Monday, December 10, 2018

Book Review: 'Romancing the Cat Burglar (A Russo Romantic Mystery: Book 3)' by Pamela Gossiaux

Romancing the Cat Burglar by Pamela Gossiaux

“I’m here for a map,” he said. “Um... ma’am.”

Michigan author and freelance writer Pamela Gossiaux is an inspirational Christian speaker and the author of three books: ‘Why is There a Lemon in My Fruit Salad? How to Stay Sweet When Life Turns Sour’, ‘A Kid at Heart: Becoming a Child of our Heavenly Father’, ‘Six Steps to Successful Publication: Your Guide to Getting Published’ and ‘Good Enough’ The first two books proved her abilities as a humorist and a sensitive thinker, but ‘Good Enough’, ‘Mrs. Chartwell and the Cat Burglar’, ‘Trusting the Cat Burglar,’ and ‘Romancing the Cat Burglar’ place her in a new realm of important contemporary authors.

So many of the oft-maligned Chick Lit novels rely on frequent emphasis on sexual encounters to attract their audience. Pamela sees a different direction of importance in her female centric novels – keeping the love interests alive but on the periphery of her core themes. She balances contemporary situations familiar to all of us with little glitches that can change our lives in both a positive way and a not so helpful direction, resolves the issues that she presents, and the result is a book of warmth, humor, and just plain fine storytelling that further establishes her as an significant new voice.

Having proved her ability to write cogent adult romantic comedy, Pamela expands her purview in creating a mystery/suspense novel that works on every level. Not only does she write about technically advanced thievery but also she simultaneously introduces her romantic pairing subtly and builds that element into as fine a courtship and romance as she resolves a theft. And to this soup she adds significant elements of art history, assuring her reader that within this book there are enough elements to attract all manner of readers.

Composing a seductive synopsis is a gift and here Pamela shines, too. ‘To do a great right, do a little wrong. A honeymoon in Paris! Except…there’s more at stake in the City of Lights than romance. Abigail’s specialty as an ancient maps librarian has brought her to a prestigious symposium at the Louvre, where she has one final chance to prove herself and save her job. Tony, a recently reformed cat burglar, is there to search for his family’s roots and learn more about his great-grandfather. Then Abigail’s wedding ring is stolen, and she and Tony put sightseeing on hold to track down the thief. The emerald ring is highly desired by thieves and collectors for its connection to a famous Italian artist, but it’s worth more to Tony and Abigail as a family heirloom and symbol of their love. As the newlyweds seek answers, the line between right and wrong blurs. With Abigail’s future in jeopardy, and Tony’s reputation following him, how far will they go to find the truth?

The elegance of her prose is suggested by the following passage: ’The harness was digging in to Abigail’s thigh. She tried adjusting it, but that was hard to do while she was dangling two stories above someone’s living room. They had come in through the skylight because Tony had declared the perimeter alarms impenetrable. She could think of a million things she’d rather be doing right now than breaking in to a home on the west side in an attempt to steal a priceless Picasso. “This is hurting my leg,” Abigail whispered. “The material is all bunched up.” “I told you to wear the pants from the suit I bought for you,” Tony whispered back. He was dangling next to her, clad from head to toe in black spandex (his pants were probably fine) and digging a can of hairspray out of his backpack. “They’re in the laundry,” Abigail whispered. “How long is this going to take?” “Perfection takes time,” Tony whispered back. He sprayed the hairspray in an arc across the air, careful not to get any on the painting. He was looking for laser beams that might trip an alarm. The moisture crystals settled on them down below, highlighting a crisscross pattern a few feet above the living room floor. They were safe up here. “I have to finish packing,” Abigail whispered. “I can’t go to Paris with nothing to wear.” Tony capped the hairspray can and looked over at her. “I wouldn’t mind,” he said, winking at her. “It is our honeymoon.”

Pamela Gossiaux is fast becoming a major player in the realm of writing. She deserves the wards and attention that are bound to come her way!

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. 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.

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