Fabergé eggs, a Dürer etching, and nonstop clichés clutter up this rookie romance/mystery.
Artist Annie Callaghan, on the verge of divorcing her grammar-challenged, on-the-make, burglar husband Gary, sleeps with him one last time and winds up pregnant, and even worse, saddled with him and his smelly pal Pete in her nice house. Still, some things are looking up. She’s been hired to paint a mural in Sam Morgan’s ice cream parlor, and when two bratty kids deface it, their mom, Gina DeChristopher, asks Annie to paint a dinosaur mural in the kids’ playroom. Three floors down, the very wealthy Mr. DeChristopher has decorated his private study with purloined Fabergé eggs and a Dürer etching stolen from Chicago’s Art Institute and valued at ten million dollars. In typically dumb fashion, Gary and Pete naturally plan a heist that winds up with Gary dead, Pete on the lam, and poor Annie weeping all over nice Sam Morgan’s shirt. Annie almost comes to a bad end when DeChristopher tries to get his goodies back, but not to worry: Sam to the rescue.
Simplistic plot twists and a prose style more amenable to a YA audience. But those ice-cream sodas Sam whips up sure sound good.