cover image Antiques Ravin’: A Trash ’n’ Treasure Mystery

Antiques Ravin’: A Trash ’n’ Treasure Mystery

Barbara Allan. Kensington, $26 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4967-1140-3

Allan’s amusing 13th Trash ’n’ Treasures mystery (after 2018’s Antiques Wanted) takes antique shop proprietor Vivian Borne, newly elected sheriff of Serenity, Iowa, and her de-facto deputy daughter and chauffeur, Brandy, to the tiny town of Antiqua to investigate antique shop break-ins. It seems nothing was stolen, but someone might have been looking for the Tales, a valuable 1845 Edgar Allen Poe collection that features prominently in Antiqua’s annual three-day Edgar Allan Poe Days festival. When Brandy finds a disgruntled café waitress dead inside a sarcophagus, evoking Poe’s “The Premature Burial,” Vivian tackles her first murder investigation, and the burgeoning body count puts her neophyte skills to the test. Luckily, Brandy and Brandy’s paramour, Serenity police chief Tony Cassato, have her back. The melodramatic Vivian and pragmatic Brandy play off each other like foils in a 1930s screwball comedy, and Poe puns, witty asides, and quirky townspeople keep things light. Series fans and newcomers alike will have fun. [em]Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (May) [/em]