Westen Hughes is a stay-at-home mom until her husband and son die in a car crash and she finds herself in possession of a failing pet shop. With bill collectors phoning daily she jumps at the chance to earn a lot of easy money, even though the offer comes from old high school nemesis Kendra Jean 'KJ' Valentine, who stole everything from her in high school: valedictorian, head cheerleader, homecoming queen, and the star quarterback. KJ has arranged for Picasso’s The Old Guitarist—insured for one hundred million dollars—to come to a NH museum. The painting is GOA. Since she is the underwriting agent, she is tops on the police’s suspect list. She pairs Westen with a complete stranger and total opposite, Phoebe Smith, a snake-loving, underwear hating, tuba player with more baggage than Logan Airport.
Ten percent of a hundred million is…well, it’s a lot so, Smith and Westen embark on a roller coaster search for one of the world’s most valuable paintings
Snake-lover Phoebe Smith and
down-home Westen Hughes, the Northeast’s most mismatched investigative team, are at it again. During the unveiling of a local college’s Egyptian exhibit, a vase worth $1.75 million disappears in front of seven people. Well, six people and the thief, because sure as shortcake has strawberries, the vase is there one minute, the gone the next. Secrets, rather than clues are causing more trouble than fifty Dennis the Menaces. Smith disappears for hours on end. Where does she go? Is there a man in her life? Westen can’t ask. She has a secret of her own...
Insurance recovery team Smith & Westen are up to their ears in movers determined to demolish every stick of furniture in their new condo. It’s a relief when a job takes them to LA.
Magician Gabe Heinz is in the middle of his vanishing act when he does just that—vanish before a sellout crowd, along with $2M in securities from the bank where he’s vice president. His daughter is distraught, and a prime suspect, not just by the FBI, but by her nagging shrew mother.
Hunky bodyguard Ryan Ames is supposed to meet them at LAX. Instead, a gun-wielding lunkhead with a fondness for roughing up women escorts them to a mobster who claims they now work for him.
When they locate the securities—and they’d better—can they keep them from the mob?