Monday, August 3, 2009

Julie's Review: Hot Mahogany

Summary: Stone Barrington returns to take on an underworld of crime that gives a new meaning to “old money.” In Stuart Woods’s engaging new thriller, Stone Barrington is lured from Elaine’s to New England, and the genteel but cutthroat world of priceless antiques, historic homes, and lavish country estates. In a place dominated by bluebloods and their inherited wealth, along with the nouveau riche, there are surprisingly few rules of engagement, and Stone finds himself navigating a dangerous course, - one where even the most expensive and sought-after status symbols are sometimes stolen and sometimes clever fakes, though no less priceless. With the swift action, bold characters and wit as dry as the best martini, Hot Mahogany is another must-read from the pen of a master entertainer.

Review: You guys already know that I love the Stone Barrington novels and Hot Mahogany (Stone Barrington) is really no different, except that at times I felt lost. I'm in no way shape or form into antiques. I understand there's a real market for these items and some people will do anything to get their hands on a specific item. This particular entry in the Stone "adventures" focuses on that. In this book we meet Lance Cabot's older and mysterious brother Barton. It seems that Barton's been drugged and beat up, but for what we don't know. That is until Lance asks Stone to help out and solve this mystery for him.

I enjoyed how they solved the case of the stolen Secretary (which is a piece of furniture not a lady who sits behind a desk taking dictation in the 1960s). I really enjoyed the character of Barton and hope to see him again. What would be nice is to see Stone settle down for a while with one lady. I mean it doesn't have to mean marriage but a committed relationship would be a nice change. We haven't had that in this series since Arrington. In this book he beds 3 different women, although one is a regular appearance. I'm hoping the last one might be more serious. You know, last a couple of books. I'm starting to think that Stone Barrington is Mr. Woods alter ego. I also keep wondering how Stone is almost always at the brink of being a bit broke and then he lands these huge cases. Oh well, it's fiction right? :)

Another thing that struck me was at the end of the book, the ladies retired to a different room while the men conducted business. I mean, who does that these days? I guess maybe people with a lot of money? I just thought it was interesting. There is a note at the end of the book that explains that a Secretary of this era did exist and how he came upon the story. I really liked knowing that it was a real piece of furniture.

I now have Loitering with Intent to read and then I'll officially be caught up on Stone's adventures.

Final Take: 3.75/5


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