“Emeralds and Espionage” by author Lynn Gardner is first in this series of LDS suspense novels. I warn you that once you get started, you won’t want to finish until you’ve read every installment there is.
Allison Alexander works at the United Nations. On vacation, she returns home to California to the vast estate where her parents work as caretakers. No sooner has she arrived but she is shot at by a cartel of armed men who have taken over the mansion. She doesn’t know who these men are or what they want, and she has to rely on her knowledge of the secret passages in the house in order to find a place to hide. But it’s more than a matter of keeping herself safe – she doesn’t know where her parents are, and she has to find them as well.
The more digging she does, the more startled she is at what she discovers. Apparently her parents are spies, and she has stumbled onto some sort of crime ring that her parents have been working to bring down. But what part does she play in all this, and what about Bart, the guy she’s been in love with her whole life? When he shows up on the estate, she thinks he’s there to save her, but it would seem that he’s working for the bad guys. But is anything really what it seems? When a Mormon bishop shows up and appears to be involved too, Allison’s not sure which way is up any more. She can only rely on her instincts and trust that everything will turn out the way it should.
This book is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing to the end. While it’s not as well written as the books that follow it in the series, it’s a fun and exciting read and you’ll enjoy it as I did.
(This book was published in 1995 by Covenant Communications.)