Back from an eventful trip to London (The Swap, 2017), legal office manager Nicole Graves finds her homecoming to LA just as replete with criminal mischief, some of it from quite unexpected sources.
Now that Nicole’s back, somebody—make that she—can finally check on Robert Blair, who hasn’t shown up at his job as investigator for Bascomb, Rice, Smith & Di Angelo for five days. She finds him fatally shot in his swanky home in the Hollywood Hills, a setting that provides more surprise than his death. But Nicole’s bewilderment over how Robert could have afforded such palatial digs rapidly gives way to bigger, more intimate questions when she realizes he’s kept detailed files on her, named her as beneficiary of the company’s modest life insurance policy, and indeed left her his considerable estate. Naturally, the press, led by the vultures of Extra Hot News, camp outside her home and office, and in the absence of Ronald Reinhardt, the mysterious British agent who romanced her in London but has now vanished except for the robo-bouquets that keep arriving from him, Nicole is grateful for the attentions of architect Josh Mulhern, whose private emails to other correspondents she duly forgives herself for reading, and she is suspicious of the motives of skirt-chasing new BRS&D partner Rick Sargosian. Nicole’s place gets broken into, she’s pointedly asked to take some time off from her publicity-shy firm, and when she decides to search Robert’s home on her own, she’s kidnapped by another pair who’ve had exactly the same idea. Her sister keeps warning her that she has to be careful about whom to trust, but never fear: Nicole always trusts exactly the right people. Whew.
Boyarsky’s weightless complications expertly combine menace with bling, making the heroine’s adventures both nightmarish and dreamy.