Poor Officer Dekker: little did he know when he moved to Harrison Falls, New York, to begin working his first job as a police officer, that his life would be turned upside down.
At the start of the first book collector mystery, The Christie Curse, it was just his bad luck to fall head over heels for Jordan Kelly Bingham, the niece of a large rabble of lovable Irish crooks. Why couldn’t this nice young man find a nice fellow officer or a teacher or a …? Well, he just couldn’t, that’s all.
Smiley (as Jordan calls him) has already gone against the wishes of his family to join the police and it’s a bit of a lonely existence in this town in Upstate, New York. He has found himself, in his late twenties, a bit adrift with only his large, shaggy mutt (Cobain) as company. He has bought himself a small vintage bungalow, which is always spotless. And yet, we like him. His plants are green, his dog is well-cared for and he knows his way around a kitchen. He’s straight as an arrow. He may have opportunities for advancement at work. And he’ll make detective yet.
Jordan likes Smiley a lot. She may be the first person in her family to go straight, but she still loves and spends time with her Uncle Mick and Uncle Lucky. It goes without saying that they are horrified by the scandal of having a cop in the family.
Face it, that kind of involvement couldn’t possibly help a young recruit build the career that he’s sacrificed so much for. Plus Jordan so often seems to be closely implicated in crimes herself. He’s pretty sure she owns a set of lockpicks and she does know how to disappear into the fog at night. There’s no way he can let her get away with that or that he can jeopardize his career. Too bad Smiley can’t keep his emotions under his police cap, but that telltale blush that starts at his neck and races to the roots of his wavy blond hair keeps giving him away.
Jordan can always make him smile: he doesn’t know it’s because she likes to see the little space between his front teeth. It is pretty cute, although he doesn’t know that either.
Smiley’s challenge as the book collector series moves along is to make that decision: is he there for her or will he sacrifice Jordan for his job? Can this relationship ever really work? Will the conflict of interest between the would-be police detective and the criminal almost in-laws be a deal-breaker?
By the end of book four, The Marsh Madness, we all know the answer to that. Oh yes, we do.
If you have any advice for Smiley, do leave it in a comment. We'll make sure he gets it!
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Here we're trying out our Officer Abbott look.