A fashion-obsessed team of sleuthing antiques dealers takes on the Big Apple.
Vivian Borne is a bipolar 70-ish drama queen; her daughter, Brandy Borne, is the divorced, Prozac-popping owner of a blind Shih Tzu named Sushi. All three are in New York City for a comic-book convention at the Hotel Pennsylvania, where they hope to sell a Superman drawing for big bucks. Their trip has been comped by convention organizer Tommy Bufford; after a little confusion over rooms, they end up in what was supposed to be Tommy’s suite, where they scare off an intruder the first night of their stay. Things go from bad to worse when they find Tommy with an award pen sticking out of his chest. The investigating officer is the brother of Brandy’s lover, Tony Cassato, who was chief of the Serenity, Iowa, police department until entering the witness protection program when the New Jersey mob put out a hit on him. Detective Cassato, who’s heard all about the duo from his brother, gives them a stern warning not to interfere in the investigation, but that’s a forlorn hope. Telling Brandy she’s going shopping, Vivian promptly sneaks off to New Jersey with Italian food, determined to get into the Badda-Boom Club, that well-known mob hangout. Her chutzpah pays off when she manages to meet the mob boss, who’s currently ensconced in a fancy assisted living residence. In the meantime, Brandy spends time at the comics convention learning all about Tommy’s enemies and putting herself in danger when she goes after the murderer, who’s just raised the stakes by killing Tommy’s assistant.
The exploits of the ditzy heroines (Antiques Disposal, 2012, etc.) remain endlessly amusing despite the rickety mysteries they often wade through.