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by Jane K. Cleland

Pub Date: April 25th, 2006
ISBN: 0-312-34725-1
Publisher: Minotaur

A treasure trove of antiques provides an ample motive for murder.

Josie Prescott moved to New Hampshire after being shunned by the New York auction house crowd when she blew the whistle on a price-fixing scheme. Devastated by the reaction and the recent death of her father, she’s struggling to develop her new business. Her chance to sell a house full of fabulous antiques turns into a nightmare when the owner, Nathaniel Grant, is found fatally stabbed, with Josie’s fingerprints on the knife. Determined to find out what happened, she makes a pact with a reporter who feeds her information in return for a promised exclusive. When Grant’s Renoir, one of three paintings looted by the Nazis, is discovered in her warehouse, things look bleak. The heirs turn out to be Grant’s daughter, who hires Josie to appraise the estate, and his drug-addicted granddaughter, who throws a hissy fit at the idea, evidently preferring the lazy but locally prominent dealer Bernie Troudeaux. The Matisse and Cézanne hidden in the house provide motive enough for a plethora of suspects. Josie’s attraction to Police Chief Ty Alvarez has to be put on hold until she can prove her innocence, and she’s willing to take dangerous chances to do so.

Antique Roadshow fans and mystery lovers will delight in this erudite debut and hope for a series featuring the resourceful Josie.