Growing up, I loved old Cary Grant movies. Still do. I’ve seen them all–many, many times. My all-time favorite is “His Girl Friday” because of the crime plot and fast-paced smart patter between Walter Burns (Grant) and Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell). Hildy was a woman in a man’s world, but could hold her own. She was smart and strong, and could be ‘one of the guys’ when it was necessary. Her publisher, Burns, knew Hildy was the best journalist he had, and if he didn’t work fast she would be the woman who got away–again. She got the story of the century, he got the girl, and the newspaper kept its best investigative reporter.
For these same reasons, I’ve always loved the television show “Castle,” especially the early years. The cast is stocked with strong female and male roles with great plots, intriguing crimes, witty dialogue, and just enough romance to keep thinga interesting. And everyone in the cast is smart and good at whatever he or she does. The humor in the one-liners, not in pratfalls or forced comic relief.
All of this ‘early video research’ molded Laurel Beacham and Jack Hawkes in my Bodies of Art Mysteries, and helped me develop the story arc for the entire series. These are smart people at the top of their fields who have to figure out how to work together—not something either is used to (or actually does well). They often break the rules, but hold their ethics intact. Their job is to keep masterpieces from disappearing. Catching the criminals is important—but coming back with a work of art is paramount. Most of all, however, they keep each other a little off-balance, but know it will take their combined talents to solve the crimes and come out alive.
Laurel has a solid smidge of both Hildy and Beckett to keep her backbone straight and her confidence level high. Jack has a quick comeback and smart maneuver to handle every contingency. If you like a fast ride through the European art world, I hope you’ll try this series, which starts with Counterfeit Conspiracies. And if you like that one, the sequel Marked Masters is available now too. Happy reading!
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