A low-key, mystery-cum-romance debut from the author who published two general fiction paperbacks as Rebecca Holland. Thirty-year-old, six-feet-tall Detective Nikki Takos is pleased when she catches her first homicide--until her supervisor gives her 72 hours to solve the murder or she's off the case. The department also assigns homicide specialist Dave Lawton to work on it with her, when he has the time. The only thing special about the dead Frankie Sunmann seems to be where he died--in clear view of the Star Garden Motel, where a mysterious Mr. and Mrs. Amos Johnson had checked in. Who were they? Young Denise Douglas insists flat they were her stepmom Arden and Arden's lover, and that they are responsible for her dad's death--in a yacht explosion. Nikki's digging reveals that dad Douglas lifted ten million in discretionary funds from his brokerage house and was on the run. There's another murder before Nikki ties the funds to Douglas's lack of yacht insurance and flight plans to Caracas--as well as to Frankie, who probably saw Douglas jump ship before it went boom. Nikki is trapped in an attic before Lawton comes to the rescue--and Nikki's first homicide ends in a clinch. Nice subplot concerning Nikki and her orphaned niece, but mostly for the love not larceny crowd.