Title: The Riddle Key
Author: Jane Drager
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Antiques expert Marina Cavanaugh is offered an exorbitant salary to appraise a dead man's estate. For a chance at easy money, she accepts the job but soon discovers hidden cameras in the darkest, gloomiest house she's ever seen.
Jonathan Blandish, who hired her, wants to know why his murdered brother left a series of cryptic messages implicating Marina. Even a layman can see the house contains only rummage-sale junk. But his brother's forty-million-dollar fortune is missing, and Marina is the key.
From the second they meet, Marina and Jonathan are at odds. He's too bossy and reminds her of her abusive father. She's too independent…and too beautiful for him to ignore. A second murder and Marina’s disappearance raises the danger level. Convinced she was captured for the clues in the riddles, Jonathan races against time to find her before the killer realizes she knows nothing at all.
“What in the world is he talking about?” she complained. “He has to be talking about another Marina Cavanaugh because I haven't the slightest idea what this means.” She paced the room, one hand on her hip, the other in her hair.
Three clues, all pointing to Marina. Why had his brother been so damn cryptic? Hell, I don't know what to believe anymore. He pursed his lips. “Which book was it in?”
She whirled to grab the book and read the binding. “The Art of Marquise Gelt.” She flipped the pages and gasped. “Jon, he's talking about diamonds! The book's dated 1907, but look, Roger's note mentions the cuts.” She showed him the page. “That's what this list means, diamond cuts!”
He flew around the desk, took the book, and flipped to a page illustrating the cuts. “Well, I'll be damned. The money's in diamonds, and Marina Cavanaugh holds all.” He turned to her and peered.
She elevated her hands in a gesture of surrender. “I do not know anything about your brother or diamonds.”
Jonathan reread the note. “I'll show this to Farnsworth.” He looked toward the ceiling. “The book came from the top shelves, right? Why hide a note so high? Why not his safe?”
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How could any woman assess a gloomy house when so many dark secrets surface, including murder?
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With a growing backlist of books, Jane Drager continues to write mysteries with a strong romantic element, always with a happily-ever-after. An avid reader as well as writer, Jane has lived her life as diverse as her stories. She was a journalist, sports editor, office manager, firefighter, ambulance captain, caterer's assistant, but retired from her long career as a Respiratory Therapist and instructor. She's married to a wonderful organic farmer who keeps her busy with canning and freezing.
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