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BOOK REVIEW: KILLER KEEPSAKES
BY JANE CLELAND

We hope you enjoy this book review by Caryn St. Clair.



As Killer Keepsakes opens, Gretchen Brock is expected back at Prescott Antiques after a much deserved vacation. When she doesn't show up and Josie is unable to reach her by phone, Josie goes by her apartment. After convincing the manager to let her into Gretchen's apartment, Josie is shocked to find a dead guy on Gretchen's sofa. And there is no sign of Gretchen. So where is Gretchen? And who is the dead guy?

As the investigation unfolds it becomes clear that Gretchen has some secrets in her past-secrets some of her friends know but aren't telling. As Josie frets about how she can find Gretchen and help clear her in the death of the man in her apartment, she uses the belt buckle from the man and a missing Chinese vase for clues. I found the tracing of the belt buckle to be especially interesting.

I like the Josie Prescott mysteries on two levels.

First, as amateur sleuths go, Josie is one of the more reasonable. Yes, she charges into dangerous situations all too frequently, but she does keep in contact with the police and shares relevant information with them. She at least thinks about the danger involved, and tries to take some precautions though they often don't work out as planned.

Secondly, there are several series on the market dealing with antiques. I find the Josie Prescott mysteries to be the best. While sprinkling scenes with the antique business throughout the book, I don't feel like I'm in school being taught a lesson. When Cleland has an associate working on appraisals of something like locs or dolls, the reader is is given the important factors in making an appraisal of that item. This is what the characters do when working. But almost always, that work is part of a bigger scene, not just thrown in to show off the author's knowledge. It serves a purpose in the story somehow. In this book there was an ongoing effort to trace a belt buckle and the providence of a vase. Both of these things were very connected to the mystery.

Killer Keepsakes is a great entry in this well written series.

REVIEWED BY CARYN ST. CLAIR

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, CARYN ST. CLAIR


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