 10 June 2015 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Determined to recover her dead grandmother's stolen paintings, Evangeline Raines seeks throughout the U.S. and European art worlds for clues in her work at Rembrandt Art Investigations. The collection disappeared during World War II. However, murder impedes her search and threatens her life and those who love her.
Evangeline's employer, Julian Krystos, helps her search, providing leads, giving her time off, and encouraging her. However, each lead fades without yielding the old world masters she seeks. Worse, people turn up dead, as a murderer stalks the trail of leads.
Romance rears its head in the form of a nice police sergeant and a handsome gallery owner. The police sergeant had trained the demobilized K-9 French poodle Evangeline adopts. He stops by now and then to see the dog and chat with Evangeline. He also teaches her some of K-9 commands to which the dog responds
The worry that someone is out to harm her or her dog increase when her foster aunt, the hoodah queen, is kidnapped from the hospital. The police sergeant ensure Evangeline gets protection.
When the gallery owner learns Evangeline owns a French chateau, he offers to fly her there. At first she refuses, but then decides it's too good an offer to refuse. Others, including her ex-husband, worry the man with the plane may have romantic intentions.
With more suitors than she can manage, Evangeline flees to France with the gallery owner. She is heartened to find her property in good hands and pursues the hints her grandmother left, unaware danger is stalking her.
Pelham has created an interesting group of characters including the poodle Zelda that wasn't good enough for police work, a crafty hoodah queen who is smarter than Evangeline realizes, and a teen-age waif with unexpected skills. The thrilling ending will please readers, although a few may wonder why it took Evangeline so long to recognize her enemies.