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Reluctant Smuggler: To Catch a Thief    by Jill Elizabeth Nelson order for
Reluctant Smuggler
by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
Order:  USA  Can
Multnomah, 2008 (2008)

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* *   Reviewed by Jessica Weaver

Reluctant Smuggler is the third in Jill Elizabeth Nelson's To Catch a Thief trilogy. Nelson wraps up the series with a page-turning adventure for her main characters, Desi Jacobs and Tony Lucano.

Desiree thought she would perform an easy museum theft to prove to a Mexican museum that her company, HJ Securities, was the right security system for their needs. As we've learned in the prior two books in this series, however, nothing is ever that easy. Desi finds herself whipped around Mexico, caught up in a smuggling scandal rallied by El Jaguar's gang.

Meanwhile, her fiancÚ, FBI agent Tony Lucano, has his own mess to deal with in Boston as his team chases down thieves during an awful snowstorm. As Desi and Tony rush to reunite after an accident during his chase, both are overwhelmed with the scheme they must uncover.

The novel is a back and forth of will-they-won't-they get married, will-they-won't-they solve the unraveling mystery before half of the Mexican government is dead. I found this episode in the series less compelling than the other two, and the sickeningly sweet relationship between Desi and Tony is a little overdone. The mystery, however, is interesting and keeps the reader going to the end. I especially enjoyed reading about Desi and Tony visiting the Chichen-Itza Mayan temple and a nearby sinkhole, where I also went on my honeymoon!

All in all, Reluctant Smuggler brings the series to a close in a satisfying way, leaving the reader anticipating what will come next from Jill Elizabeth Nelson.

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