cover image Death of a Russian Doll: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery

Death of a Russian Doll: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery

Barbara Early. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-68331702-9

In Early’s appealing third Vintage Toyshop mystery (after 2017’s Murder on the Toy Town Express), the budding romance between Liz McCall, who works in her father’s vintage toy shop in East Aurora, N.Y., and Ken Young, the town’s police chief, abruptly ends when Ken’s beautiful Russian wife, Marya, breezes into town and quickly finds work at the hair salon next to the toy shop. When Marya is found strangled with the cord of a hair dryer, Ken is in the sticky position of being a person of interest for the police force he heads. This problem is solved when the mayor appoints Liz’s dad, the former police chief, to step in as interim chief until the killer is apprehended. The plot is complex enough, Liz and her gang of relatives and friends are entertaining, and the descriptions of the array of vintage toys create a nice mood of nostalgia. This quick and easy cozy is as comfy as its narrator’s well-worn Scooby-Doo pajamas. Agent: Kim Lionetti, BookEnds Literary Agency. (Oct.)