Sunday, December 18, 2022

Dead Men Don't Decorate by Cordy Abbott Book Review

About the Book:

Roberto Fratelli, proprietor of the antiques store Waited4You, is the meanest man in Marthasville, Virginia. So when he puts the business up for sale, the other merchants in town are overjoyed. And now the business has a prospective buyer: local resident and the newly elected mayor’s mom, Camille Benson, who’s thrilled at the prospect of getting into the antiques business. During a celebration in honor of Camille’s new venture, her best friend, Opal, tells her about finding a letter, purportedly from Sally Fairfax to George Washington, dated 1756, hidden under a chair in the shop. When they return to retrieve the cache, they find Roberto’s lifeless body on the floor and no letter.

Police question Ella Coleman, Roberto’s ex-wife, and discover that her current husband supplied Roberto with oh-so-faux Victorian furniture. Did the two cheat the wrong customer? Or could the murder be connected to an earlier theft of rare books from the shop—a theft Roberto never reported?

As Camille prepares to confront these questions and investigate the murder, she knows she might become the latest knock-off.

My Review:

It took a while for me to become engaged in this cozy mystery. I came to like Camille, the amateur sleuth and heroine. I appreciate her wanting to change careers, quitting her junior college teaching job to go into the antiquities business, buying the store her parents had owned years before. This aspect of Camille's character will resonate with the baby boomers for whom Abbott writes. Her friend Opal was a bit over dramatized, flinging up her arms so often. I hope she is more mature in future novels.

I appreciate all the information in the book, such as investigating whether a book is old or a forgery. I also learned quite a bit about George Washington, the letters he wrote and the ones claimed to be his but identified as frauds. All the information included did slow down the plot movement however. I liked the setting. It sounds like a nice town with lots of history.

This is a good debut effort. It will be interesting to see how the characters grow in future novels. While Camille says she has no desire to solve future mysteries, we hope she does.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Proud baby boomer and dog mom, Cordy Abbott, is the author of the Old Town Antique Mystery series. She, her husband, and their Standard Schnauzer have lived in Alexandria, Virginia for over two decades. Because she enjoys everything about the city, she can’t wait to share it with readers, even a fictionalized version.
When not writing she enjoys traveling and volunteering for good causes, like American Association of University Women of Alexandria and the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation.
She has a post-graduate certificate in Antiquities Theft and Art Crime.

Crooked Lane Books, 304 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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