The Carlswick Mythology, S.L. Beaumont
The 5th in the Carlswick series, THE CARLSWICK MYTHOLOGY is a young adult (at the upper end of the age range), slightly female orientated series, based around main characters Stephanie Cooper and her rock drummer boyfriend James Knox. Whilst it's not absolutely necessary to have read any of the earlier books (THE CARLSWICK AFFAIR, THE CARLSWICK TREASURE, THE CARLSWICK CONSPIRACY and THE CARLSWICK DECEPTION), it did help that I'd read the 4th book, and therefore had a bit of an inkling of these two and how their version of a rock star lifestyle works.
In this outing James has invited Stephanie to a short holiday on a small Greek island where a good friend of hers is working on an archaeological dig. Right at the end of the holiday, friend Kerry discovers stolen Syrian antiquities, the recovery of which Stephanie and James soon become involved in. As they believed they were unsuccessful in recovering them, it comes as a big surprise to all of them when James is arrested on their return to London, in possession of one of the statues, accused of theft. Meanwhile Stephanie's summer job with New Scotland Yards' Art Fraud squad is tailor-made to get her into the right circles to investigate these statues and clear James. Add in some organised crime gang activity and a lot of chasing about and this is action packed without being overly taxing, romance that's not overly cloying, and a slight lack of Mythology which didn't occur until much later.
This is a solid YA series overall. It can sometimes be a little clunky when drawing facts into play, but the characters more than make up for any slight glitches there. The central pairing of Stephanie and James is lovely - romantic without being annoying and clingy, these are two equals despite Knox's rock star persona. The interweaving of the life of an indi-musician and that of Stephanie who is more of the investigator, the thinker of the pair works well, as do the plots overall. Well worth considering if you're in the upper age reaches of YA market, and looking for something that's got action, romance and a bit of daring doing.
Ruthless antiquities traffickers.
When recently recovered Syrian antiquities are stolen in the Greek Islands, Stephanie Cooper and boyfriend James Knox find their vacation interrupted as they help archaeologist friends Kerry and Nico try to recover the treasures. But when one of the missing artefacts turns up in London, suspicion falls on James, who is in financial strife following the death of his grandfather.
With a crime syndicate also hunting for the relics, Stephanie and her friends become the target of their search. An irresistible clue sees Stephanie going against her better judgement and following a trail that leads to Geneva and Rome. Too late, she realises that there is more at stake than just two precious ancient artefacts.