Monday, July 13, 2009

Larceny and Lace-Annette Blair

Larceny and Lace
Annette Blair
Berkley, Aug. 4, 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425229118

She originally came to Mystick Falls, Connecticut for her sister’s wedding (see A Veiled Deception) that turned ugly with the homicide of the groom’s mother. However she has remained in the picturesque small town thanks to her centenarian friend Dolly Sweet giving her a building to house her new business. Madeira "Mad" Cutler knows the renovations from the Underhill Funeral Chapel carriage house is almost complete and in two weeks she will open the doors to Vintage Magic, a dress shop with historical classics and originals.

The construction crew has just left the facility when Maddie hears a noise; the intruder escapes and her spirited resident Dante the ghost says the person is male, but has no idea who he is. An arson set blaze destroys the historical playhouse across the street from Vintage Magic. While Maddie was there, her invader returned stealing the three decade old bones wrapped in a quilt and hidden in a drawer. Detective Sergeant Lytton Werner tells Maddie to stay out of his investigation and calls her shop a crime scene. However between Dante’s tips and her psychometric skill to see things that occurred by touching them, she tries to piece together what happened before the Halloween grand opening. Aunt Fiona, chairman of the Southeast Connecticut Chapter of the White Star Circle of Spirit arrives to help or hinder depending on who you ask at a time someone wants her dead with Dante, her best friend Eve, and Lytton trying to prevent her death.

The second Vintage Magic mystery (see A VEILED DECEPTION) is a wonderful investigative tale that will have armchair readers spellbound trying to solve the case before Maddie can. The inquiry enables the audience to learn more about the heroine’s family especially her father and aunt, as well as her BFF. With whimsy, humor and Dante to round out the magic, fans will enjoy this entertaining paranormal amateur sleuth while wondering if Lytton will become the latest cop bewitched by Mad Maddie.

Harriet Klausner