Book two “Poisoned” ended with John asking Alex to marry him. Book three begins eight months later. After saying she wasn’t ready Alex began to worry when he didn’t ask again. She decided he was her soul mate and they are soon married with the help of Sam, her mother, Milie, and John they are finally married. Alex and John are on a plane headed towards Belgium where a college friend has arranged for them to have the use of an apartment free of charge. Accompanying them is Alex’s sister Sam and her husband Michael, a dentist.
Other than a few driving mishaps, driving the wrong direction down a one way street, getting lost and trying to avoid cars cutting in front of them, they have an enjoyable time. With the end of their honeymoon approaching they go to John’s friend, Bill Westgate and his wife Wanda’s house to celebrate the fourth of July. They are able to meet some of their friends and Bill’s secretary, Martine Casse, and her husband. Many members of the ex-patriot community. It doesn’t take long for Alex to notice that all is not well in the Casse household, not only that, but many of the other guest are snubbing Martine. As the cook-out winds down Paul Casse comes looking for his wife Martine goes looking for her there. A few minutes later he comes running out yelling something in french that Alex cannot understand. Another Belgian couple tell their hostess that Paul is saying his wife has been murdered.
John tells the other guest that they cannot leave until the police arrive then Inspector Gerald Willix arrives en mass with numerous officers. John is sure Willix is familiar to him, but doesn’t know why. Suddenly he realizes Willix is a friend of his former partner and his Belgian counterpoint from 18 months prior that handled the European end of capturing the diamond smuggler that Alex had uncovered when she stumbled onto the body of Elvira Scott in a mannequin factory (Book 1 Armed). Inspector Willix asked John to sit on the interviews although unconventional as a police officer who had observed all the suspects during the day he might spot something being of when they were questioned. Both Willix and John recorded the interviews. Willix asked John to go home and listen to the interviews again to see if anything came to him and report back to him if it does.
Alex helps Willix on the case and Michael visits a local dentist to see how things are done in Brussells. Left on their own they decide they have seen enough museums and as Alex can’t help her draw to the mystery of who, how, and why of a murder they begin to check out the the people at the cookout. The more they talk to those who attended the more they decide the ex-patriot community is a miniature Peyton Place. Who is sleeping with who, who is cheating who in business etc? Can they discover who killed the forlorn Martine. Did the husband kill her because Martine was cheating on him, that she wanted a divorce? Did Jane kill her for the affair she had with her husband? Did Wanda because she thought her husband was sleeping with his secretary? Did she learn about something someone was willing to kill to keep secret? So many suspects and their time in Brussels is nearly over. Alex puts it all on the line to bring justice to Martine. Will the price of Justice be her life? A wonderful series you will enjoy reading and like me will be looking for Elaine Macko’s next book in the series.