Jade O'Reilly and the Ice Queen (A Sweetwater Short)

Jade O'Reilly and the Ice Queen (A Sweetwater Short) - Tamara Ward,  Allison O'Neill 3-3.5 starsEnjoyed this short story, which, compared to many "short stories", was more like a novella - more pages than you think.Cute way to introduce the main characters: Jade O'Reilly, a 20-something gal with family issues who's currently working as a PI for a 40-something ex-military, ex-cop. Her nemesis is Mack, a 50/60-something ex-cop who turned to PI work after a bullet in the leg ended his detective days. Mack is older, more experienced, by-the-book, demands respect, doesn't know a joke if it hit him in the face, and all-around serious, sober guy. Mack and Jade go at it daily, especially in the morning meeting at their PI firm; Jade suspects part of the reason she was hired was because her go-rounds with Mack supply the owner with entertainment.But sometimes Jade does some side-work for her caterer sister-in-law, Sarah. It's at a party at a hoity-toity mansion when Jade's on a break that she becomes embroiled in the mystery of the theft of the Ice Queen. The Ice Queen is a touted antique vase with opalescent glass and silver and jeweled handles. The vase was recently featured in several articles.Jade overhears a conversation between rich Penelope (hosting the party) and her shabby brother Rick and his wife Tara. Rick and Tara are skeedaddling out of the party via the front door - something no one does and an entrance not being used at this party. While chatting with Rick and Tara, Penelope discovers the Ice Queen is missing; she immediately accuses Tara, whose purse is bulging. Tara won't allow Penelope to look in her purse, so Penelope makes a fuss. Enter Gregory, Penelope's husband, while Rick and Tara rush out the door. But it only gets worse: Penelope and Gregory start into a major husband-wife argument, where Penelope all but accuses Gregory of adultery with her own sister, Olivia, and we learn that Rick and Tara are not only shabby, but broke. Olivia enters, also from the front door, and the skirmish continues.When it breaks up, Jade offers to assist Penelope in finding the Ice Queen, something that Gregory adamantly says they don't need help with. But Jade's looking to do some PI work on her own and wants to bring in $1K in revenue. Penelope hires her, despite Gregory's wishes.Who took the Ice Queen? Rick and Tara - for money? For revenge on Penelope for "taking" the Ice Queen from their dying father? Olivia - for revenge and spite, since she thought she was supposed to get the vase? And why is Gregory's dog locked in the front closet and barking her head off?Despite flack from Mack, Jade is assigned to the case, and off she goes. But can she discover the thief?Hoping for even more character development and clues behind the mysteries in Jade's life - the family stuff, her tattoo, and why she dumped the too-good-to-be true ex-fiancee Dale Pickles (besides his last name).