cover image Antiques Maul: A Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery

Antiques Maul: A Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery

Barbara Allan, . . Kensington, $22 (229pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-1193-4

In this jumbled sequel to Antiques Roadkill (2006), Allan (the pseudonymous husband-and-wife writing team of Max Allan and Barbara Collins) burdens a simple whodunit with too much sentimental ornament. Recent divorcée Brandy Borne has her hands full with her aging, scatterbrained mother, Vivian, who has just announced her retirement from local theater. To keep Vivian busy and generate some cash, Brandy suggests they open a stall in the new antiques mall in their small Midwestern town of Serenity. Then the two women find a retired schoolteacher dead at the mall, apparently killed by her pit bull. Vivian insists the woman was murdered, but the official investigation comes up empty. Brandy and Vivian also detect a bit, but to little practical effect, eventually stumbling on the solution by chance. Brandy's rambling narration and Vivian's dotty escapades may not hold the attention of hardcore mystery fans, but antiques addicts will enjoy the “trash 'n' treasures” tips. (Sept.)