cover image Antiques Fire Sale: A Trash ’n’ Treasures Mystery

Antiques Fire Sale: A Trash ’n’ Treasures Mystery

Barbara Allan. Kensington, $26 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4967-1143-4

Allan’s delightfully quirky 15th whodunit featuring septuagenarian antiques expert Vivian Borne and her dutiful sidekick and daughter, Brandy Borne (after 2019s Antique Ravin’), opens with the duo going to the courthouse in Serenity, Iowa, to “answer questions regarding some ‘unorthodox’ actions” newly elected county sheriff Vivian used a few weeks earlier on her first case. Vivian and Brandy later tour the historic Wentworth mansion, which is filled with valuable antiques. When the house burns down with all its highly insured contents, it appears to be a case of arson. A charred body found amid the ruins turns out to be the mansion’s owner, James Sutter, an old boyfriend of Vivian’s. Vivian suspects James was murdered, and won’t let Serenity police chief Tony Cassato, Brandy’s boyfriend, tell her otherwise. Two more murders raise the ante. Vivian and other characters who occasionally share narrative duties with Brandy provide fresh viewpoints on the investigation. For those fond of feel-good cozies, Allan (the pseudonym of Barbara and Max Allan Collins) delivers. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (May)