Antique Blues By Jane K. Cleland: Review/Giveaway/Interview

Jun 2, 2018 | 2018 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

This week we have a review of the latest Antiques Mystery by Jane K. Cleland, along with a fun interview with Jane. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Antique Blues, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.

Antique Blues: A Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery by Jane K. Cleland
Review by Sandra Murphy

Josie Prescott is an antiques appraiser, seller, and collector. She’s set to appraise her friend Mo’s newest acquisition, a Japanese woodblock print. It’s hard to know which are real prints and which are counterfeit, but Josie and her team are up to the job.

When Mo’s body is discovered at the bottom of a cliff, it’s determined it was murder. Josie feels it must have something to do with the print, but who would kill over $28,000? mystery book cover

In the meantime, she’s appraising a guitar with a shaky provenance. If the story can be proven, it’s worth a fortune. A local businessman approaches Josie with a proposition. As if that’s not enough, Josie is also planning her wedding. She wants small, her fiancé Ty, wants something bigger.

When Josie’s business is broken into, there are a few suspects. A missing man is her first choice since random seems unlikely. Wes, a local reporter, is a good source although he feels trading information must be of equal value or in his favor.

This is the twelfth book in the series. Josie continues to entertain and educate, all without bogging down the storyline. The mystery is a good one as readers will alight on one suspect and then another, only to find someone else did it. To add to the fun at Prescott’s, there are now two on-site cats.

Cleland takes readers behind the scenes to discover treasures, the history behind them and their value. While a lot of work, the thrill of discovery outweighs any tedium of dead ends during the search. Readers can start with this book but will want to go back to the beginning to see how Prescott’s grew over the years.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won’t see coming.

Interview with author Jane Cleland:

KRL: How long have you been writing?

Jane: I can’t remember ever not writing. I recall writing my first novel when I was seven.

KRL: When did your first novel come out? What was it called, and can you tell us a little about it?

Jane: Consigned to Death, the first novel in my Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series, was published in 2005. In each of my Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries there’s a pivotal antique. In Consigned to Death the pivotal antique was art stolen by the Nazis.

KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense? If not, what else have you written?

Jane: Yes, I’m a crime fiction writer. I also write books on the craft of writing for Writer’s Digest Book and articles for Writer’s Digest magazine. In the past, I wrote Business Communications books as well.

Jane K. Cleland mystery author

Jane K. Cleland

KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series? Tell me a little about the setting and main character for your most recent book.

Jane: I wanted to build a community that readers would enjoy visiting and revisiting. Rocky Point is a charming town on the rugged coast of New Hampshire. It’s a sweet and decent place, the kind of community where local bands play familiar tunes in the village gazebo on warm summer nights.

KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?

Jane: I certainly write to entertain, but I also hope I write about things that get people thinking.

KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?

Jane: I write all the time. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing.

KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?

Jane: I use a tool I created because I found myself rambling and getting lost in my characters. I call it Jane’s Plotting Roadmap. I use it to plan the key plot twists in my books. I introduced Jane’s Plotting Roadmap in Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot, which I’m thrilled to report won the Agatha Award for best nonfiction. I discuss it more extensively in Mastering Plot Twists, out later this cover

KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?

Jane: I’m pretty adaptable. I like writing in the morning, but I can write whenever and wherever I find myself.

KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?

Jane: Yes, sort of. I wrote a novel that didn’t sell, but I received great encouragement to continue on. My second book (the first Josie) sold right away.

KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?

Jane: When that first novel didn’t sell, one editor wrote something like, the narration is cumbersome, the characters are trite, the plot has problems, but she can write. I lived on that for a year. ?

KRL: Most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?

Jane: I could tell you about the times no one came to a signing, but I guess I’ll skip that.

KRL: Future writing goals?

Jane: To learn more about the craft of writing and write better books.

KRL: Writing heroes?

Jane: I have lots of favorite writers… my most recent favorite is Chuck Hogan’s The Prince of Thieves.

KRL: What kind of research do you do?

Jane: I do a fair amount of research about the antiques I focus on and other fact-based details in my books. I try hard to get things right, but then I make stuff up. Basically, I use facts to write fiction.

KRL: What do you read?

Jane: Mostly, I read crime fiction, thrillers and traditional mysteries. I dip my toe in an occasional nonfiction book, too.

KRL: Favorite TV or movies?

Jane: I enjoy Law and Order SVU and some reality competition shows like Chopped.

KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?

Jane: I think each writer has to find his or her own path to publication. I can share what I wish I’d known when I started that I know now. I wish I’d learned more about craft. I wish I’d read more, and I wish I’d read more widely. I wish I’d analyzed more exemplars. I’ve done that now, and I’m a better writer because of it.

KRL: Anything you would like to add?

Jane: Thank you for including me! I hope your readers give Josie a whirl! The twelfth in the series, Antique Blues, received a starred review from Library Journal. So exciting! You don’t need to read the books in order. Each book features the same cast of characters but is intended to stand alone.

KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Jane: Golly, I don’t know. I’m pretty transparent. What you see is what you get. Oh, wait! Maybe your readers would be surprised to learn that I drink Jack Daniels neat. Just pour it out of the bottle. I’m a Jack girl.

KRL: Website? Twitter? Facebook?

FB: janeclelandbooks
Twitter: @janekcleland

To enter to win a copy of Antique Blues, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “blues,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 9, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Keep an eye out for our mystery podcast launching on June 5.

Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Cute cover! I’d love to read this! Thanks for the opportunity.

  2. This book sounds really good. Would love to read it.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  3. I enjoyed the interview, and I’m certain that I need to read this series. Thanks for the chance to win Antique Blues. nschwenkner (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. This is a new series to me and I would love the chance to win this! Thank you for the giveaway!

  5. I love reading these books as they are based in NH. I lived there for many years and a lot of towns and places I have been to are mentioned. I also love antiquing so Jane Cleland’s books are perfect for me. Thank you for this chance at the giveaway.

  6. I love the idea of an antiques mystery series. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Antique Blues. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  7. Great interview with this author. Love her Josie books!! thank you for the chance to win

  8. I can’t believe I’ve missed this series so far. Josie and her team sound so exciting! Thank you for the chance to win!

  9. Sounds like a good book for me to read. Thanks for the introduction.

  10. I haven’t read this series yet. Sounds like my kind of read.

  11. Wow, I love cozies with cats and this one has two! Thanks for having the giveaway.

  12. We have a winner!

  13. Never heard about this book before, seems good.
    I love the cover!
    Thanks for sharing


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