cover image Antiques Knock-Off: A Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery

Antiques Knock-Off: A Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery

Barbara Allan, Kensington, $22 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7582-3423-0

Brandy Borne, seven months pregnant as a surrogate mom, dutifully monitors her own bipolar mother, Vivian, in Allan's quirky fifth Trash 'n' Treasures mystery set in the Midwestern Mississippi River town of Serenity (after 2010's Antiques Bizarre). Despite these obligations, Brandy manages to maintain an innocent romance with Tony Cassato, the Serenity police chief, as well as do a little antiquing and crime solving. When unlikable Connie Grimes, who once worked for Brandy's biological U.S. senator father, turns up dead with a knife in her chest, dotty Vivian confesses to the murder and goes to the slammer, where she meets a jailmate and potential witness to the real killer. And that's just one of the highlights. Throw in a touch of Mafia menace, a New Age hypnotist with a herd of cats, a very tasty recipe, and some smart tips on antique collecting, and you've got yourself a sure-fire winner. (Mar.)