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Sleuthing mother and daughter solve the murder of the high bidder on a Fabergé egg.

Since she’s acting as a surrogate mother for her best friend, Brandy Borne has gone off Prozac. She thinks her biggest problem is morning sickness, until her mother Vivian comes up with an idea to make some money for their flood-ravaged Mississippi River town by holding a multi-church bazaar. When they call on Madam Petrova, who represents the Russian Orthodox Church, Vivian has no scruples about asking her to donate her Fabergé egg. Surprisingly, Madam agrees, and the egg, a rather plain specimen because it was the last to be commissioned by the tsar, attracts the attention of the major auction houses. The winning bidder is Louis Martinette, a well-known collector willing to pay $1 million for an item he’d authenticated years before. When the excitement dies down, audience members partake of the meal the bazaar has provided and fall ill. Madame Petrova dies; Martinette is killed in a suspicious fall from a church staircase; and the egg goes missing. When Father O’Brien is killed with the caterer’s cake knife, the case becomes a murder hunt for the Bornes despite the disapproval of Brandy’s newest love interest, the local police chief.

Though Brandy and Vivian’s adventures (Antiques Flee Market, 2008, etc.) have to date been uninspiring, this latest has a tighter plot and less extraneous fluff than usual. Maybe there’s still hope for the future of this over-the-top duo.

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7582-3421-6
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2009


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