Brandy Borne's new life in the small Mississippi River town of Serenity is anything but serene. Moving back in with her bipolar mom, Vivian-an antique herself, who treats Brandy like a perpetual five-year old-is challenging enough, but stocking and running their antiques holiday booth at the mall together is positively daunting. And as the big Christmas season gets into full swing, they find themselves in the midst of small-town mayhem when an old flame of Vivian's turns up mysteriously deceased. `Tis the season-to be murdered?
Brandy and her diva mom last saw the recently departed dealer, Walter Yeager, at a flea market where Vivian made her usual theatrical scene while saving Walter from under-pricing a valuable first edition of Tarzan and the Apes. The prospective buyer was furious, and when Walter winds up dead the next day-"officially" of a heart attack-and the book goes missing, Vivian senses a Yuletide homicide.
As the season's first flakes of snow drift lazily down over Serenity, Brandy and her mother-with moral support from Sushi, the decidedly spoiled Shih Tzu-must unearth vintage clues that point to restless ghosts from the town's past. If there's any duo that can tell a fake from the real thing, it's Brandy and her scene-stealing mother. But even though they may know who's been naughty and who's been nice, they'll have to be very careful not to disturb too many ghosts from Christmas past...
Don't miss Brandy Borne's tips on antiques!
At the start of Allan's lively third antiques mystery (after 2007's Antiques Maul), divorc?e Brandy Borne and her eternally glamorous if somewhat annoying mother, Vivian, are busy preparing for the Christmas rush in the small Midwestern town of Serenity. Then Walter Yeager, a fellow antiques dealer, dies of cyanide poisoning soon after it becomes public knowledge that the WWII veteran owned a valuable first edition of Tarzan of the Apes, which disappears from the crime scene. Walter's 20-year-old British goth granddaughter, Chaz, becomes the top suspect due to her prison record, but Brandy and Vivian believe she's innocent. Told primarily from Brandy's viewpoint with Vivian sneaking in quips for extra pizzazz, this bubbly tongue-in-cheek cozy also includes flea market shopping tips and a recipe. Allan is the pseudonym of the husband-wife writing team of Barbara and Max Allan Collins. (Sept.)
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Kensington Publishing Corporation
November 02, 2009
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