Thursday, February 11, 2021

Book Review: Bronzed Betrayals by Ritter Ames (Bodies of Art Mysteries #5)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Action, story advancement, characters
Cons: Only if you aren’t up to date on the series
The Bottom Line:
Body in her room
More complications abound
Fast paced fun for fans

The Unexpected Body in Laurel’s Room

I’ve gotten caught up in the Bodies of Art Mysteries by Ritter Ames.  Unlike other series that mostly stand alone, these books are a definite series.  By now, I am hooked and need to know what is happening to the characters, so I was thrilled to find the time to pick up Bronzed Betrayals, the fifth in the series.

Laurel Beacham and Jack Hawkes are enjoying a night out together.  Well, that might be an exaggeration since they are at a party they aren’t enjoying.  However, it provides the perfect cover for an art recovery that the two have planned.  That recovery doesn’t go as planned, but the night really spins out of control when Laurel returns to her hotel room to find a dead body.  She knows the victim, but who killed the person?  Are they trying to frame Laurel?

I’m going to once again warn you that this is not the place to start this series.  There is so much going on in this book that you won’t appreciate if you jump in here.  Not to mention some rather big revelations in earlier books that will be spoiled in these pages.  You really do want to read these books in order.  Laurel is trying to stop a major art heist planned in the future as well as deal with revelations about her family, and those stories will mean more to you if you know the background.

I entered this book thinking it was the final book in the series, and my expectations were that the various plot threads we’ve been following through the earlier books would be resolved here.  Turns out, I was wrong.  But I can now say I am up to date and can anxiously wait for the next entry with the rest of the series’ fans.

That’s not to say we don’t get plot advancement here.  Fans will be happy to get more answers to some of the story threads.  I hesitate to say we have resolution on anything since there’s always some twist along the way.  Not to mention a pretty major cliffhanger at the end of the book.

To be clear, this book does have a beginning, middle, and end that leave us satisfied when we turn the final page.  It’s just that so much of what happens here ties in to other things going on, it makes much more sense if you know that background.

This isn’t a typical cozy mystery plot.  This is more of a cozy caper series.  As long as you know this when you pick up the series and set your expectations accordingly, you’ll be fine.

I’m happy to say that the characters are continuing to grow as the series progresses.  I’m especially happy with how Jack is maturing.

And there is plenty of action.  I was turning pages as quickly as I could multiple times as I read.

Fans of this series will be delighted with Bronzed Betrayals.   Laurel and Jack’s next adventure can’t get here soon enough.

Need more?  Here are the Bodies of Art Mysteries in order.