I am Nico. Laurel Beacham calls me silly names like her “gorgeous geek” and “secret weapon”—she does not think I know these things, but I do. It is okay. I know there is respect in her teasing. It is true I have pulled her attractive body out of many tight situations. Mio Dio! The woman charges headlong into every job, focused only on returning with whatever work of art has . . . poof! . . . vanished. Her day’s work is tracking the thieves with an instinct incomparabile, while my day is spent attempting to keep her in sight with a GPS tracker and a hope she has not misled me again in what she plans to do.
You see, she tends to lie by omission. It is a challenge.
Yes, she is bella e intelligente . . . I mean beautiful and smart . . . but she can do very stupido things because she has great passion for art. I understand passion. I am Italian, whereas Laurel is American and stubborn. It is my job to make sure she has the necessary tools each time to recover her objective.
Unlike Laurel, I do not like the fieldwork. I like quiet hours to work on the gadgets and specially designed packages I must have ready even before Laurel knows she needs them. She doesn’t always appreciate my gifts. A month ago, when I gave her some specially developed glasses she called them “nerd wear.” Yes, she has a great appreciation for appearances, but that is to be expected with the pitfalls she has had to overcome in her life.
I watch her be frivolous and too carefree with her money one moment, and the next she is like a tigress protecting me and her assistant Cassie from the yelling of our boss Max. Someday, I tell her Max does not scare me. I think she already knows, but it is her strong heart that jumps up to strike down anything she sees as bullying.
She must be protected from herself, for she does not know when to back off sometimes. In that regard, I have an ally in Jack Hawkes, as he also tries to keep her from running headlong into any disaster to grab the art objective. However, he also does stupido things himself, so I keep him digitally tracked as well. For his own good, naturalmente.
This newest job led our team to Florence, Italy, which should have been happy for me since it is close to my home, but there is too much danger to relax and enjoy the surroundings. I am tangled in quite a tight situation by the end. Laurel and Jack as well. Dead bodies, forgeries, exquisite masterpieces… It is all a day’s work for us. As long as we can get the work of art away before a bullet finds us instead.
If you enjoy fast-paced mysteries with smart characters, lots of twists and turns, and exciting world-class settings, pick up a copy of our latest adventure Marked Masters. I promise you will get more than a few surprises as Laurel and Jack reluctantly team up again to pursue an even greater risk to the art world than in their previous job. All while I keep the peace and pull them both out of the fire another time or three. The two are so evenly matched they cannot see they should trust each other more and fight less. But I will be there to make sure things are less rocky. That is my job. That is my day’s work. It is a challenge to keep them alive, believe me.
You can read more about Nico, Laurel, Jack and Cassie in Marked Masters, the second book in the “Bodies of Art” Mysteries series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. The first book in the series is Counterfeit Conspiracies.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 25 for the chance to win a copy of Mark Masters. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.
About the author
Ritter Ames is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Organized Mysteries series and the Bodies of Art Mysteries series, both published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. When she’s not writing or brainstorming new mysteries Ritter is usually trying to get her favorite yellow lab to stay out of the pond, or keep her grouchy black cat from trying to give the dog away on Freecycle. Ritter would love to live on a boat and write from far flung locations around the globe, but the dog would constantly have to be fished from the water, and her husband and cat would just complain endlessly about the dog’s smell, so staying on land seems to be the only good option to keep her sanity and not get sidetracked from writing.
Ritter tries to blog regularly at www.ritterames.com and subscribe there to get the latest news about upcoming releases, and inside scoops on her characters and series. Marked Masters and all of Ritter’s other books are currently available in print and all ebook formats through any online bookseller.