France, 1957. Jerome Curtis works for Lambert Securities, one of the world’s largest insurance firms, and is in Cannes from London on a special assignment. Specifically, he’s here during the Cannes film festival, and the jeweler, who is a very important client, has been robbed of millions of dollars.
Ania Thorne is the company’s director and the soul of the company, designing jewelry for famous clientele. She’s been designing the Thorne and Company collections since she was nineteen, and apprenticed under Cartier before joining her father’s company as lead designer. This theft is bringing her bad publicity and the amount of money invested in the stolen jewelry could bankrupt the company and diminish her father’s legacy.
Jerome investigates the characteristics of the whole operation and there is only one who leaves such trademarks: fast, efficient, executed to perfection, all witnesses left alive. That’s Leopard’s signature stunts.
The Carlton is one of the most respected establishments in Cannes, where guests value their privacy and hotel’s discretion. Was there a breach in not hiring security guards?
After questioning Ania’s security guard and personal assistant—the only one who caught a glimpse of the robber—Jerome very quickly recognizes some breaches. He is fairly certain that someone close to Ania gave the robber the codes. This is not just a high-profile theft, but also the opportunity for international press and scandal. Who would aim for that?
Jerome sees a lot of beautiful things in his job, but when he sees Ania, he is enchanted by her magnetic air and her blue-grey eyes, almost jewel-like themselves. What Ania sees across from her is quite a different picture. She sees his x-ray eyes, rumpled suit, and cheap pine pomade. While making themselves acquainted, Ania receives requested salad at the hotel, but it is accompanied by a stolen necklace and a note. Who else is involved?
Jerome is observant, good at deducing scenarios, and quick in thinking, but this theft puts his every skill into test. Ania is an accomplished woman who had to make her way in man’s world. She is a talented jewelry designer and a savvy businesswoman, but what comes next challenges everything she believes. The interesting characters add the flavorful layers to the story. Some mystery of past secrets and the twists and turns keep you on high alert. In this race every minute counts, taking them from Cannes to Paris and NYC, making this plot-driven story fast-paced.
This short historical mystery with elements of romantic caper is fun and quick to read.