Monday, May 19, 2014

Antiques Chop

Author:  Barbara Allan
Genre:   Mystery

Three Stars
 

Brandy Borne and her dramatically ditzy mother, Vivian, are stars of the new reality show, Antiques Sleuths.  The season opens in a perfect location - a quaint old house echoing with the unsolved whispers of a 60-year-old axe murder.  But when the show's producer meets a similarly grisly end, Brandy and Mother must chop around for clues, axe the right questions, and get the edge on a murderer's mysterious motives.  Otherwise our sharp-witted sleuths may face cancellation-on the cutting room floor!
 
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Okay, I know I've said this before, but does any author ever read the blurb on the back of the book?  Brandy and her mother do not have a new reality show; they are asked to start one, but before it can even get off the ground, the producer is indeed murdered, so there's no question of cancellation at all.  That being said, I will add the book is well-written, and the plot is nicely knitted together, in the fact that I wasn't sure who the killer was until the very end.  This is what you definitely want in a mystery.  I felt that there were really no clues to point to the killer until about then anyway.
 
Brandy and her mother are approached with the idea of a reality show based on their past experiences with solving murders.  The producer decides the best place to host the show would be an old murder house in town, which they can turn into an antiques shop and use while the show is not filming.  It sounds ideal to Vivian, and Brandy, as usual, just goes along with it.  When the producer is murdered practically the next day and a friend of theirs is accused of doing it, Brandy and Vivian feel the only way to clear him is to find the killer themselves.
 
It was Brandy's son Jake who found the body, dismembered; and what I don't get, is the fact that he's like 'it's no big deal,' through the rest of the book.  He's not traumatized; he has no bad dreams; he acts like it's an every day occurrence to see this and just goes on with his day-to-day life.  I know kids are resilient, but really?  Not even one teeny tiny nightmare?  Nothing?  Just go on a picnic and go hiking?
 
I didn't like the fact that the book read like you were watching a documentary: Brandy, her mother, and her son Jake are all narrating as if we're sitting in a room with them and they're telling their story to a police detective or something.  (Right along with notes from their editor).  Some people might enjoy that, but I don't.  I also wasn't too pleased with the ending.  Brandy's choice in men sucks, and she needs to get a dating service or something.  I don't like Brian at all, he doesn't really even seem to like Brandy all that much. 
 
But in the end, if you enjoy this series, you'll probably read this and the next book.  I myself just don't really care for the style in which it is written, nor the ending,  and that is why I felt I could only give it three stars.
 

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