cover image The Art of the Decoy: A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery

The Art of the Decoy: A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery

Trish Esden. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-64385-964-4

In this captivating series launch from Esden (the Dark Heart series as Pat Esden), Edie Brown comes home to Scandal Mountain, Vt., smarting from her mother’s conviction for art forgery that has tarnished her own reputation, as well as that of her family’s antiques business, and seeking a road to recovery. In addition, she herself has been on probation for selling stolen property. Aided by her horticulturally gifted uncle, Tuck, and tech-savvy assistant, Kala Acosta, Edie evaluates a prized collection of folk art decoys for Nina Graves-Bouchard and her father-in-law, Claude Bouchard. When the collection disappears, Nina accuses Edie of theft and threatens to go to the police. Spurred to clear her name and recover the decoys, Edie discovers a disturbing trail that may involve malice toward the family business, a previous robbery in Canada, and potential danger for a vulnerable Claude. An amusing purveyor of gossip, an exciting chase, a rich historical and cultural background, and a complex relationship between Edie and her former probation officer add interest and depth. Readers will look forward to further antique hunts with the stubborn, courageous Edie and her team. Agent: Marlene Stringer, Stringer Literary. (Apr.)