Imagine a nice neighborhood of fancy high-rises lined along the seashore, each looking like a picture perfect resort, with a private beach and a pool sparkling under the blazing sun. I am sure you must have received postcards from well-intentioned friends, rubbing it in that they are sunbathing in Florida while you are freezing in arctic weather.
When you visit friends living in a high-rise, you have to sign in at the front desk. Security officers would check with the people you are visiting before directing you to one of the elevators. In other words, high-rises benefit from a tight and reassuring security.
Nothing bad could ever happen in these places. Right?
Wrong! This crime occurred in a neighboring building. A friend related the story before it was printed in the local newspaper.
The couple have been married for a year. Picture her tall, artificially blond, fashionable with tight dresses and high heeled-sandals. It’d be difficult to guess her age, anywhere between 40 and 50. Her husband, well-tanned, rugged, often looking younger. He likes the beach and often swims. She protects her face with a wide-rim hat when walking to her car. The neighbors regularly see her taking her daily jog in the morning and the security officer at the front desk greets her with an appreciative smile. Mrs. X. is wealthy and gives generous Christmas bonuses to the building employees.
So when Mrs. X didn’t show up for her daily walk for three consecutive days, security got worried. Her car was still in the parking lot but not her husband’s. Security called her apartment several times. No one answered. Having an extra key, the security officer knocked on her door and opened when receiving no answer. The apartment was empty. Maybe she was gone with her husband.
Mr. X returned from his trip in the night and two days later called the police saying that his wife was missing.
The police found her purse and car keys at home. So where was she?
A day later, a woman body dressed in bra and bikini, and high-heeled sandals was found lying on the sand of a beach at a two-hour distance. The woman was identified as Mrs. X.
Mr. X collapsed, crying that his wife has committed suicide.
What is your verdict? Who killed Mrs. X and why?
Police suspected everyone. Husband, security guard, creep from outside, Mrs. X committing suicide.
Then police looked at motives and alibis.
1-Creep from outside could have killed her while she was on the beach but would have thrown her in the ocean in front of her building. Why take extra chance in moving her elsewhere?
2- Security guard had no serious motive to kill her. In the contrary he benefited from her gifts when she was alive.
3-Suicide: how could she have gone to that faraway beach without her car? The way she took care of herself was not characteristic of a depressed woman.
4-husband had a great alibi. He was on a trip and proofed that he met with people, but the fact he took so long to report the crime incriminated him. Also the fact that her car keys were in the purse left at home.
Police report said that the husband killed her by strangulation, shoved her in his trunk, then went on his trip, came back to dump her in the ocean, then went back to meet again with his partners, there by consolidating his alibi.
His motive: Money. Police discovered he had taken an insurance on his wife, and claimed she was depressive because she often visited a friend who was a psychiatrist, but they were friendly visits, not professional. He is in jail, awaiting his sentence. The apartment was sold.
Think you know your neighbors? Reviewed in the United States “This is an enjoyable cozy mystery, its emphasis on the romance between the main characters, Alexa Partson and Dante Cantari. The Italian hunk is every woman’s dream – smart, attentive and a dynamo in the boudoir. As well as on the beach! When Alexa is accused of killing her neighbor and nemesis, Steve Bairey, Dante steps up as her lawyer and protector, too. Through it all, the author skillfully weaves in the high life of condo living on the sands of Fort Lauderdale. And it’s dangers. Because someone in the building wants Alexa dead. And won’t stop until she is. There’s a host of interesting secondary characters, who become suspects in Alexa’s eyes, as she and Dante play amateur sleuths in order to catch the real murderer. The conclusion is fast-paced and the mystery kept me guessing right to the end. I will definitely be reading more from this writer.“
“Her French Count is a great romance with an excellent mystery.” ~Publishers’ Weekly
“This is a wonderfully exciting romantic suspense novel. The characters are appealing and the setting is very romantic, a chateau in the Loire Valley. There is an interesting cast of characters. The plot is full of action and the reader is never sure who is on the side of good or evil.” ~ Romance Studio
“Murder, mystery, and intrigue seem to follow Cheryl as she assists Francois on his project. A great contemporary romantic read.” ~Review Your Book
“Mona Risk brings old-fashioned romance back into style… full of mystery and intrigue. I loved Ms. Risk’s injection of humor into the story. A sweet mystery romance you’re guaranteed to enjoy.” ~ Two Lips Review
“Ms. Risk does a nice job of building the relationship between the main characters while exploring the mystery of the lost statue.” ~ Simply Romance Review
“Mona Risk will pull you in with her amazing characters and in-depth twisting suspense. She takes armchair travel to whole new heights as her characters travel to their heart wrenching and spine tingling doom.”~ Night Owl Romance Book Reviews
“A great romance with an excellent mystery. The instant attraction is met with a slow and sure build up of emotions. The couple are very complementary, compelling, and wonderfully romantic.” ~Coffee Time Romance
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. She’s a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist.
Mona Risk’s name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list, and her books have garnered: Top Pick, Outstanding Read, Sweetheart of the Week, and Best Book of the Week from various reviewers, and received two mentions in Publisher’s Weekly.
Mona lives in South Florida and has traveled to more than eighty countries on business or vacation. She writes contemporary romances, medical romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal fantasy. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visited or more simply at home.
If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy her international romances. Meet the spirited heroines and special heroes who share irresistible chemistry in stories that simmer with emotion.