By Nora Roberts
Read by Julia Whelan
The Collector by Nora Roberts brings us the story of Lila Emerson, a professional house sister and novelist with an unabashed habit of looking out the window with binoculars to see the little "movie stories" of the lives of the people who live in the next apartment complex over.
Unfortunately, she sees a woman murdered, and things go downhill - and uphill - from there. Roberts brings us an interesting and intriguing story of murder for art, and two strong central characters to carry the story through to its deserved, if not unexpected, ending.
She meets Ashton Archer, brother of one of the other victims murdered in the apartment, and together they set out to solve the mystery of the brother's death. Roberts does a nice job exploring the art world, and is close on her facts. She talks about eight missing "Imperial Eggs" made by Faberge for the Russian imperial family - mostly true, except the Faberge website says there are only seven missing eggs. She also overstates their value a bit - but it's fiction, and it rings true, so what the heck. How many people google the objets d'arts mentioned in books, anyway?
Additionally, Roberts brings in the story of Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, the lost girl who many thought was not killed by secret police in 1918. It's a nice touch and an interesting bit of history to bring to the fore.
The story kept me interested and I consider it one of Roberts better books. Her later books seem to me to be better written, anyway - certainly showing that practice makes perfect, or at least better craft.
A Roberts book is always a decent way to pass the time, and this book is no exception. While I never missed my exit when I was listening to it, I did occasionally sit in the garage to finish a section before I came back into the house.