Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Antiques Roadkill

How could anyone pass up a book with a title like that? I couldn't. I am a packrat of the first degree. I keep everything that has any sort of memory attached...or that might have someone else's memories. My house is filled with an eclectic display of valuable pieces and junk. Each given the same priority in their display status. My bookshelves have not only a wide assortment of book genres, old and new, but treasures that include a huge blown glass paperweight  and its matching lamp that are older than I am sharing space with a tacky plastic carnival fairy won by a long ago boyfriend.

I am as enamored with "junky" antique shops as I am by used book stores. It's always such a rush to discover a hole-in-the-wall store in an unexpected place...oftentimes with amusing names that beckon me even stronger through the doors. (One of my favorites was "Unik Junque: Antiques Old and New" discovered while traveling Georgia backroads on our way to pick up a new goat.)  I could spend hours just perusing among shelves crammed with little pieces of history. And of course, I rarely leave a book or antique store empty-handed. The mother and daughter team introduced in Antiques Roadkill, #1 in the Trash 'N Treasures series have just such an addiction. These cozy mysteries are also interspersed with several interesting hints and tips for choosing and caring for antique items making it obvious that more than just casual research has been done by the author(s).

The Amazon blurb describes the book thusly:

Determined to make a new start in her quaint hometown on the banks of the Mississippi, Brandy Borne never dreams she'll become the prime suspect in a murder case. . .
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Moving back in with her eccentric, larger-than-life mother, Brandy Borne finds small-town Serenity anything but serene. It seems an unscrupulous antiques dealer has swindled Vivian out of the family's heirlooms. But when he is found run over in a country lane, Brandy becomes Murder Suspect Number One--with her mother coming in a very close second. . .

The list of other suspects is impressive--the victim's business seems to have been based on bilking seniors out of their possessions. And when the Borne "girls" uncover a few very unsavory Serenity secrets, they become targets for a murderer whose favorite hobby seems to be collecting victims.

This is a very charming book, but I have to admit that I'm getting harder to please with these "fluffy series." I enjoy reading them, but I am growing weary of always having to think of their characters as someone who's moving in next door. I prefer to think of the people I read about as someone who sits next to me on the plane. I'm going to get to know them intimately for a few hours and then after a hug or a handshake we'll both go our separate directions. When I know I'm reading book one of a series, it's sort of intimidating. I have to constantly be asking myself if this is someone I want to ask over for cake and coffee or if I want to keep them at arm's length and just speak to them when we meet taking out the garbage. All that said, this had a cute premise and it WAS a fun read and was very well edited! I also decided to continue to read the series after I read a bit about the author(s). Barbara Allan is the pseudonym for Barbara (Too Many Tomcats) and Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition). I have always been in awe of married couples who write together. And certainly they are successful whether they write alone or as a pair. The Trash N Treasures series includes Antiques Roadkill, Antiques Maul, Antiques Flee Market, Antiques Bizarre, Antiques Knock-Off, and the latest Antiques Disposal.

Did I mention there's a dog? There's a dog. Sushi, a blind shih tzu. That charmed me almost as much as the book itself. That someone cared enough to make the point that dogs are part of the family for life. You don't give up on them when the going gets tough. Kudos to the Collins for being animal lovers as well as antiques lovers. Would y'all be interested in adopting me?


  1. *Does* sound like fun! Thanks for the head's up!

  2. Very entertaining review! ("Did I mention there's a dog? There's a dog.") Love it.