In this second book in the series, Penny and Jeremy buy a yacht at an auction in France, and begin to attract some unwanted attention. Their plan is to spend the summer cruising the Mediterranean and thinking about their future now that they don't technically have to work for a living. They're considering pooling his experience as a lawyer and hers as a historical researcher to start a business together, helping people find lost artifacts and other treasures. Buying the yacht throws them into their first case, ready or not.
They become acquainted with the aging Count from whom they bought the boat and who is now claiming that a priceless artifact was stolen from him the last time he sailed it. Searching the artifact's history leads them to another family who claims the very same artifact was, in fact, stolen from them. Frustration builds when Jeremy's clingy ex-wife shows up and Penny's less-than-trustworthy cousin, Rollo, gets involved in the investigation. Their search takes them around the Mediterranean from Nice to Lake Como and Corsica, then to London and back to France.
I will confess that the immersion in European culture is what I enjoy most about these books. Well, that and the heiress lifestyle with which I would love to become acquainted but, alas, never shall. The travel, the quaint old villages, the scenery, the expensive hotels and restaurants, the art, the clothes and jewelry - these things are catnip to me in books. After reading one of this series I feel like I've had a vacation on the Riviera. Not a bad feeling at all.
This series would be considered light reading but the story and the writing are strong enough to keep me reading. There were a couple of weak spots where the dialogue was a cheesy, but as long as you aren't expecting literature it's a fun way to pass a bit of time.
Next: #3 A Rather Charming Invitation