Forged in Blood

by Joyce Christmas

Fawcett Books, August, 2002.
Paperback, 224 pages.
ISBN: 0449007146

Forged in Blood by Joyce Christmas Retired office manager and sometime amateur sleuth Betty Trenka is excited about her upcoming European vacation with her new friend, the elegant Lady Margaret Priam. Betty and Margaret travel to Priam's Priory to attend the wedding of Margaret's brother, the Earl of Brayfield. They then head on to Italy to visit a friend's fabulous Italian villa, which is rumored to house an heretofore unknown Old Master. The wedding goes off without a hitch, but when they arrive in Rome, Betty and Margaret find themselves involved with an artist and an art dealer who may be about to pull off a major art forgery. Betty and Margaret do manage to see the legendary painting, but the scenery is marred by a dead body lying in the villa's beautiful and ancient fountain.

Betty Trenka and Lady Margaret have both been stars of their own popular mystery series, until the two sleuths met up (in A Better Class of Murder) to solve a high society murder set in Manhattan, with very entertaining results. Now, the charming aristocrat and the no-nonsense New Englander join forces to stop an art forger and a murderer. Readers are taken on a fascinating tour of London and Rome, as the two sleuths see the sights and socialize with everyone from criminals to screen stars. Ms. Christmas is known for her wit, her style and her excellent characterizations. Lady Margaret Priam's cool elegance and polished social skills play perfectly off Betty's down to earth, Yankee sensibility and dry sense of humor. This is a truly delightful mystery series. Highly recommended.

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This review was published in the September, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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