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Cady Briggs is useful to Mack Easton. Her expertise in art and antiques helps his low-profile company, Lost and Found, find missing treasures for high-paying clients. But Cady knows that being useful to a client is one thing—and being used is another. So no matter how alluring she finds Mack, she plans to keep business and pleasure entirely separate.
But then a sudden tragedy puts Cady in charge of Chatelaine’s, her family’s prestigious art and antiques gallery. Suddenly the roles are reversed, as strange developments at Chatelaine’s lead Cady to ask for help from none other than Mack Easton. And instead of tracking down missing masterpieces together, they’ll be hunting for a killer…
Lost and Found is more of a mystery with romance or perhaps a romance with mystery than the usual JAK-style romantic suspense. In fact, I found it less suspenseful than some of Krentz’s other books, but nonetheless enjoyable. As a mystery, my main complaint is that we don’t have all the facts, making it difficult to figure out the culprit in one instance.
Krentz usually creates interesting, sympathetic characters for her heroine and hero. I particularly appreciated having a heroine (Cady) who deals with anxiety and panic attacks without having her portrayed as weak or fragile; she’s a strong, intelligent, capable woman who, through a combination of a traumatic event in her past and a genetic predisposition, happens to experience panic attacks. And she has learned to deal with them. Since I’ve struggled with them myself (though like Cady, I haven’t had one in several years), I really connected with her on that account. I also found myself as frustrated as Cady is over the way in which everyone (except Mack) thinks Cady is just like her Aunt Vesta, and therefore see her as cold and frigid. You’d think her cousins, at least, would know better.
I liked Mack, the hero, a man who has dealt with the loss of a beloved wife but who is ready to move on with his life. Initially, he’s a bit too used to being in charge, a fact which irritates Cady as much as it would me, but he gets over it — mostly. It’s unusual to have a Krentz hero with a child, let alone a grown-up child, but it worked, and the changing relationship between Mack and his daughter Gabriella seems realistic (even if Gabriella seems a little immature for a 19-year-old.)
The overall plot and secondary characterizations were all right, but they really don’t stand out in comparison to Krentz’s best books. The hunt for an antique helmet which opens the book is solved too quickly and has little to do with the rest of the story. It introduces three secondary characters, all of whom had the potential to be quite interesting, and subsequently ignores two of them and relegates the third to “very minor” status for the remainder of the book. I tend to be less interested in mysteries involving business mergers or takeovers, which is the focus of the main plot, and while this one is enlivened by somewhat by antiques fraud and the possibility of murder, the book lacks suspense through much of its length, leading to my 3.5-star rating.
The bottom line: Lost and Found is worth reading if you’re a Krentz fan, but it’s not quite typical of her work, and it’s not among her best. If you’re just getting started, try something like Secret Sisters, Trust No One, or the older All Night Long instead.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge (Mar. 2016)
- The Backlist Reader (TBR) Challenge 2016