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Posted March 7, 2009
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All That Glitters continues the characters that were introduced in Peggy Herring's earlier book Calm Before the Storm. It's six years later and Marcel Robicheaux, retired army officer and antique dealer, is in love with Naomi, but living with her mother Roslin, who is a professional and very successful gambler. Things seem comfortable that way..to Marcel. Sometimes it gets a bit crowded in the house with Roslin's lover Cricket, Marcel's best friend, there, especially when Naomi decides to spend the night, but so far they've been able to deal with the situation. Going on a joint vacation to Florida seems like a good idea, at first. Roslin and Cricket are the type of couple that argue frequently and "love" making up. The house is too small, the walls are too thin and relationships begin to unravel. Throw in severe sun burns, Naomi's sudden jealousy and a strange kidnapping that brings federal agents into their lives and it's not long before Marcel's comfortable life falls apart. Naomi leaves for home unhappy, Roslin and Cricket run off to Europe to escape the tax man and Marcel is left wondering what happened to her very ordered life. She spends the rest of the book trying to put the relationships back where they belong, but it may be a task that is impossible for her to accomplish.
Peggy Herring is an experienced and accomplished writer. She knows how to spin a tale and keep it moving to hold the reader's interest. All That Glitters certainly fits that pattern. There's enough action, suspense and drama to keep a reader happy, unless maybe if you were a fan of Calm Before the Storm. Sometimes a writer should think twice before writing a sequel to a book. If the characters have been established and the story was well developed the first time, it might be best to leave well enough alone, especially if the follow up book is going to impact on the integrity of the characters. Something happened to these characters between the books. The best word to describe them is that they got "silly." The question is why Herring revisited these characters if it ended in them being less than they were before.
All That Glitters is an enjoyable book and an easy way to spend a few hours. However, if you're familiar with Herring's work and liked these characters before, you may find this to be a disappointment as a sequel.