Customer Reviews for

Blue Smoke and Murder (St. Kilda Series #3)

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A reviewer

Blue Smoke and Murder - by Elizabeth Lowell (on sale May 27th in hardcover) Meet Jillian 'Jill' Breck. A white-water river guide, ex-Fundamentalist Mormon, artist, new owner to 13 un-signed paintings by a famous Western genre artist, and the woman who once save...
Blue Smoke and Murder - by Elizabeth Lowell (on sale May 27th in hardcover) Meet Jillian 'Jill' Breck. A white-water river guide, ex-Fundamentalist Mormon, artist, new owner to 13 un-signed paintings by a famous Western genre artist, and the woman who once saved the life of the son of two of St Kilda Consulting's premier operators. They now owe her...and it's time for Jill to collect. You see, Jill just had her vehicle totally vandalized, one of the questionable paintings shredded and a death threat issued. Meet Zach Balfour a part-time consultant for St. Kilda and ready to finish a long awaited vacation. With his expertise in gathering information and analyzing it, he isn't so happy to learn that he is needed to cut short his plans to 'baby-sit' Jill. Until he meets her and realizes that this in NOT just another babysitting job. Jill is an earthy, smart, woman who is used to looking out for herself. She can guide people through the tumbling rapids of the Colorado river and discuss Zach's favorite topic. But now people are setting fires and shooting at her. This fast paced, action driven, very well researched, romantic suspense/ thriller takes us deep into the world of very high priced Western genre art and the people who perpetuate millions of dollars in art fraud each year. While some may say that Ms Lowell over-emphasizes the technical part of painting, collecting art, and the manner in which one may perpetuate a fraud...I found it to be highly interesting both in learning about the Western genre Masters, of painting and the technical side of collecting. Ms Lowell does a very fine job combining these issues with a wonderfully fast paced cat and mouse game with Jill's life at stake and a blossoming romance between Jill and Zach that never seems to stretch credibility. Jill and Zach, along with the secondary and tertiary characters are very well drawn, well fleshed and believable. The situations that Ms Lowell puts Zach and Jill in never make me need to fight for the suspension of disbelief I loved this book right from the very first chapter until the nail biting conclusion, and have already ordered the other 2 books in the St Kilda's series. I certainly hope we hear more about these men and women of St. Kilda's.

posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Rock-Bottom

I started reading Elizabeth Lowell books in college. I have all of Elizabeth Lowell's books. Winter Fire, Pearl Cove and Enchanted are among my favorite books. Every time Lowell releases a new book, I get super excited and head to B&N to purchase it. I have all of them!...
I started reading Elizabeth Lowell books in college. I have all of Elizabeth Lowell's books. Winter Fire, Pearl Cove and Enchanted are among my favorite books. Every time Lowell releases a new book, I get super excited and head to B&N to purchase it. I have all of them! (I've already noted that :) )

Now, I am fully aware that Elizabeth Lowell as well as other commercial romance novelists are no Fitzgerald or Steinbeck. Still, I can't help feeling depressed and disappointed. My disappointment started with "The Secret Sister" and has now hit rock-bottom with "Blue Smoke and Murder."

First, the characters are boring. I don't even remember their names and I just finished reading it three hours ago. I found Jill to be absolutely annoying and Zach uninteresting. Jill...aargh...wasn't she supposed to save Faroe's son life... she is after all an expert river guide. In fact had she been doing her job right, he shouldn't have fallen into the river in the first place. The only remarkable attribute was her lack of fake boobs. There was no vulnerability in her character like in Hannah from Pearl Cove. Even her past is muddled and bland. I found myself thinking boo hoo who cares. Zach was also a waste and incompetent. Really, why did he not check the bugged phone? Zach is nothing like any of Lowell's best male characters. Where is Archer's sharp wit or Simon's devotion? Nothing in the book makes me believe that Zach and Jill will live happily ever after--forever! In fact, their romance is more like a one-night stand than anything else.

The plot is also frail and predictable. I guessed what the whole plot twist was at the beginning. Trust me you'll know what I mean. There was absolutely no surprise. Which leads me to my next complaint...really I know that romances tend to be repetitive --woman meets man, they like each other, struggle, have sex, struggle some more and then live happily ever after-- yet it feels like Elizabeth Lowell simply recycled Always Time To Kill onto this story, changed the names and title, and took out all the excitement. It makes me wonder if she was even trying.

All in all I give this book and F. Don't buy! It's a waste of 8 bucks. I bought it, which is unfortunate for me. I can truly say that this book broke my heart. My romance with Elizabeth Lowell books is officially finished.

posted by 1608729 on July 17, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    More of the same

    Elizabeth Lowell hasn't written a book I haven't read. However, I notice that they are becoming the same story with name and cover changes. Still, for a rainy day, I enjoy reading this author. I can count on her to make her characters work for that happy ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2008

    Establishing motive

    Jill¿s great-aunt dies in a fire and she¿s out to prove it¿s murder but first she¿ll have to establish the motive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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