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Brilliant (Kick Keswick, #1)
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Brilliant (Kick Keswick #1)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  690 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
Meet Kick Keswick, an elegant and self-possessed American who has been at London's venerable Ballantine & Company Auctioneers for over thirty years. She is an expert on paintings, furniture, and objets d'art, and so far has lived a perfectly happy life with things on her mind other than love.
In fact, Kick rarely lets anyone into her private world. She prefers it that
Paperback, 340 pages
Published June 14th 2004 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 25, 2010 Courtney rated it really liked it
I read this book in 2007. I picked it up at the public library just by chance. Yes, I saw the cover, it looked interesting, so I read it. It looked like a typical girl novel, which isn't something I usually read (I read mostly YA) but I was intrigued by the cover and the summary inside the jacket. I LOVED this book. It was so good. It's about a female jewel thief who is just so awesome. Kick Keswick... is my hero. This is the first in a series of four and I loved them all. I waiting 2 years for ...more
Oct 23, 2009 JoAnn/QuAppelle rated it really liked it
Just plain fun to read!

This book instantly drew me into the story, mainly because of the intriguing main character, Kick Keswick. I just love it when a book "hooks" me on the first page!

This would be classified as "reading lite", I suppose, but it was smart, interesting, entertaining, and what more could I ask for than a book about a high-end auction house, jewelry, antiques, wine, and food - and set in London and Provence?

Kick is a not-young American, elegant and refined, who has worked at th
Aug 30, 2015 Catherine rated it really liked it
A very fun and stylish quick read. It has everything, London, auction houses, handsome men, stylish woman, a jewel thief, fast cars, a company on the brink, and of course a romance. Loved the first book in the series.
Kick Keswick will keep you laughing with her exploits!
Feb 28, 2016 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I've owned this for a long time and haven't re-read it in over 10 years. I'm glad I kept it. My original intent was to read it and add it to the bag of library donations to clear space in my bookshelves. Now I'm going to try to find the next in the series (I didn't remember there was a next in the series).

Sometimes a lot of detail about antiques and cooking and tossed-about French phrases but it has a good story line and an interesting twist at the end (if you didn't figure it out ahead. I did b
Jun 07, 2009 Helen rated it really liked it
First in a series of books about Kick Keswick. These books are pure fun and will make you want more.

Kick is an elegant, self-possessed, intelligent, worldly-wise woman. With a secret. She has worked at London's Ballantine & Company Auctioneers for over thirty years. She is an expert on all things to do with art,jewelry and furniture. Her life is ordered and happy. She is single by choice and rarely needs anything other than her own company. Things change big-time when a womanizer by the nam
Jul 08, 2010 Bridget rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Food lovers, jewelry lovers, funny mystery lovers
Recommended to Bridget by: My niece Amanda
Shelves: 2010-reads
What fun this book is! My niece Amanda kept telling me that I had to read these books, and I finally found the first of the series at the library last week.

This book introduces Kick Keswick, born in Oklahoma, currently living a good life in London, working for one of the most respected auction houses. When the story begins, the house has just been bought by an American firm that owns several different kinds of businesses, and the auction house is one of the jewels of their collection.

Kick Keswi
Jul 25, 2011 Wendy rated it liked it
American Katherine Day Keswick, a.k.a. Kick, has worked for London's Ballantine and Company Auctioneer, Ltd. for over 30 years. She's a true professional and a real expert on fine furniture, paintings and especially jewels. She leads a very private life and wishes to keep it private and soon retire to southern France. Kick has created quite a nest egg for herself over the years in her secret life as a jewel thief. "Just to add a touch of class to my residential burglaries, a little bouquet of ...more
Gretchen Selfridge
Sep 14, 2016 Gretchen Selfridge rated it it was amazing
Totally enjoyable. Perfect vacation ready.
Bette Stanek
Jun 08, 2014 Bette Stanek rated it liked it
2.5 rounding up because I finally started to get into about 3/4 of the way in. There were many times I thought about not finishing this one, but stuck with it because the ratings were at almost 4. The book is well written and well researched. I simply couldn't connect with Kick Keswick. It wasn't until I was almost finished that I began to find her sort of intriguing. She is elegant and sophisticated and completely self made, well sort of, if you call getting there by being a mistress as self ...more
Mar 17, 2012 Greymalkin rated it liked it
Shelves: chicklit, fiction
This book is very well written and meticulously researched. However it just never grabbed me. I didn't like any of the characters. I know I was supposed to love Kick, but while I admired her intelligence and practicality, her reserve and life choices put me at an emotional distance to her. Plus the plot was so transparent and not interesting to me. I kept putting the book down and realizing that days would go by before I picked it back up again. And yet, there was never anything I could point to ...more
Jan 18, 2012 Sophie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books
I loved the main character of this book. Kick Keswick is her own woman, unapologetic and unafraid. I loved the little details of her life--the sandwiches she fixes for herself, her cooking prowess--as well as the large--her life in London and her secret life in Provence. I liked how the author kept the reader as unsure about Owen as Kick was and how we see her progression from wary to giddy and back again with several stops in between. The details of the jewelry and the auctions and just about ...more
May 30, 2008 Gail rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Kick is an elegant, sophisticated woman who appreciates good food, very fine wine, and brilliant jewelery. She is a composed, unflappable, efficient, and dedicated leader of an antiques auction house. Little does anyone realize that she began her life as an unwed mother, juvenile delinquent, and daughter of an Oklahoma oil field whore.
And an international jewel thief.....
The auction house founded by her aged, now deceased, lover is taken over by an American entrepreneur. He provides many sensua
Aug 10, 2008 Darcie rated it liked it
Curses. Susan sucked me back into the mediocre female crime fiction/romance genre again when she sent this book. To make it worse, I'd finally ripped myself away from the Stephanie Plum series (until the next one comes out!). Even so, this wasn't bad, not bad at all. I suspect that we're 15 years under the target age for this particular series about an aging jewel thief who is looking forward to retirement in Provence. (Make that 20 years.) I don't think I'll read the sequels, but this was an ...more
Oct 15, 2013 Susan rated it it was ok
Nice writing style, engaging story, unique twist. Over-sexualized, which detracted from the potential of the story. Also, faulty moral tone. The main character is a jewel thief and a compulsive liar. Her behavior is never discovered and she never experiences any consequences. Instead, she is portrayed as the hero of the story for exposing an illegal scheme perpetrated by another character. She only does it for revenge, though, not because it is the right thing to do. Too bad, because I really ...more
Nov 04, 2011 Kelli rated it did not like it
I couldn't even finish this and I pretty much ALWAYS finish a book I start. It couldn't keep my attention and trying to imagine that a girl that came from nothing would stoop low enough to depend on a sugar daddy and care about no one but herself was too far fetched for me. I didn't like the main character and the story was slow. I tried to read a little farther hoping that it would get better but every chapter I just hated her a little more and couldn't for the life of me figure out why such ...more
Katie M.
Apr 24, 2015 Katie M. rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Have you ever stopped and said to yourself "Y'know, I bet the executive vice president of Kellogg's isn't a very good novelist"? Because... she really kind of isn't. BUT. The main character of this series is a glamorous, zaftig 50-year-old who leads a secret life as a top-notch jewel thief, loves to eat, and has lots of sex. I can't even write that sentence without getting so delighted that I almost (almost) forget how mediocre the writing really is. Let's be honest, we all know I'm going to ...more
Annie Burge
Jul 04, 2014 Annie Burge rated it really liked it
Very likeable main character: strong-willed and slightly sassy. The plot may have been a little far-fetched, but the details (wines, gourmet foods, antiques) were interesting enough to forgive some of the "too good to be true" antics.

Enjoyable along the lines of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich and the Heller series by JD Nixon.

(I just purchased the rest if the Kick Keswick series as Nook books at discount price)
Nov 18, 2008 Ruth rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Martha Kellar, Carol , Bonnie
Recommended to Ruth by: Emma
I started this series with the last book and then found this the first book. I love this series, the heroine is an older women who knows about jewels, food, etc. I love her description of jewelry and European hot spots. The first book is not as good as the last one but still enjoyable. If I find an author I enjoy I frequently read everything by that writer before I start something else. I am now reading the second in the series.
Aug 20, 2007 Alana rated it really liked it
This was a really fun book. It is totally different than anything I had been reading. It takes place in England and the subject is very interesting with colorful characters. There are points where you are sure that you know the ending and parts of it, you will likely be right...but, it is still a great read.
May 06, 2015 Bonnie rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot: the characters and action are excellent. There's not a lot of descriptive prose, but the language is quite picturesque. The main character is very endearing, though she's almost too smart to be true. Her narrow escapes make her human, though. Lots of information about the workings of a European auction house. I'll probably try the next one in the series.
Jeanne Quigley
Jan 13, 2014 Jeanne Quigley rated it it was amazing
I've read the first two books in this series (I read the second first, not realizing it was a series) and love it. I enjoy the London and Provence settings, the auction house atmosphere, and the intrigue of Kick's "side" job as a jewelry thief. Kick is a smart, witty, clever woman and a wonderful narrator. I look forward to reading the rest ofMarne Davis Kellogg's terrific series.
Apr 28, 2009 Hannah rated it it was amazing
This is a great read. David Thompson, bookseller at Murder By The Book in Houston, recommended I try it. I LOVE it. Kick Keswick as the Shamrock Burglar is a compelling protagonist. She's a jewel thief who likes the good life but is always a whisker away from discovery. The sequel PRICELESS is next.”
Aug 18, 2013 Cato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trata de una mujer que lleva una sofisticada vida como ejecutiva de una importante casa de subastas en Londres es tambin, al mismo tiempo, una ladrona de joyas conocida como "El ladrn del trebol" ya que deja siempre un trebol como firma en la escena del crimen.

El libro es ameno, aunque algunas escenas son inverosmiles.
Dec 15, 2010 Valerey rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The plot was definitely different from anything I had read before. I began to guess at the ending 3/4 of the way through the book and it ended a little to quickly and neatly for me. The beginning or middle could have been shortened for a more thoughtful, detailed conclusion. A very unique anti-heroine.
Jennifer Hazlett
It took some time to get into this book & warm up to the main character. But once I became a little sympathetic to her, I wanted to know her more & read on. I admire her emotional strength. And as a bonus, Kick is quite the cook and the descriptions of the meals she would make were mouth watering. Surprising ending.
May 26, 2009 AtlantaTwin rated it liked it
Recommended to AtlantaTwin by: Becky
A fun read. I felt like I needed a dictionary b/c of all of the specialized words from the antique & jewelry business that I'm just not familiar with. Even though she's a criminal, you find yourself rooting for Kick the whole time. With about 10 pages to go, it didn't feel like there were enough pages to wrap everything up nice & neat, so the ending felt kind of hurried to me.
Feb 16, 2012 Caroline rated it really liked it
The first in one of my favorite series of books. Gotta love the heroine, Kick Keswick, who is most definitely not your average book heroine. Blonde, zaftig and "of a certain age," she's crafty, smart and sassy. Great beach read and as I like to say, "Nancy Drew for adults!"
Debbie Torbert
Mar 09, 2014 Debbie Torbert rated it really liked it
What a fun book to read! The characters are interesting, and just when you think you've figured out what will happen, the story takes a turn that keeps you wanting more. Can't wait to read the second one in this series.
Dec 28, 2015 Nelia rated it really liked it
Shelves: fluffstuff, mystery
3.5. The definition of style over substance. Kick is certainly fun to read about, despite the long and detailed paragraphs about food she makes, food she eats, and her expertise in wine. Pure fluff, but not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
Sep 09, 2011 Ami rated it really liked it
I adore the Kick Keswick series, of which "Brilliant" is the first in the series. These books makes me feel sophisticated, cultured, and urbane. "Brilliant" is not as wonderful as "Perfection," but is was still exceedingly entertaining.
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Other Books in the Series

Kick Keswick (5 books)
  • Priceless (Kick Keswick, #2)
  • Perfect (Kick Keswick, #3)
  • Friends in High Places (Kick Keswick, #4)
  • The Real Thing (Kick Keswick, #5)

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