Boston attorney, Charles Stone, handles special investigations for Franklin Life.
A $500,000 life insurance policy was taken on the life of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jack Spears. The beneficiary is Senorita Consuelo de V.
Spears is found murdered and Stone is asked to find out more about this woman.
The novel is advertised as a travel mystery and as a result, as Stone drives from Massachusetts to Mexico, we get glimpses of the things he sees. Some of these informational pieces are unnecessary, such as the restaurant that stops at and the food they offer. He also gives the reader glimpses of Carlsbad Caverns and San Antonio. I found these additions to the story distracting and when they continued to happen, I wished that the author would just get on with the case.
Coincidences abound. When Stone crosses the Mexican border and goes into a bar, he happens to pick a bar where Consuelo, "Connie" is sitting with her boss. She sets up a meeting with Stone and her boss, Eduardo Silva. At the meeting, Silva informs Stone that he went to U. Nevada, mining school. Stone tells him that one of his old friends is in charge of the mining school and Silva states that Stone's friend was a major influence on him.
The dialogue is stilted. Every time we learn of the manner in which Jack Spears was killed, it's always described as the "brutal" attack, other descriptive words could have helped make the writing seem more intelligent. Later, Connie is chasing Stone and agent Collins. She has them pinned down and gives a long talk on why she is planning to kill them. I think that short sentences are more common and more logical in this situation.
I enjoyed the story but felt it wasn't realistic. Two of the women in the story immediately want to go to bed with Stone and the James Bond image doesn't fit Stone. He does little to bring out these feelings in the women.
The author can write a story and the plot is compelling enough to keep the reader's interest but I didn't find Stone sympathetic or likable. With some editing and more realistic dialogue, the author's next novel should be an improvement.