Minotaur, Jan 4 2011, $24.99
Jane Wheel is a picker who buys items at estate sales, auctions and flea market to resell at a higher price. She is also a private investigator’s apprentice, which will come in handy when she and her friend picker Tim Lowry are preparing to show the Kendall Estate so it will look good to customers attending the event.
Tim finds an old play written by Frederick Kendall in 1908; believing it will bring in more buyers, he wants to put on a production of the murder mystery play that Jane finds as amusing drivel that helps lift her from the depression of her divorce from Nick. His plan is to use friends and family including Jane’s parents. A ventriloquist’s dummy Mr. Bumby is leaving threatening notes insisting people will if the play is performed. Tragedy strikes when a carpenter is murdered. Jane investigates hoping to find the culprit before someone else is killed.
Jan Wheel has become more confident in her self and likewise with her sleuthing abilities as she follows her instincts while seeking clues. Jane assumes the person sending the threatening messages via the dummy is the killer, but who remains elusive. Using dabs of humor, readers will enjoy the latest Wheel Stuff (see Buried Stuff) as Jane regains her equilibrium.