"20 Carats": A Maizie Albright “Between Cases” Twisty Tale and Cozy Crime Novella By Larissa Reinhart

Review by Cynthia Chow

This book is a little different, anyone can claim a free ebook copy along with copies of several other mysteries at Prolific Works.

Former child actress and teen celeb Maisie Albright is still happily pursuing her apprenticeship as a budding Private Investigator in Black Pine, Georgia, with Wyatt Nash, but it’s not without a few speedbumps. Her Momager Vicki Albright bought out Nash’s ex-wife’s half of the business and renamed it Albright Security Solutions, meaning that Vicki still plays a very controlling role in her daughter’s life. Maisie’s reality-show life comes back with a vengeance when her ex-fiancé Giulio Ignazio Belloni calls, claiming that he was for some reason just arrested. Even though Giulio broke up with Maizie and then became engaged to her mother for their reality show, Giulio and Maizie are not entirely not-friends despite his willingness to sell his soul to further his career. 

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Giulio has just been found with a 20-carat gold vintage Tiffany’s box once owned by Maisie’s mother, and apparently there is a California warrant out for his arrest. Vicki Albright and Maisie’s former “Kung Fu Kate” martial arts trainer are out of reach and off in Patagonia, so Giulio is asking for his (one-of-several) ex-fiancée’s help in keeping him out of jail. That’s going to get more difficult when the newest hot actress Heather Holliday claims that Giulio has stolen her Elizabeth Taylor diamond necklace, making this the second theft linked to Giulio. A lookalike for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson but with blue eyes, Nash isn’t thrilled to be helping Maisie’s ex or be back in the chaos of the celebrity world. So that’s why it’s perfect that Maisie’s friend Rhonda is more than willing to interview Heather and her ego for a blog, especially when it turns out that there is a labyrinth-like web of connections between Vicki’s movie productions and an assortment of ambitious actors. 

Due to a bit of publishing snafus and timing wonkiness, this novella is coming out before the “19” full novel installment. Readers should be reassured that they won’t be confused or left feeling a bit out of the loop though, as this shorter novella focuses on Maisie taking on one client while her mother is incommunicado off-screen. These novels and novellas excel at their depictions of the Hollywood and celebrity culture, revealing both its allure and the insanity for those living within it. 

Maisie often finds herself struggling to stay in the “real” world and the Instagramable lifestyle her mother tries to force upon her, even if it is done mostly with good intentions. And profits. Giulio continues to be adorably clueless and blatantly ambitious, with his shallowness somehow coming across as being just another aspect of his charm. Stoic Nash has less of a role in this investigation than in previous ones, rather fitting since Maisie is attempting to prove herself as a very capable and independent investigator. Her experience with personal assistants and the habits of egotistical actresses are essential in helping her solve the mystery, delivering a very fun and satisfying conclusion. Hopefully the next ninth in this series (but titled with 19) will arrive quickly and provide readers with their next celebrity-laden mystery featuring a celebrity-phobic, former teen star, currently aspiring detective.

Giveaway: This book is a little different, anyone can claim a free ebook copy along with copies of several other mysteries at Prolific Works.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new Christmas episode went up this week.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).
 Disclosure: KRL receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Thank you so much for the review! I'm so glad you enjoyed 20 Carats. I had a lot of fun writing it. <3! Larissa


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