Julia Ann Charpentier
The romantic mystery subgenre attracts a loyal following, making it among the most popular categories in romance fiction. Though many authors contrive plots that achieve a high mark for originality, rarely does a writer capture a reader’s interest as quickly as does Alexandrea Weis with Recovery.
This is the first-person, personal story of Nicci Beauvoir, a heroine devastated by the murder of her former lover and gifted artist David Alexander. The killer remains unknown. Two years later, Dallas August, a high-priced corporate spy, enters the story to investigate David’s death. Posing as Nicci’s boyfriend, his goal is to attract the murderer while interacting with the New Orleans upper crust. Several suspects emerge, maintaining a critical element of suspense throughout the book. Never is there a dull moment as Nicci and Dallas attempt to identify the killer—a treacherous criminal who remains in Nicci’s social circle and is ready to harm her, too, if given the opportunity.
Weis allows the reader to feel her protagonist’s pain: “The world had suddenly become a little darker for me, and for the first time in my life, I feared the future. I had survived the sharp-tongued insults of a snobby southern upbringing, the heartache of my mother’s death, betrayal, intrigue, engagement to a moron, and the loss of the only man I had ever loved.”
The focus of Recovery is an unsolved murder, but the liaison between Nicci and Dallas takes the spotlight as the novel progresses. Initially, their relationship is staged to flush out information they could not obtain otherwise. Their lack of sincerity makes the situation humorous, despite the seriousness of David’s murder and the impending threat against Nicci and Dallas. In time, the couple believe their own amorous behavior, and their expressions of affection escalate to more than a brief fling for professional purposes only. Acquainted under forced circumstances, they share intimacies that dating couples would hesitate disclosing in the early stages of a friendship.
A native of New Orleans, Alexandrea Weis has sold two screenplays, one of which is in preproduction. Recovery is the second book in her proposed Nicci Beauvoir series. The first, a mainstream romance titled To My Senses, explores the events that led to David Alexander’s demise.
A touching mix of comedy and passion, this exceptional love story will not disappoint fans of romantic mysteries. Weis is a capable writer with a promising series on the horizon. Her ability to juxtapose candid confession and hardcore action brings her work to the forefront in a highly competitive field.