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The Color of Death    by Elizabeth Lowell order for
Color of Death
by Elizabeth Lowell
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell has done it again. Sure to be another bestseller, The Color of Death is fast-paced with plenty of action and a protagonist I really like. Kate Chandler, Katie to her friends, is a gem cutter. Her half-brother Lee, a courier for the gem trade, disappears at the same time that valuable sapphires go missing. Enter the FBI and local police forces, as well as private security firms. Somewhere there is a leak as to when couriers will be transporting shipments of gems. Information on these shipments is finding its way into dirty hands.

Lowell has woven a convoluted tale around the gem industry, with characters who are convincingly real. Just when I thought I had the whole mystery worked out, another angle would appear and I'd have to re-think my conclusions. After several misjudgments, I settled back and let the story carry me to a very satisfying but wholly unexpected climax. Katie (she was my friend by the end of the book) is a woman of the times. She is confident and sure of her goals; she faces her fears, is a dutiful daughter but from a distance, and is willing to place her heart in the right hands.

As well as being a master at mystery writing, Lowell can write a sex scene that will knock your socks off, without offending anyone's delicate sensibilities. The scene of which I speak is sensuous and yet decorous, without graphic detail. The author leaves most to the imagination - and I'm told the biggest sex organ is the brain. Lowell knows this well and could give lessons to romance writers. She had me running for a cold shower. The Color of Death is a good book - well worth reading and recommending to friends.

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