This is the first mystery in a new series. It took me a while to get engaged with the plot. Avery, the heroine, has taken over her parent's business of appraising antiquities and artifacts after their untimely death. The plot is methodical and slowly paced. There is not a murder until about half way through. Much of the narrative centers on the technique of appraisal and everything that is involved. The next time I go to a museum I'll have a new appreciation of the work necessary to establish the validity of the items on display.
It took me a while to get engaged with the characters, especially Avery. She's an anthropology major and how she quickly and successfully takes over the appraisal business seemed a bit unreasonable. I would have expected her to rely more on her co-worker Micah and his long term expertise. Aunt Midge was the most likable character for me and I'd like to see more of her.
Some of the plot seemed somewhat unreasonable, especially the bit about Avery's father. I also thought it unreasonable that Detective Art could spend so much time with Avery. There is some suspense and some budding romance in the book. Readers mostly interested in an informative novel will appreciate this one.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Tracy Gardner is the author of several cozy mysteries. You can find out more at https://www.tracygardnerbeno.com/.
Crooked Lane Books, 328 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.)