Thievery best mysteries for those who love antiques and a wonderful female sleuth. Order them all and read them in order, you won't regret it.
She sponsors a Gala auction for a local charity at her auction house. Maisy Gaylor, a Guild representative dies right there on stage in front of the 100's of people that are attending. Naturally everybody there thinks it has to be natural causes. There are no outward signs of injury or wrong-doing. The next day, however, the police come to cord off the entire area. It was no accident or natural causes. It was murder.
The poison was in the wine. Multiple people were serving, sharing and handling wine bottles from the servers to Josie herself. Was Maisy the target or was Josie the target? There glasses were next to each other. The main dilemma is that neither of them seem to have enemies until someone from Josie's past appears to be out of jail and Maisy appears to be involved in a blackmail scheme.
Then a tureen gets stolen out of the auction house. This is one of the items that had been auctioned the night of the Gala. When is it discovered? - when an expert is there to appraise it for the buyers. The big question is - are the crimes related? or are they separate?
Detective Rowcliffe is the officer in charge of the cases. He has a very good reputation for solving cases. The Dectective is very aggressive, hostile officer and spares no ones feelings in his interrogations. He also gives nothing away as to what progress is being made or who the suspects are in the case(s).
Josie is paranoid - is someone trying to kill her? - is someone trying to ruin her reputation? She needs to move fast and figure out what's going on before her business reputation is in ruins. She feels the police are just not moving fast enough. With the help of Wes, a reporter for the local paper, she starts her own investigation. There are multiple suspects and many secrets uncovered before the truth comes out.
In Deadly Appraisal Josie's character has developed somewhat. She isn't quite the emotional basket case as she was in Consigned to Death. This is an improvement because it's hard to imagine that she can be tough enough to forge through with an investigation and be as weepy as she was in the first book. The believability is a bit thin. However, she seems to have gotten stronger in book two. She's still emotional but what female isn't? I don't feel that Deadly Appraisal was as fast a read as Consigned to Death and I'm not sure why. I guess reader's will have to decide for themselves. I hope that if Ms. Cleland writes another in the series that Josie will continue to show some growth as she did in this one.
Intertwined throughout the book is information about antiques buying and selling which will be of real interest to mystery readers that are into antiques. A particular plus in this series is that each book stands alone. The first does not have to be read to understand the second and that is always good.
I really like this series. It is a light read, yet has a good plot and characters.
The antique tips are fascinating. I can just imagine myself going to Jose's warehouse sales and auctions. My only complaint is Jose is so guilt ridden, blaming herself for everything that happens. Still I will be reading more of the series.
New book from Jane K Cleland, fun reading...
One of the great benefits of PBS is that one can use it to find such gems as books by Jane K. Cleland, an author who I had never heard of. She writes Mysteries about antiques, both of which are of interest to me. Further, they are placed, for the most part in New Hampshire, the state to which I have retired. There is no need to read her novels in the order in which they were written, as many try to do. There is great depth to her characters, locations and plot and each one can really stand on it's own.
May I say that the first author of New Hampshire mysteries that I was introduced to by PBS, were the "lewis cole mysteries, by Brendon DuBois. Also great.