Roberts (Private Scandals, 1993) keeps us sensuously engrossed in a suspenseful romance that moves smoothly between the harsh world of high-stakes crime and the zaniness of theater, antiques, and bric-a-brac. Jedidiah Skimmerhorn, a prematurely retired police captain, has moved into an apartment above an antiques shop owned by Isadora Conroy. Jed has money, social position, and power, but he is wary of love and burdened by guilt for the death of his sister Elaine, who was killed by a car bomb intended for him. Dora is small, tough, and beautiful, with an impeccable sense of style. She was raised in a family of actors who lived the romances they played on the stage. Jed's world of minks and diamonds, heirlooms and fat portfolios is contrasted with the noise, the smells and the freedom of being in the center of things that characterize Dora's life. Jed and Dora's physical proximity and inevitable chance encounters lead to comic intimacy and a quick repartee that thinly masks sexual attraction. When a lot of smuggled antiques is accidentally shipped to a country auction house, Dora unwittingly becomes owner of priceless antiquities and an original Monet concealed under a superficially rendered abstract painting. She and Jed team up to follow the path of collectible objects d'art and murders to an obsessive collector and ruthless killer. The suspense relies not in discovering whodunit -- the murders are violently obvious -- but in the inevitable confrontation between Jed and Dora, our detective team, and the culprit. Jed and Dora's romance is as fast-paced as the plot. The refreshingly contemporary style of their courtship, romance sparked with funny dialogue, makes this book a good choice for light summer reading.