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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Review - The Sayers Swindle

I reviewed the first in the series, "The Christie Curse" (click here) and was honored to interview this mother/daughter writing team (click here).  I finally got to this second book in this new series, sorry it took so long.  

The Mystery and Crime Fiction Blog Carnival is coming up, please submit your book reviews to the blog carnival (click here).

Author: Victoria Abbott

Copyright: December 2013 (Berkley) 305 pgs

Series: 2nd in Book Collector Mystery series

Sensuality: Kissing

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy

Main Characters: Jordan Bingham, works for Van Alst estate managing the book collection

Setting: Modern day, Harrison Falls NY

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

This book picks up where the last concluded.  Jordan is trying to track a collectors set of Dorothy Sayer books that had been stolen from Vera Van Alst's estate.  The stolen books had been sold to a rare book broker who in turn sold them to an elderly gentleman in the neighboring town.  When Jordan and the book broker visit Randolph Adams to arrange to get the books back, things appear to be shady. Before Mr. Adams can return the books there is a murder and Mr. Adams and his family disappear overnight.  As if this weren't enough to keep Jordan busy, another eccentric uncle comes to town to hide from some criminals in NY city.  Uncle Kevin is a handful in many ways and has the entire family topsy-turvy. 

Jordan is a smart and fun sleuth. There is no recriminations for her sleuthing and even has some humor about her ability to pick locks.  Uncle Lucky gets to shine a bit more in this story, which I was happy to see.  For a character that has no dialog (silent-type extraordinaire), he has quickly before a star. Uncle Kevin is an interesting new character, as the wild card to disrupt any plan. It looks like he will be a regular character. I like Kevin, but in restrained doses. Karen Smith, the owner of the Cozy Corpse mystery bookstore is assisting Jordan to recover the Sayer collection.  I am looking forward to more of her in future stories.  Vera Van Alst is her cranky stubborn self, with Jordan challenging her to be less insulated and self-absorbed.  Tyler Dekker (aka "Officer Smiley") gets plenty of Jordan-time but otherwise I didn't feel the character was expanded any further. Librarian Lance DeWitt has my vote for the romantic interest, but this book may have disrupted that.  I like Lance's character and that the romantic interest might not be the cliche cop.  I hope Lance's potential as a boyfriend is revived in the next book (I have my fingers crossed.)

The climax delivered my favorite, a tense killer confrontation. The wrap-up was heart warming.  This was a well paced story that kept my interest and delivered an entertaining mystery with humor, engaging characters, and a smart and sassy heroine.  A great follow-up for The Christie Curse.

Rating:  Near Perfect - Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend. 

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