The coastal town of Rocky Point, N.H., would be a perfect site for a thriving antiques business if it weren’t for the sky-high homicide rate.
The lecture series Josie Prescott is hosting on developing a vintage-clothing collection gets off to an inauspicious start when guest speaker Riley Jordan is found dead under a display table. Josie and her tight-knit staff are shocked by the loss. But it’s not long before Josie, inevitably drawn into the case, uses her specialized knowledge to assist police chief Ellis Hunter. Riley was a caring, charming woman of wealth whose picture-perfect marriage to restaurant developer Bobby Jordan was besieged by rumors of his infidelities. The only clues are a pearl and platinum button found on the scene by the newest addition to the Prescott family, a Maine coon cat, and the glimpse Josie’s assistant Gretchen’s got of a silver car leaving their parking lot. When Josie learns that Bobby was cut out of Riley’s will and that she has been left to administer Riley’s fabulous collection and a good deal of money, she has even more reason for sleuthing. Although Bobby’s a likely candidate, there are several other possibilities, including the unknown person who lost that pearl button.
Cleland (Silent Auction, 2010, etc.) combines a pleasing mystery with the obligatory antiques tidbits.