NIKROVA'S PASSION by Beth Henderson


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Henderson's debut novel features one remarkably ungainly American artist, a passel of British/American thieves, and a rakish Scotland Yard detective--all of whom scramble in an out of one another's beds in an uninspiring search for a missing FabergÉ brooch. What Anne Larkin has going for her are her long blond hair and a great pair of legs. On the down side, she astonishes with her penchant for stumbling in airports, spilling cocktails, spouting American slang at inappropriate moments, and otherwise embarrassing herself as she tours England. Mourning the recent marriages of her two best friends, Larkin effortlessly subordinates her professed (but never convincingly demonstrated) desire to become an artist in favor of a more old-fashioned goal: catching a husband. Her immediate entanglements with both a tall, dark, and reckless under. cover detective in search of Nikrova's Passion--a valuable antique brooch with a shady history--and with the fair-faced gigolo who, as it turns out, stole it, has her convinced she'll soon have proposals coming and going. Initially, however, the only proposals are improper ones as the author stages a series of seduction and near-seduction scenes in a seeming effort to keep the highly contrived plot moving. Sadly, even these encounters fail to intrigue as passion is repeatedly sacrificed in favor of feeble humor; meanwhile, the detective's true identity becomes obvious early on, the thieves' downfall falls flat, and even the arbitrary marriage proposal at book's end can't make up for the unacceptable abundance of pure coincidence it took to get there. Bursting with puppylike energy--though fatally lacking in suspense.

Pub Date: May 14th, 1990
ISBN: 0615176712
Publisher: Evans