February 23, 1998 12:00 PM

by Jayne Ann Krentz

As director of the prestigious Leabrook Foundation, Eugenia Swift must catalog the items in a private glass collection willed to the foundation’s museum by a kinky millionaire, shipping magnate Adam Daventry. One problem: His death may not be the accident police say it is, so Eugenia’s boss hires a bodyguard to accompany the lithe, ambitious curator to Daventry’s all-glass estate in an arts colony off Puget Sound.

That bodyguard, Cyrus Chandler Colfax, plays a pivotal role in this latest work from bestselling novelist Jayne Ann Krentz. A rugged, home-spun investigator who favors mirrored shades and Hawaiian shirts, he is there to demonstrate a time-honored axiom of romantic suspense: Opposites attract. Naturally, Eugenia and her love interest have separate, hidden agendas, but they manage to form a partnership: Eugenia wants information about a missing girlfriend, a painter who was Daventry’s ex-lover, while Cyrus is actually searching for an unholy grail called the Hades Cup, a priceless glass bowl cut in the fourth century A.D. and probably last owned by Daventry.

The romance is telegraphed and the suspense slight, but thankfully, the dialogue in Krentz’s 12th novel cuts through with enough sarcasm and snappy double entendres to make even predictable exchanges entertaining. (Pocket, $24)

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