Monday, January 4, 2010

Antiques Bizarre-Barbara Allan

Antiques Bizarre
Barbara Allan
Kensington, Mar 2010, $22.00
ISBN: 9780758234216

After a horrible winter, the residents of the Midwest town of Serenity are rejoicing that spring has arrived. Unfortunately though the temperatures rises, the warmer weather leads to melting of ice and snow further north and the Mississippi is overflowing its banks. Serenity is flooded and as the river overflows its’ banks and certain streets remain under water. Help the flood victims are septuagenarian Vivian Bourne and her thirtyish daughter Brandy who will host an auction at the Catholic Church.

They visit wealthy Madam Petrova to ask her to donate a Faberge egg although they expect a no from her. Instead she agrees to give them the last one commissioned by the Czar. Art expert Louis Martinette authenticated it decades ago and apparently wins the bidding with a million dollar offer. However, before the gavel comes down to end the bid, people fall to the floor ill. Both Madam Petrova and Louis Martinette are dead and the egg is missing. The cause of the sickness is the Mulligan stew made by Mrs. Mulligan, who commits suicide while Father O'Brien is stabbed to death. Vivian feels responsible as the deaths are related to her auction so with Brandy at her side; she investigates who the serial killing thief is

The latest Trash ‘N’ Treasures mystery (see Antiques Flee Market) is an amusing whodunit with less of the cute asides than the previous tales as the mother and daughter team get down to investigative business almost from the onset. Off her Prozac, surrogate pregnant Brandy struggles to keep her bi-polar mom in line during their inquiry, which Brandy’s boyfriend the police chief objects to their investigation for safety reasons.. Vivian is over the top with her interrogation methods while Brandy deals with morning sickness and her madcap mother’s mayhem.

Harriet Klausner