Midwest Book Review - 9-01-07
Craig Hartline, a.k.a. W.C. Hartline, is the owner of Draper Jewelry. DEATH BY DIAMONDS represents his first foray into the world of murder and deception, and his background of both diamonds and the military enable him to showcase his knowledge of espionage and jewelry. Hartline joined the Army in 1987, and worked with the Signal Corps, which is Army communications. He also worked with the National Guard and received several commendations, including a Desert Storm Ribbon. After his military experience he went into his wife's jewelry business, learning from scratch. Hartline plans nine books in his Diamonds series.
William Smith is the CEO of American Diamond House in Chicago. His position calls for discretion, and he is sorely lacking in this area. When he disappears, Robert Bozeman, a then private investigator is hired by Smith's wife until he is recalled by his former CO, Colonel Briggs, who thinks that Smith is part of an organization threatening National Security. Who is William Smith? Is he part of an International scheme involving diamonds? Bozeman answers the call, hooks up with a partner, and the fun begins. Often the bad guy becomes the good guy (or gal), and Robert Bozeman is about to meet his match in Kay Daniels:
"I tried to collect my thoughts so I could express myself without sounding like a complete idiot. (I know what you're thinking, and I don't appreciate it.) Anyway, I finally got all of my thoughts together, and I looked up at Kay and into those hazel green eyes. 'I'm not quite sure. I was very impressed with the way you handled yourself with that goon. I hadn't seen anyone move that fast since Advanced Training at Fort Bennig, and he was an instructor.' I stopped for a moment and swallowed hard."
Hartline's first Robert Bozeman diamond mystery sets the stage for a rip-roaring good time. His plot is so realistic that the reader feels like they are part of Bozeman's brain. Bozeman's character is fun because he is dragged kicking and screaming (literally) back into the military/intelligence. The world of diamond intrigue is opened up to the reader, although Hartline obviously has much more to say on the subject. But DEATH BY DIAMONDS is a great start to a promising series. Kay Daniels is one of a fascinating cast of female characters. The Robert Bozeman series should be a hit! I was thinking Michelle Pfeiffer as Kay Daniels.