by Sandra Murphy
Details on how to win a copy of Antiques Swap at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book.
Brandy and Vivian are about to get their own reality show, Antiques Sleuths, based on their love of antiques … and penchant for finding dead bodies. Of course, they won’t know for sure until the TV execs see the pilot episode. Brandy’s more than a little worried that Vivian’s reality may be too much for television—even cable—but she’s willing to go along with the plan. After all, it’s hard to dissuade Vivian of anything, even when she’s on her meds.
The whole thing started when Brandy ran into Wesley Sinclair III at the local swap meet. They were talking innocently, but when Brandy turned to leave, she tripped. Wes caught her—just as his wife, Vanessa, arrived. To say Vanessa was upset is a major understatement.
It’s a surprise to Brandy when Vanessa calls her at Trash ’n’ Treasures, their antiques/vintage shop. Before Brandy can explain or apologize for what happened with Wes, Vanessa apologizes for overreacting and invites Brandy to come to her house to appraise vintage beer steins. Wes has decided to sell his collection, she says, in favor of sports memorabilia instead. Well, things are looking up!
The house is massive and complete with a man-cave, and Brandy is able to photograph the mugs so she can research their value. She’ll go back with an estimate—and Vivian—in tow. Research turns out to be the easy part of the deal, because by the time they get back to the house, Vivian’s dead. Since Brandy’s ex-boyfriend is now acting chief of police, she’s brought in for questioning. The fact that her current boyfriend is back in town, back in her good graces, and back on the force, doesn’t help.
Vanessa didn’t lock the door; so it could be a random murder. On the other hand, the neighbor across the street says she saw Wes come home in the middle of the afternoon. Wes says he didn’t—and, by the way, that he’d had no intention of selling the beer steins, making Brandy look all the worse.
As Brandy (and Vivian, never one to be left out), investigate a little (well, in Vivian’s case, a lot), they find clues about the mysterious Eight of Clubs, supposedly a bridge club where no one ever plays cards and there’s a loose interpretation of “partners.”
The whole lifestyle of the rich seems weird to Brandy—and since she lives with Vivian, the Queen of Weird, that’s going some. Wes is surrounded by his old college friends, and the wives are more accessories than people. One thing’s for sure—the rich don’t live like the rest of us. Be glad of it!
Brandy is remarkably sane considering all that’s going on in her life, and Tony’s back as boyfriend if not as chief of police. Vivian is always over-the-top and gets away with—well, not murder, but just short of that. The surprising part is she’s astute enough to be right more often than not, and brash enough to pretend she is when she’s not.
Sushi, the blind and diabetic Shih Tzu, has had eye surgery for her cataracts and can see again! You’ll have to wait until the last page to find out if their reality show is a go or not.
The Trash ’n’ Treasures series has good mysteries, great characters, and a lot of information of about finding your own treasures. This is the ninth in the series (plus a couple of additional ebooks). Last year’s Antiques Con was reviewed for KRL. Hold on: with Vivian at the wheel (of the story, she’s not allowed to drive a car—well, unless in case of emergency, like a late night need for ice cream or to investigate), it will be a bumpy ride.
To enter to win a copy of Antiques Swap simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Swap,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 6, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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