The Color of Death

( 15 )

Overview

Kate Chandler has accepted a commission that will solidify her reputation as a world-class gem cutter. But during what should have been a simple transfer, seven rare, priceless sapphires vanish without a trace, along with their courier, her brother Lee, who now, quite possibly, is dead. And suddenly Kate is on the run, pursued by federal agents who believe she's the criminal mastermind of a cunning bait-and-switch.

Only Kate suspects the terrifying truth: that she's stumbled ...

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The Color of Death

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Overview

Kate Chandler has accepted a commission that will solidify her reputation as a world-class gem cutter. But during what should have been a simple transfer, seven rare, priceless sapphires vanish without a trace, along with their courier, her brother Lee, who now, quite possibly, is dead. And suddenly Kate is on the run, pursued by federal agents who believe she's the criminal mastermind of a cunning bait-and-switch.

Only Kate suspects the terrifying truth: that she's stumbled into a conspiracy of deceit, betrayal, and cold-blooded murder that goes far beyond a simple jewel heist. Getting Sam Groves, the FBI special agent who's her constant shadow, to trust her is a step in the right direction -- but it may be too little and too late in a bloody game where terror dictates her every move. Because a ruthless assassin has already received the order that Kate Chandler must die ...

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Editorial Reviews

Jayne Ann Krentz
“I”ll buy any book with Elizabeth Lowell’s name on it.”
Booklist on Pearl Cove
“. . .a riveting mix of suspense and romance, sure to increase Lowell’s popularity.”
Booklist on Jade Island
“. . .delicious tale of romantic suspense. . .”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Romantic suspense is her true forte.”
Charlotte News & Observer
“Elizabeth Lowell’s keen ear for dialogue and intuitive characterizations consistently place her a cut above most writers in this genre.”
Booklist
“. . .delicious tale of romantic suspense. . .”
Publishers Weekly
The theft of seven extraordinary sapphires sparks a rash of murders in this fast-moving romantic thriller by Lowell (Die in Plain Sight; Running Scared). Kate Chandler, 33, is the cutter who shapes the stones for a wealthy Florida collector; her half-brother, Lee, is the courier she chooses to deliver them. Lee is more than careful, but an hour from his destination, the gems are stolen, and he disappears. Five months later, alleging that Lee stole the gems and decamped with a blonde to a Caribbean hideaway, the FBI closes the case. Kate and Lee's lover, Norm, know better, and Kate determines to discover the truth on her own. At a gem show in Scottsdale, she sees one of the precious sapphires at a shady dealer's booth and settles "into the odious business of flirting with a man she'd rather have scraped off her shoes," which leads to a confrontation with maverick FBI agent Sam Groves. In due course, they become allies and consequently, Groves, already unpopular with Bureau brass, finds his job at stake. The reader acquires a lot of esoteric information about gems, the principals share a sense of humor and eventually a bed; when the shady dealer and his wife are mercilessly murdered, Kate receives a death threat and the circle of suspects connected to her brother's disappearance widens. This is a diverting read for thriller fans. Agent, Dominick Abel. (June 15) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Jeweler Kate Chandler is slated to cut the fabulous Seven Sins cluster of sapphires, but then comes murder. One-day laydown: June 15. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Gem cutter gets cracking, from the hugely popular author of, most recently, Running Scared (2002). When her gay half-brother Lee Mandel disappears, Kat Chandler wants answers. Was Lee murdered by mysterious South American baddies trying to get their swarthy hands on the Seven Sins, rare natural sapphires that everyone wants? Could be-and Kat might have stumbled on the first of these matchless stones. Next: explanations. Lowell (a.k.a. mystery writer A.E. Maxwell, a husband-and-wife team) dutifully covers absolutely everything there is to know about precious and semi-precious stones, gem dealing, and the so-called science of gemology, providing exhaustive detail on various techniques to improve the appearance of colored stones and hence raise their value to unsuspecting buyers. A handsome cop pops up as a love interest and brawny shoulder to cry on, as do more bad guys, including Peyton Hall, the whining, ambitious, unscrupulous son of jewelry retailers and his bitchy girlfriend Sharon Sizemore, who's into picking her cuticles and watching porn when not plotting everyone's downfall. Were the Seven Sins stolen by Lee dressed in drag? Hey, maybe he's still alive! Is Jack Kirby, a former fed, in cahoots with Sharon's father, a hard-bitten security expert? And check out all those people skulking around in dopey disguises (the story's chock-a-block with wigs, stuffed bras, and even fake facial hair)-what's up with that? A few obligatory references to scary people like crack whores are thrown in here and there-as if this ladylike author ever got near one. In fact, much of this seems to have been written by someone else, and the dated tough-guy prose borders on the ridiculous: "White went out ofthe van like a hundred-and-seventy-pound cat. His lead-filled sap hit the base of her skull with a meaty sound."James Patterson-style microchapters, some not even a page long, keep things moving, but the end result is no big whoop. Agent: Dominick Abel/Dominick Abel Literary Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060504144
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/24/2005
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 363,009
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Lowell

Elizabeth Lowell's acclaimed suspense novels include the New York Times bestsellers Death Echo, Blue Smoke and Murder, Innocent as Sin, The Wrong Hostage, Always Time to Die, The Color of Death, Die in Plain Sight, Running Scared, and Moving Target, as well as four books featuring the Donovan family: Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove, and Midnight in Ruby Bayou. Lowell has more than thirty million books in print. She lives in Nevada with her husband, with whom she writes mystery novels under a pseudonym.

Las aclamadas novelas de suspenso de la autora Elizabeth Lowell incluyen varios bestsellers en la New York Times. Lowell ha vendido más de treinta millones de ejemplares. Vive con su esposo en Seattle, Washington y Sedona, Arizona, con quien escribe novelas de misterio bajo un seudónimo.

Biography

Extensive and versatile, Elizabeth Lowell's résumé of titles (in almost every genre) is as long as the list of her various pen names. She's written science fiction, mystery and romance. She's also penned historical fiction and collaborated on a movie novelization. So prolific is Lowell that she and her husband, Evan Maxwell, have had to create a whole raft of pseudonyms for her books.

Her earliest work, from the 1970s, is science fiction and is written under her actual name, Ann Maxwell. The romances she and her husband began writing together in the early '90s are under the same name, because their publisher wanted a female author’s name on the cover. Their Southern California mystery series featuring the divorced lovers Fiddler and Fiora are written under A. E. Maxwell (Ann and Evan), while their joint novelization of the 1992 Val Kilmer movie Thunderheart is under the name Lowell Charters (his middle name and her maiden name.)

Her biggest solo success, the romance novels that have taken her repeatedly to The New York Times bestseller list, are credited to Elizabeth Lowell -- a combination of the couple’s middle names.

Lowell’s romances are noted for their sass and, of course, their sex. But her characterizations, particularly, draw high marks. "Elizabeth Lowell's talent is enormous," wrote The Romance Reader in its review of 1984's Forget Me Not. "She has made a well-deserved name for herself by crafting likable, plucky heroines and enigmatic but intelligent heroes." And, in 1996 the Chicago Tribune wrote, "The protagonist she has chosen for her hardcover debut, Winter Fire could give a Navy SEAL lessons in survival."

Lowell embarked on a popular series in 1997 with the publication of Amber Beach, which introduced readers to the Donovan family, titans in the menacing world of precious gemstones who must dodge murderers, thieves, and power-hungry governments to protect their business. Of the first in the series, Kirkus Reviews wrote, "A romance that offers all the sexual tension, adventure and squishy clichés that fans of the genre could possibly want."

When Lowell was getting started as sci-fi writer Ann Maxwell, she was writing on legal pads while caring for her two young children. Evan was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, covering international crime. In the early 1980s, after he had already collaborated on three mystery novels with Lowell, Maxwell decided to quit daily journalism and write fiction full-time.

The couple has since become a cottage industry of genre fiction operating out of their Seattle-area home. They collaborate on some projects, go solo on others. Lowell has described a seven-day-a week work packed with deadlines, an organized effort that starts out with book outlines that typically take about a month to draft as well as character sketches. Then the writing begins.

"My fiction deals with problems of strength rather than problems of weakness," she told Contemporary Authors. There is no appeal or purpose for me in reading -- or writing -- fiction that portrays incessant, excruciating, and pointless pain in the lives of characters."

Good To Know

Readers are surprised to find out that the books Lowell writes with her husband are true collaborations. "In fact, a lot of people, once they know, say, 'Oh, I know who did this in the book, and I know who did this,' and they're almost invariably wrong," she told the Los Angeles Times.

Two of the most intriguing time periods for Lowell are medieval England and the post-Civil War period in the American West. "In both cases it was a time of expanded possibilities for individuals, regardless of birth or heritage, to create a better life and, ultimately, a better world, from chaos," she told Contemporary Authors.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Ann Maxwell; A .E. Maxwell; Annalise Sun; Lowell Charters
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 5, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      B. A., University of California, 1966

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 19 of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Amazing!

    It's amazing when you read this book because I could feel the emotions from Kate, Sam, and Lee. So sad, and yet so love! You should read it and see how you feel!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2006

    I enjoyed it

    I found it very interesting how she wrote about the gem industry. I always like the mix of Law enforcement/heroine. I like her smart and sassy leading lady.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2004

    not her best

    this book was really boring. although i enjoyed the fbi and suspense, it took over her book. the romance was second to the information about the Fbi. although i know that she always has a lot of information about whatever subject she is writing about, gems, pearls, gold, this one was too overpowering and boring. her other books involving the donovan family are so much better-her best!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2004

    Very Disappointing

    This is definately not one her best works. She can do much better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2004

    Predictable

    Sorry to say that Lowell missed the mark on this book. Very predictable. Easy to put down, hard to pick back up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2004

    DISAPPOINTING

    Your books and stories have always kept me up at night, just can't wait to finish them. This one was BLAH!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2004

    I Loved It

    Elizabeth Lowell has done it again. This is a great story that will keep you turning the pages....and the ending was one that I didn't see coming. All in all this was very worth reading - and now that I am done, I will put it with the 'keeper' books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2004

    Color of Death

    This book will keep you guessing until the very end. Here is the basic plot: Kate Chandler is trying to find out what happened to her brother. He disappeared while transporting the 'seven sins' (seven blue sapphires). The FBI won't listen to her and think she is a nut job. Kate runs into FBI SA Sam Groves while she is trying to track down the sapphires. He believes her story. When people start dieing he realizes that if no one keeps Kate safe she will soon be dead. This book was a GREAT read. I had to back up in the beginning because I forgot who was who. So pay careful attention in the first few chapters, don't read too fast like I did. This book has great suspense and a wonderful relationship between Sam and Kate, you will want to give Sam a big hug yourself at the end. What a great hero. As the book nears the end you'll think you have figured out who the killers are, but just wait. I gasped out loud when the book finally revealed the real leader. Ann Maxwell (Elizabeth Lowell) had delivered, yet again, a wonderful book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2004

    Powerful thriller

    In Glendale, Arizona, gem cutter Kate Chandler is ecstatic because collector Arthur McCloud hired her to cut the Seven Sins sapphires. Her brother Lee Mandel delivers the gems to its owner, but in Florida he vanishes. Kate is frantic, but the police believe that Lee absconded with the goods and a girlfriend to the Caribbean. Kate disagrees if for no other reason than her sibling was in love with Norm Gallagher and wo.uld never desert his mate................................... Five months later, Kate continues to search for her brother while attending gem shows to see if she can find the Seven Sins. Undercover FBI Agent Sam Groves sees Kate pull a switch at a Phoenix shows and takes her with him. As they become acquainted and he realizes how much she detests the bureau for not looking for Lee, they fall in love and begin teaming up to stop an illegal dangerous gem ring that is as smooth as Teflon and seek what happened to her brother................................... This is an entertaining FBI romance that grips readers when Sam watches Kate perform a sexy sleight of the hand. The story line keeps the audience attention as the duo fall in love, but officialdom keeps them together by ¿punishing¿ Sam. Though the perpetrator seems too coincidental and out of left field, fans will enjoy this delightful tale in which the hero faces exile to Fargo rather than accolades (excrement rolls downhill while acclaim remains in the stratosphere).......................... Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2004

    Color of Death

    This book will keep you guessing until the very end. Here is the basic plot: Kate Chandler is trying to find out what happened to her brother. He disappeared while transporting the `seven sins' (seven blue sapphires). The FBI won't listen to her and think she is a nut job. Kate runs into FBI SA Sam Groves while she is trying to track down the sapphires. He believes her story. When people start dieing he realizes that if no one keeps Kate safe she will soon be dead. This book was a GREAT read. I had to back up in the beginning because I forgot who was who. So pay careful attention in the first few chapters, don't read too fast like I did. This book has great suspense and a wonderful relationship between Sam and Kate, you will want to give Sam a big hug yourself at the end. What a great hero. As the book nears the end you'll think you have figured out who the killers are, but just wait. I gasped out loud when the book finally revealed the real leader. Ann Maxwell (Elizabeth Lowell) had delivered, yet again, a wonderful book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted January 6, 2010

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