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

Antiques Frame: A Trash ’n’ Treasures Mystery

Barbara Allan. Kensington, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7582-9312-1

Camilla Cassuto, the not-quite-ex-wife of Brandy Borne’s significant other, police chief Tony Cassuto, has moved to Serenity, Iowa, in Allan’s appealing 11th mystery featuring Brandy and her mother, Vivian (after 2016’s Antiques Fate). Brandy and Vivian have recently finished filming their reality TV show, Antiques Sleuths, and Brandy hopes to get her personal life back on track by persuading Camilla to sign the divorce papers. But when Brandy visits Camilla’s shop, she finds the woman beaten to death with a cast-iron corn husker. After Brandy’s arrest, Tony must recuse himself from the investigation. Live-wire Vivian sets out to clear her daughter’s name with her usual gusto and risible results. Whenever Vivian gets too lively and threatens to spin out of control, Brandy is able to take charge of the narrative and slow things down, allowing readers to catch their breath. Some may find this series too manic and far-fetched for their taste. Allan is the pseudonym of Barbara and Max Allan Collins. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (May)