Ms. Griffin's first in the Vinnie Esposito series is a lively, fast moving story with an arrange of characters that bring the story to life. You will not regret the time spent enjoying this and each of the books in this series. Be sure to have book 2 "Dirty Trouble" ready to go.
Lavinia "Vinny" Esposito answered a knock on her door only to find no one there. But there is a package found wrapped in plain brown paper, with no return address or postage mark. The package is addressed to her Aunt Livvy who died months earlier. Vinny looked up and down the street, but saw no one. Curious she walks over to the package, but does not touch it. As a college professor of criminal justice and auditing a bomb components class Vinnie was leery of touching it. Instead she called the fire department to come take a look. Vinnie's friend Bill MacNert arrives with his stethoscope but hears no ticking. He tells her if she is still worried to call the state police and let the bomb squad take a look.
At first an officer is distracted until Vinnie gives him her name. He promptly tells he will send someone right over. This is Livvy's first meeting with the handsome Marcus Richmond. The troopers take the package away and Vinnie tells Marcus she wants to know what was in the package and he finally agrees to get in touch the next day. The next day starts off with Vinnie and her friend Lanky Larry coming to paint the two rooms in the upstairs apartment. An accident leaves Vinnie covered in paint just as "Mr. Luscious Hunk" Aaron Grant walks up the sidewalk. Grant came to rent the apartment and when told it would be at least a week he had no problem waiting. Vinnie agrees to his moving in when one of his contacts is Detective Bellini, a friend of hers in the Providence PD. When Aaron leaves Vinnie begins painting and soon runs out of paint. As she leaves to get more Marcus shows up and tells her the package contained very expensive loose gems. He asks her if she has any idea where they came from and why they would be sent to her aunt. Vinnie tells him she has no clue and Marcus gives her his card and asks her to give him a call if she thinks of anything.
Later that night while putting in a new light fixture Vinnie hears footsteps down stairs. Apprehensive she hears them come up the steps and then toward the room she is working in. She releases a breath she wasn't even aware of holding when Marcus pokes his head into the room. He had come to check on her when he saw all the lights on and still had some questions. Vinnie tells him how the police have come repeatedly to ask questions and once to ask to search the house which Vinnie had refused until they got a search warrant. Marcus asks her to describe them. He asks her to think hard and call him if she finds anything that might explain the jewels and then leaves.
The next day Vinnie pulls out the old trunk filled with Aunt Livvy's papers. Going through the trunk and sorting through everything she discovers a padded envelope. When she opens the package she finds more gems. Making sure there are no hidden compartments. Vinnie begins placing things back in the trunk keeping out some pictures to show her mother at dinner that night. Her mother doesn't know who they are either or anything about the jewels. Marcus shows up and charms her mother, not so much Vinnie's father. As they are leaving Vinnie tells him she found something when searching her aunt's trunk. He tells her he will stop by her house later. Vinnie heads home to clean the upstairs apartment to have it ready for Aaron. When Marcus arrives they find someone has been in the home searching through her things.
Strange Packages, jewels intruders and cops and strangers showing up out of nowhere. Vinnie goes from no love interest to an abundance of offers. How is a woman supposed to keep it together with so much going on?
After her favorite aunt is found dead and an alarming box is mysteriously left on the doorstep of her aunt's house now legally hers, Lavinia Esposito wants explanations. But, having cleared the package of explosives, the local cops are dumbounded by the precious stones which came without an explanation, just an address, her Aunt Livvy's. Frustrated by the cops' refusal to share their theories, criminal justice instructor Lavinia Esposito, a.k.a. Vinnie, takes investigation matters into her own hands. Vinnie is soon dragged into situations beyond her control, finding herself in hot water with the law, the crooks, and her Italian father. Willing to put her life at risk to find out what really happened to her beloved Aunt Livvy, and why jewels would be addressed to her aunt, Vinnie plunges ahead with her usual tenacity, bravery, and keen wits to solve and survive this mystery.