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A Fool and His Monet

(Serena Jones Mystery #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,315 ratings  ·  246 reviews
Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art--one that's surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She's joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother's pleas to do something safer--like get married--Serena's learning how to g ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 2016 by Revell (first published February 23rd 2016)
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smileawhile Hi there, it is a clean read. I found that it didn't focus so much on scripture and faith as some other Christian books i've read, but it is there. Al…moreHi there, it is a clean read. I found that it didn't focus so much on scripture and faith as some other Christian books i've read, but it is there. Almost like a back bone. Hope that answers your question. Enjoy! Charming, yes. Witty, sometimes. (less)

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Average rating 3.74  · 
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Sarah Grace Grzy
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 14+ for mild violence
Wow. Gobsmacked is a good word for what I'm feeling right now. I initially wasn't super interested in this book, but saw some of my GR friends reading it, and it was free on Amazon kindle, so I thought, why not?

And boy am I glad I did! This is pretty high up there with my favorite mystery series!

For me, I find it especially hard to find clean, innocent, 'light-hearted' mysteries that suit my standard of "cleanliness". And this one totally did. I even handed it off to my little sister with no h
This one had me from the title...and then the cover was irresistible, too. I'm trying not to buy any more books for a couple of months to catch up on my to-be-read stack, but I requested this from the library and they bought the ebook the very day it came out (See how I get around my own rules? TBR stack still huge.)! So, naturally, I had to read it right away. I actually got to the end of this with my phone propped up on a chair while I ran a bunch of copies at work--it is hard to put down! I'l ...more
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
{{This is an updated review. Originally posted March 14th, 2016, it was updated on July 1st, 2017 to the Official Rating System.}}

About this book:

“Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art--one that's surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She's joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother's pleas to do something safer--like get married--Ser
Kellyn Roth
That was pretty good! Funny and exciting.

I was annoyed by the love triangle/every guy in the world being into Serena even though she claims to be some forgotten old maid, though. SERIOUSLY. Is there a guy in this book that is not attracted to Serena? So tempted to rate it three stars just for that except it was super low-key and romance was not the focus.

Other than that, it was fun.

My favorite character was probably Serena's grandmother. She was just awesome. I actually didn't find her that anno
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Three words. Serena and Nate.
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
I was in the mood for something light and quippy, not too much angst, and boy did this book deliver! I never would have thought I'd call a suspense novel "delightful" but the main character Serena sure makes it that way! She's the type that you'd love to have for a best friend. She's a perfect blend of intelligence and naivete. Even though she's an FBI special agent, you see the details of how she works the case and doesn't always get things right or perfect- which made it so much more realistic ...more
Kate Willis
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, contemporary
This looked like a pretty fun concept, so I decided to borrow it from my library and give it a try. As, I mentioned in my original “I-just-finished-this-let-me-think” mini-review, my star ratings and I are still pretty confused. ;)

I loved the theme of art crime investigation. I liked the movie “Woman in Gold”, and while this was a little different side of things, it was along the same lines and pretty interesting. I got really happy when she was actually handling the art. Definitely made me want
Jason McIntire
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is the kind of book I would only read if it was on a free Kindle promotion, which it was. It was generally well-written and entertaining, and I liked the realistic, informative aspects of the FBI story element. I agree with previous reviewers that the infamous love triangle is unrealistic, contrived, and distracting - nothing but a cheesy device to dress up the story, as evidenced by the fact that the book closes with an opportunity for readers to vote on whom Serena will marry(!).

"A Fool a
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Wow! Is this the same author?

I've also read Deadly Devotion by Sandra Orchard and found that suspense novel to be just o.k. Clearly, she has found her sweet spot in comedic mystery. A Fool and His Monet was super cute.

Main character Serena Jones is an FBI Agent that specializes in art crimes. While solving the mystery was a strong part of the novel, the characters were even stronger. Serena's mom just wants her to be safe and get married. Serena's Aunt Martha is a hoot. She involves herself how
Allison Tebo
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
It's been a long time since I read a contemporary book - I usually stick with 'dead authors' - and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this.

What I Liked:

Christian without being shoehorned in or preachy. I guess people would probably characterize it more as 'religious' than Christian - because other a brief references to pray or being grateful to God or going to Church, not a lot of Christianity. But for me, Christianity in a book is a lot about what an author DOESN'T write about and this autho
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love mystery's, so I was really happy when I had the chance to get one my friends had raved about so much.

What I liked:
1. Serena being an FBI agent made it super believable how she gets cases. And the way this author showed her job made it seem more real then how most people portray the FBI.
2. The mystery was well done. I only had a couple points that I had trouble following, but I caught on pretty quickly.
3. Nate, he was very nice.
4. The book was really clean. There are some things mention
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Clever and witty. A good read that kept me guessing.
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Campy and fun and chock-full of mystery -- an incredible beginning to a new series. And I just love this retro-style cover. Fits the book's ambiance to a T.

Serena has enough quirks to keep a reader smiling in the midst of an intense art theft investigation. The perfect blend of action, suspense and the hint of romantic entanglement...only, oh dear, there seem to be a number of eligible candidates. Time...and a few more books should set us straight on that score.

And her family likes to stir thi
Rachel McMillan
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
A zippy, unique spin on the CBA mystery genre, Orchard uses her romantic suspense chops for lighter fare. An intriguing premise sees Serena Jones tackle the art world with two (or more ) eligible men in her near periphery.

I hope Serena decides to go it alone and rise to the top of the FBI scene -- men will only hold a girl with her pluck back ;)

An engaging, quick read that will definitely whet the appetite of fans of White Collar :)
3.5 stars

Did y’all know Hallmark makes their own mysteries? I recently learned this fact. This book is how I would imagine a Hallmark mystery. It’s clean, has a strong female FBI detective, a somewhat compelling mystery, and just enough action to rate it PG but not PG-13.

Oh, and there’s a bit of a love triangle.

It also has some art references (thanks, art history for telling me who these people are). Based on the pun in the title, you could probably figure that one out. (Don’t worry, there are
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
From the very first chapter, Sandra Orchard immerses her readers into the action, and the atmosphere of suspense remains high throughout A Fool and His Monet. So does the humor. The first person POV allows readers not only to see the action solely from Serena’s perspective but also to peek inside the wry hilarity of her thoughts. The possible secrets surrounding both Great Aunt Martha & Nate - as well as the continuing arc of the cold case murder of Serena's grandfather add to the suspense - and ...more
Caitlyn Santi
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was my first read by Sandra Orchard, and I can tell you right now that it will not be my last! I loved this book! I was totally hooked from page one! It was such a fun ride, several moments had me on the edge of my seat, there was some sweet romance and I laughed my way through the book at the numerous funny scenes and lines! I really liked the main character, Serena. And I am not usually a fan of love triangles but I have to say that this one (Or I should say the start of this one!) was ju ...more
Amanda Tero
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read book three, and decided I absolutely had to read book one. I enjoyed Sandra Orchard’s writing for this book. At times, it seemed a little shallow, but for just a light-hearted read with a few laughs, this is exactly what I wanted.

I love the FBI side. And unlike some mystery books I’ve read, this one wasn’t dark. Yes, there were murders, and they weren’t made light of, but the mood of the book wasn’t depressing at all.

Reading this as a writer, I have to admire the character depth that Ms.
I'm in a minority here, but I couldn't get into the book. The characters are quirky, which always makes for entertaining reading, but I was very easily distracted with this book. I frequently found myself putting it down and not coming back to it.

Still, I enjoyed the mystery part of the book. I enjoy mysteries. But I'm not sure on the whole love triangle thing.

When book 2 comes out, I might give it a try, but I might not too.

I received this book for free from Revell Books for the purpose of revi
Toni Shiloh
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book so much I immediately got the second one.
Lisa Johnson
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Title: A Fool and His Monet (A Serena Jones Mystery #1)
Author: Sandra Orchard
Pages: 336
Year: 2016
Publisher: Revell
Serena Jones is an FBI Agent working in the art crimes area. She has been an agent for about a year and still works closely with her mentor, Tanner. Her best friend is in charge of security at the local art museum in St. Louis and makes a startling discovery. Two paintings have gone missing from inventory, but no one knows just when the paintings were stolen. Serena takes on the case
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-reading
*Read in March 2016, Re reading in Sept. 2016* *my rating goes up to 4.5 stars, loved this the second time better! actors mentioned are Richard Gere, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Vin Diesel*

Go Serena, what a great book! Special Agent Serena Jones is on a case to find two stolen art
paintings from her best friend's museum. Should've been simple and effortless, but it becomes much more complicated than Serena anticipates and we end up with a great page turner with lots of humor mixed in!

Loved Aunt Ma
Angie Thompson
Oh. My. Word. Where do I even start?

For once, I didn't read the reviews before I started this book, so I had no idea what I was getting into. Honestly, when I pick up a free FBI-mystery novel off a promotion, "hilarious" is about the last word on my list of expectations.

But this book was just that. Entirely hilarious. I was in stitches for almost the whole book as I watched the antics of the whole gang of quirky characters revolving around Serena (who's pretty quirky herself) as she tries to tra
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
What a wonderful beginning to a new series and new author to me. The characterization of Serena Jones, recently graduated and new member of the FBI's Art Crime Team, the reader tags along on Serena's first undercover assignment. On arrival back in St. Louis, we meet best friend Zoe that needs Serena's expertise as it appears paintings have been stolen from in-house storage at the local art museum. This leads introduction to Serena's family that includes her worry-wart Mother, university professo ...more
Lydia Howe
I generally don't read a lot of mysteries that aren't meant for kids, because I don't like violence at all. This book had some violence, but it was kept to a minimum, or at least the details were, so that was nice.

This book made me roll my eyes quite a bit because of being cheesy, and there was some stuff I didn't appreciate, but for the most part, it was a nice, kinda laidback type mystery. I enjoyed it and might read another book by the same author in the future, although I wouldn't count on
Sarah Monzon
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The characters were quirky and loveable (Aunt Martha's a riot) and the plot and pacing progressed nicely for me. I liked the first person POV but I am on the fence as to if I'm #teamTanner or #teamNate. Guess I'll have to read the next book to cement my feelings! ...more
Diane Estrella
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that you could TOTALLY see being made for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries or a fun sitcom series.

Our heroine was a delight to get to know. Serious, about her work, fun (but doesn't know it), and someone you'd want to be friends with and follow around to see what will happen next in her crazy life. She is surrounded by a delightful and quirky family, loyal friends, and too many male devotees to count. There does seem to be two men in particular that both have their sites on
Wendy Sparkes
A delightful read!

I'm not usually a fan of mysteries as the first person narrative coupled with the humour can be overdone and I find it annoying, but this particular book came highly recommended from a friend (Thanks, Staci!) and as it was only 49p I decided to try it. I'm so glad I did, and now I have the next 2 on my wish list.

I loved Aunt Martha - what a great character she is...although if she were my aunt I think she might drive me a bit crazy too!

Serena has a habit of relating people to f
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Filled with fascinating details about museum security and FBI procedures, a true-to-life heroine who doesn't take herself too seriously, even though she has an extremely serious job, and a host of quirky secondary characters, this is a book that's hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and am delighted that the rest of the series is already available, because while the primary mystery is resolved in this book, there are ongoing story threads that need resolution. ...more
Jennifer Fluegge
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book surprised me! It sparked my interest enough to put it on my to read list, but I don't think I expected to like it as much as I did when I finally started reading it. The author really took me into the world of an FBI art expert/stolen art agent. Plus it was funny (laugh out loud funny in parts). I'm not always a big lover of mystery books but this one is definitely an exception. I will be reading more of this author/series! ...more
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Sandra leaps off the garden trails of her herbal-researcher-turned-amateur-sleuth (Port Aster Secrets) series, to the museum corridors of her plucky FBI art crime agent Serena Jones, in A Fool and His Monet.

When not plotting crimes, Sandra plays make-believe with her grandchildren or hikes with her hubby along the escarpment, near their home in Niagara, Canada.

Her novels have garnered numerous a

Other books in the series

Serena Jones Mystery (3 books)
  • Another Day, Another Dali (Serena Jones Mystery #2)
  • Over Maya Dead Body (Serena Jones Mystery #3)

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