Serenity, a Midwestern town on the banks of the Mississippi, is sunk in the doldrums of a blazing-hot summer until yet another murder disturbs the peace.
Brandy Borne is 31 and divorced. She and her blind Shih Tzu Sushi live with her flamboyant, bipolar mother Vivian, with whom she ekes out a living buying and selling antiques. Now, however, Brandy has learned that Vivian isn’t her mother after all. Her real mother is social-climbing Peggy Sue, whom she was raised to call her sister; her father is a United States Senator. Off Prozac and seven months pregnant with her best friend’s child, Brandy’s struggling to cope with Vivian, who’s gone off her meds and into a manic phase. The partners’ latest find, an Acklin clock, is on its way to be repaired when the latest in a series of poison pen letters arrives. Vivian thinks the writer is Peggy Sue’s jealous friend Connie Grimes. When Brandy goes to confront her, she finds Connie with a knife in her chest. Much to the dismay of Brandy’s boyfriend, Police Chief Tony Cassato, the dynamic duo go into sleuthing mode and learn a lot more about Peggy Sue’s past and her brief fling with the senator. They also discover that there’s more than one motive for murdering Connie.
The fifth helping of Trash ’n’ Treasures (Antiques Bizarre, 2010, etc.) is an often amusing tale complete with lots of antiques-buying tips and an ending that may surprise you.