Avon, Oct 2002, 5.99, 384 pp.
Through an intermediary, antiquities collector Steven Carmichael hires New Orleans-based private investigator Diana Belmaine to recover a stolen Egyptian Eighteenth Dynasty artifact. The object is an alabaster box with Nefertiti's name on it containing a lock of hair that Carmichael believes belonged to the legendary Queen. Diana wonders about the legitimacy of ownership. However with the high fee and the potential for her sleuthing reputation being praised, Diana is persuaded to accept the case.
Since the purloined item was probably stolen during a party thrown by Carmichael, Diana uses the attendees' list as a starting point. This leads her to Tulane University where she meets Mayan expert Dr. Jack Austin, a beneficiary of grants from Carmichael's Ancient Americas Preservation Society. Diana quickly believes the renowned professor (People Magazine, Discovery channel) is the thief, but cannot fathom why he would steal from the hand that feeds him. As Diana and Jack duel in a game of wits, their initial attraction blossoms into something stronger, but though they share a passion for Cocoa Krispies and one another, she repudiates her love for the handsome probable felon.
This is an exciting romantic suspense that grips the reader due to the delectable relationship between the lead characters that grips the audience from the moment Diana visits Jack in his college office. The story line focuses on the game of chess played on several levels between the professor and the sleuth. Though why Diana concluded that Jack was as a good a thief as an archeologist seems stretched, fans of an exciting intrigue will gain pleasure with Michele Albert's terrific GETTING HER MAN that will surely get her new readers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner