First in the Maggie Summers "antique print" cozy mystery series set on the east coast. Maggie is a college professor but also has an antique prints business called Shadows on the side. A recent widow, she does the antique show circuit and this story takes place at one such show. When one of her fellow dealers ends up murdered and her good friend Gussie's nephew Ben, who has Down's Syndrome, is accused of the crime, Maggie knows she needs to look more deeply at the situation than the police seem to be doing and sets out to ask a few questions of her own to clear Ben's name.
I figured out the bad guy way ahead of time and after a few clues were dropped, even figured out the motive well before the end of the book, too. This was an okay first entry in a series. I liked Maggie well enough, though I felt she was rather two-dimensional. The dialogue was kind of stilted and didn't seem very realistic, and the whole package just didn't work well for me--something about the whole book just felt "off." I did enjoy learning about antique prints and the whole "antiques fair circuit" but it really wasn't enough to maintain my interest; I rate the book a C grade and highly doubt I'll continue reading more in the series.
I wasn't quite satisfied with the writing style of this book. The story itself was pretty good, but the writing seemed a bit off. Still, it's not a bad attempt for a first novel. I'll definitely be giving the others in the series a try as I feel there's a lot of potential for improvement with this author!
I enjoyed this book. I enjoy cozy mysteries that have a specific theme. This is the first in a series of antique print mysteries. Maggie, the sleuth, not only teaches college; but travels to antique shows selling antique prints which makes an interesting background to the mystery.
First in a new series featuring Maggie Summer, owner of Shadow Antiques specializing in antique prints. This one takes place at an antiques show where dealers are being murdered. I'm going to enjoy this series. Looking forward to the next one.
From Publishers Weekly: "Homicide and antiques combine smoothly in this well-crafted mystery, the first in a new series, from fourth-generation antiques dealer and children's historical novelist Wait (Stopping to Home). Since several antiques dealers have died lately under suspicious circumstances, the police are especially vigilant at the Rensselaer County (N.Y.) Spring Antiques Fair. Despite their precautions, recently widowed Maggie Summer, an antique prints dealer who calls her business "Shadows," has just set up her booth when she learns a fellow dealer has died after a scuffle. The police soon accuse Ben, the 20-year-old nephew of Maggie's disabled friend, Gussie White, who has an adjoining booth, but Ben has Down's syndrome and is unable to clear himself of the murder charge. A second death puts all the dealers under suspicion. Because the fair lasts only three days, Maggie and new acquaintance Will Brewer, a dealer in fireplace tools who has his charms ("Kindly women might have called him a teddy bear, complete with beard and slight beer belly"), must act quickly to help the police solve the murders before her colleagues (and the killer?) disperse. Full of fascinating information about antiques and antiques fairs (each chapter head includes a catalogue-like description of an antique print), plus helpful maps and careful directions for finding one's place in the crime scene, this solid debut will appeal to cozy fans who appreciate a realistic background."
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This is the first book in the "Antique Print" mysteries and is very well written. It's especially fun to read if you enjoy antique shows and flea markets as you'll relate to many of the observances and events. A great read!
In the world of antiques dealing, there are minor calamities...like accidentally selling a rare engraving for $170 instead of $1,700. Then there are worse tragedies--such as the chain of suspicious death among dealers in the weeks prior to the Rensselaer County Spring Antiques Fair. For Maggie Summer, owner of Shadow Antiques and an antique print expert, the threat of murder is far from her mind as she displays her treasures at the prestigious show. When a sudden death claims a victim at the show, she will race to stop a killer--if she can distinguish those she suspects from the real deal!