CAVIAR DREAMS (Mystery-Cincinnati, OH-Cont) – Ex Nichols, Judy – 1st book
Zumaya Publications, 2003- Trade paperback

Struggling photographer Lisa Watson is concerned when her friend Debbie takes up with a seemingly charming man she met in a video store. Derek figures he can live a comfortable life with while setting up a life of luxury by blackmailing a wealthy businessman.

Amazing! Someone finally wrote a much more believable amateur sleuth/police procedural. The characters are realistic; Lisa who is trying to be a photographer but is working as a temp in the meantime; Debbie who is sweet, somewhat naïve, wanting to believe in romance and the best in people; and the arrogant businessman who feels wealth and position are the most important things of all. Sense of place is well done, as is dialogue. But what impressed me most of all is that it is not Lisa running around investigating clues, but the police who investigate and solve the crime. And Ms. Nichols makes it all work, and ties it all together with a suspenseful ending and an absolutely delightful book. I don't often gush, but this book deserves it. Brava!

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