An antiques appraiser get scammed, gets mad, and gets even.
Josie Prescott, who owns a well-regarded antiques auction house in the little New Hampshire beach town of Rocky Point, is delighted when wealthy Edwin and Ava Towson ask her to appraise what may be a valuable Tiffany lamp. She’s even happier to authenticate the lamp and get a chance to sell it for a price that could be well over $1 million. Those plans come to a screeching halt when Ava is found murdered. The problem is that neither the man who called Josie nor the woman who showed her the lamp is actually a Towson. The real Ava’s sister, Jean Cooper, claims that Edwin killed Ava, who’s the real corpse. Edwin asks Josie to pick up the lamp, but someone scares her off by shooting at her. When her associate does retrieve the prize, it’s no more than a respectable fake that’s clearly been substituted for a Tiffany lamp worth a fortune, and Josie and her friends (Ornaments of Death, 2015, etc.) can’t prove they didn’t make the switch. Josie’s inevitably involved in the investigation as a witness even though she has trouble describing the fake Ava and never saw the fake Edwin. Furious about being used in the scam, she resolves to find the truth and uses all her professional contacts to track down the valuable but not original lamp used as a substitute. Once she learns that Ava was pregnant, and not by her husband, Josie wonders if Ava and Jean have been scamming her for getaway money, but she soon learns the case is even more complicated than she imagined.
A cozy replete with antiques lore, likable characters, and a more complex mystery than usual.