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Blue Smoke and Murder (St. Kilda Consulting #4)

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  2,569 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Jill Breck was just doing her job as a river guide when she saved the life of Lane Faroe, son of two of St. Kilda Consulting's premier operators. But when a string of ominous events—including a mysterious fire that kills her great-aunt and a furor in the Western art world raised by a dozen Breck family paintings—culminates in a threat to her life, Jill reluctantly calls in ...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published July 8th 2008 by HarperCollins e-books (first published May 27th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Marcie
I remember liking EL years ago; now I find her tough-guy writing style so annoying I want to throw the book across the room. She uses very short, abrupt sentences to create drama and urgency and a "snappy" delivery for all her one-dimensional characters in the EL world. She's not as witty as she thinks. For example, all her characters used the word "craptastic" at one time or another. Really irritating.

And now more than ever, she's got an underlying feminist agenda, attributing the unnamed "she"
...more
Julie (jjmachshev)
Elizabeth Lowell is one of my auto-buy romantic suspense authors. I can never wait for the paperbacks either, so I just grin and shell out the $ for the hardcovers 'cause I know she'll provide a few hours of good reading now and I'll re-read it at least once every couple of years when I'm in need of a Lowell 'fix'! "Blue Smoke and Murder" is her latest and it's a headrush of action and tension from start to finish.

The entire events of the book take place over a little less than two months...BUT,
...more
Iowa City Public Library
There’s just something about listening to a story read aloud. Especially when you find a magic combination between author and performer. And I’ve found that in Elizabeth Lowell’s Blue Smoke & Murder, performed by Carol Monda.

I’ve never read Elizabeth Lowell before. I was heading out on a 4 day road trip and I wanted something to listen to. A friend suggested Elizabeth Lowell, so I grabbed the first book on cd I found on the shelf.

And off I went – into the high stakes world of Western Art and
...more
Kelly Moran
I found Blue Smoke and Murder, by Elizabeth Lowell remarkable. Elizabeth Lowell is a New York Times bestseller of such titles: Innocent as Sin, Forget Me Not, Amber Beach, The Wrong Hostage, Midnight in Ruby Bayou, A Woman Without Lies, and Only Love. She resides in Arizona with her husband, with whom she writes mystery novels under a pseudonym.
When Jill Breck saved the life of Lane Faroe she thought she was just doing her job as a river guide. She didn’t think she’d ever need to take up his f
...more
Cindy
How have I missed reading Elizabeth Lowell! Blue Smoke and Murder has action, adventure, great characters, and romance. There was a small issue with one discovery that happened at two different times in the book, but I still enjoyed the story. A great read for s summer day.
Maura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna McMaster
I enjoyed the characters and plot, but I have to complain about the Colorado River rafting scene in the second chapter. Whoever did the research for Lowell did an incredibly sloppy job. In the industry, what she calls a "float harness" is called a life jacket, or more technically, a personal flotation device (PFD). Every commercial guide I know, and most kayakers, carry a sheathed river knife safely attached to their PFDs; they would NEVER wear it around their necks. If you're worried about some ...more
Cindy
Graphic in everything but violence... not my type of mystery.
Kristen
This was a good combination of action, strong female characters, a great setting and a very entertaining story.

I really liked the character of Jill. She was smart, tough, independent and capable and although she did go to St. Kilda for help when her life is threatened, she is fully involved in the operation to resolve the issue of her family's paintings.

The art aspect was an interesting side storyline, and a world I don't know much about, so learning a bit about how paintings are authenticated a
...more
Nicole
Ah, this was a much appreciated break from the technical science books I've been reading lately! A romance novel that starts with Jill Breck inheriting 12 paintings that have a shady past. Of course, as soon as word of these paintings gets out, the bad guys are on her trail and she has to rely on the protection of the intelligent and gorgeous Zach Balfour. The story follows them on their race through the art world to prove Jill's paintings are what she says they are before she ends up dead. Inte ...more
Tom Tischler
Jill Breck was just doing her job as a river guide when she
saves the life of Lane Faroe who is the son of two of St.
Kilda Consulting's premier operators. Her world starts falling
apart when a great aunt dies in a mysterious fire and then
there is a furor in the Western art world raised by a dozen
Breck family paintings. There is a threat on her life so she
calls in a favor. Zack Balfour is a part time consultant for
St. Kildas and he is sent to look after Jill. This leads him
into a strange and
...more
Nancy Brooks
This was a suspenseful and well-plotted book. I "read" it in the form of an audiobook. The reader was quite good. I wanted to sit in the car and listen when I arrived in my driveway. I see from Goodreads that this is part of a series. I'll be looking for all the rest!
L8blmr
I used to be a huge fan of this author and I am not exactly sure if I have read pretty much everything new she has to "say" or whether she is somewhat phoning it in these days. This book held my interest and was fairly informative about Western art, but the romance was predictable, the heroine was not really likable and the hero, though plenty alpha and attractive, seemed somewhat shallow. There was a slight twist regarding the bad guys near the end of the story and therefore a couple of scenes ...more
LibraryLass
4.5 stars for this solid read. EL always gives me a great read and this was no exception. Loved the balance between suspense and romance. Unlike the past couple of hers, this one doesn't get as bogged down with the heroines 'expertise'.
Great all round read
Ian
It's quite a good book but the ending left me a little unsatisfied. Setting the last chapter aside, it was good enough that I've ordered another of her books, but not so good that I'll drop everything and read the next book when it arrives.
Debby
River guide Jillian Breck was raised in the hot, dry parts of Nevada and Arizona by equally hard women. When her great-aunt Modesty dies in a ranch fire, Jill goes home and discovers a message and 12 paintings. She calls in a favor from the St. Kilda agency when funny things start happening.

The entire book takes place in about 9 days with short chapters alternating between characters. Language is terse dialogue - some profanity and a few bedroom scenes.

There's a minor sub-plot about polygamous "
...more
Joy
There was a time that Elizabeth Lowell was an automatic read for me, but I haven't read her for several years. The library suggested I try this one, and I was half way through before I realized I had read it before. Even still, I finished it. It was okay, but not as great as some of the stand alone books she has written. There wasn't a lot of heat or chemistry between Jill and Zack compared with some of the other books I've read by the author and it wasn't terribly suspenseful either.

I'm not sur
...more
Dawn
I very much like novels written by Elizabeth Lowell, but this one was just so-so compared to her others. I thought the romantic connection between the two main players was lukewarm and as far as the suspense part of it...there is no way an organization like St. Kilda would have allowed the circumstances at the end of the book to have occurred. Unbelievable that a client of theirs would face what she did. I did enjoy the background information on the art world. This was fairly enjoyable but not s ...more
LaFleurBleue
I bought this book, because it was downmarked to 1/4th of the normal price; I thought I had read something ok from the same author (it turned out I mistook Heather Lowell for Elizabeth Lowell...); and last because of the rather good 3.72 rating on goodreads.
Well, as my rating shows I do not share the enthusiasm of previous readers.
The book is structured with extremely short chapters (from less than 2 to max 10 pages), with info à la 24 TV series beforehand; hence 94 chapters, all starting with "
...more
Amanda
Book #9 of 2013

Whenever I drive to Mansfield, we pass this place called Salamanca in NY. It is usually late at night and maybe it is the perfect spot on the highway because we often stop to fill up the gas tank or to grab a road snack. It also happens to have a casino, always lit up just off the highway (and I think is owned by an Indian/Native American tribe?) Anyway, it might be the combination of the casino scenes in this book (where the casino seems to also be in the middle of nowhere) and t
...more
Kristofher Gil
My thoughts:

1. This was my first time to read a suspense novel and it wasn't too suspenseful, really. When I started to read this book, I immediately put it down. It took me several months to finally continue reading it.
2. At first, I thought it was boring but I still continue reading it until I discovered that it's getting interesting and interesting and boom, suddenly decreasing intensity.
3. I don't like much the characters especially the two main characters when they're thinking of somethin
...more
Kelsey
My thoughts: I really enjoyed this novel. It was hard to rate because I'm not quite sure if I would read it again though I would recommend it to some. I guess this was the fourth in a set, not series, but I didn't really noticed. A few things can be assumed about other characters so that it is not important to read the others. I did enjoy the characters though I felt that more attention was given to the story line and explaining the world of art (which was good since I lack in that area) but lit ...more
Phyllis Sommers
A cut above the typical thriller, this one is entrenched in the world of art and art auctions. Jill Breck descends from a family of very strong, independent women who were raised in the Mormon culture, where women were not credited for anything other than procreation and subservience to the men in the community. Before Jill's great aunt Modesty dies under suspicious circumstances, she warns Jill, in a letter, of potential danger ahead and, at the same time informs her of her inheritance-- 12 stu ...more
randomperson123
I'm a fraction through one of the first suspense books that I've read. I think the book has a really interesting, attention-grabbing start, but towards the middle it got quite boring for me. I don't know - maybe suspense isn't my genre.

I was also constantly irked by the way the author Lowell kept referring to the discrimination of her female characters; all the way from the rowing incident, to Jill's aunt, to the sheriff, to the taunting way DeeDee was described, to Jill's conversation with Zach
...more
Joy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nancy Hartill
This story about an earthy gal who grew up on a farm and ran river rapids for a living, discovers a mystery when her great-aunt dies shortly after the great-aunt sends a painting for appraisal that becomes lost and compensated for $2000. A friend is grateful for Jill saving his son from near death on the rapids, so Jill takes him up on his offer of detective services to help solve the riddle. It is a fast-paced thriller to the end. Great story!
Lisbeth
If you read the Wrong Hostage, you'll love seeing how Lane, Joe, and Grace are doing. Always love revisiting previous characters. Another great St. Kilda book. I loved that these 2 are off trying to solve their dilemma and on the run. I read this in 2 sittings only because I had to get up early and be a parent to the kids the next day. I couldn't wait to see what happened.
Sarah
This is definitely a fluff read with little to no substance, but I loved it. Sometimes I just need an escape from the realities of day to day life and this served that purpose well. While the writing is cheesy, as I expected, it is far better than a lot of other suspense novels I have come across. The author must have an interest in art, or did some serious research, which added an extra oomph to the story. My one gripe is the same that I have with MANY fluff crime novels with female lead charac ...more
Katelyn
This was a very good read. I hadn't read any St. Kilda Consulting books prior to this, but I jumped into it just fine. It was a fast paced story and had me interested till the very end. I'd happily put this next to a few of Iris Johansen's books or a Linda Howard. If you've enjoy those authors I feel like Lowell would be a great addition to your reading list.
Emily
An extremely suspenseful and engaging plot combined with steamy romance and fascinating characters make this fourth volume involving St. Kilda a must-read!
Jill has inherited some paintings from her great aunt that someone would kill to either steal or destroy. Fortunately, she recently saved the life of the son of some top St Kilda operatives and has been assigned some help in the form of the handsome and skillful Zach. As they race around the southwest trying to stay ahead of the bad guys and p
...more
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Blue Smoke and Murder/Elizabeth Lowell 2 11 Dec 24, 2011 04:15AM  
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19051
Individually and with co-author/husband Evan, Ann Maxwell has written over 60 novels and one work of non-fiction. There are 30 million copies of these books in print, as well as reprints in 30 foreign languages. Her novels range from science fiction to historical fiction, from romance to mystery. After working in contemporary and historical romance, she became an innovator in the genre of romantic ...more
More about Elizabeth Lowell...

Other Books in the Series

St. Kilda Consulting (5 books)
  • Always Time to Die (St. Kilda Consulting, #1)
  • The Wrong Hostage (St. Kilda Consulting, #2)
  • Innocent as Sin (St. Kilda Consulting, #3)
  • Death Echo (St. Kilda Consulting, #5)
Untamed (Medieval, #1) Amber Beach (Donovan, #1) Die in Plain Sight (Rarities Unlimited, #3) Pearl Cove (Donovan, #3) Enchanted (Medieval, #3)

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