cover image Antiques Swap: A Trash ’n’ Treasures Mystery

Antiques Swap: A Trash ’n’ Treasures Mystery

Barbara Allan. Kensington, $25 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7582-9304-6

Brandy Borne, a 32-year-old divorcée, and her 73ish, bipolar mother, Vivian, continue to make mischief and solve murders in Allan’s antic ninth Trash ’n’ Treasures mystery set in Serenity, Iowa (after 2014’s Antiques Con). Vivian cultivates a circle of retired women chosen for their differing areas of expertise and their willingness to gossip, as well as a group of old men selected for similar reasons. The crime du jour is the murder of Vanessa Sinclair, wife of Brandy’s friend Wes. The Sinclairs are part of a tight group of wealthy young couples, not all of whose activities are aboveboard. Brandy is torn between wanting to help the bereaved Wes, keeping a leash on her mother (whose loss of a license doesn’t keep her off the road), and coping with her difficult boyfriend, Tony Cassato, a cop on the case. Plenty of misunderstandings and confusion contribute to the book’s madcap, farcical air. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (May)