Saturday, April 21, 2018

Book Review: 'The Hard Way' by Cathi Stoler


The International Diamond Dealers Consortium is meeting at the January Resort and Casino, which is owned by Jimmy Scanlan, a friend of PI Helen McCorkendale. The meeting will close with the showing of a rare huge red diamond, the de Groot Rouge, after which the diamond will go to New York where it will be on public display at the Minerals and Gems Gallery of the Museum of Natural History. Notorious jewel thieves are expected to try to steal the diamond, and PI Helen McCorkendale is determined to prevent the theft while she solves a related murder.
The action in this novel takes place partly in Las Vegas and partly in New York and both locations become characters in their own right. The detailed descriptions of every location in the novel make it very easy for the reader to visualize every moment in the thrilling plot. I really felt as if I were right there in the thick of things. It is a real shame that the January Resort is fictitious, because it would definitely be worth a visit even for those who don’t care for Las Vegas or gambling.
The transitions between Las Vegas and New York are done smoothly and naturally, so there is no trouble following the flow of the action. The pacing is good, with never a slow moment. There are surprises around every corner, with mysteries within mysteries. Helen is a gutsy, smart PI and I felt her character was very well drawn. The murder mystery is complex and I didn’t solve it until nearly the end. The mystery surrounding the diamond was much easier to figure out in advance, but it was enjoyable to watch it all play out.
Mystery lovers, especially those who enjoy a well-drawn setting, are sure to be captivated by this exciting adventure.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.