Monday, April 29, 2013

Antiques Chop -- Barbara Allan

Barbara Allan is, as we all know, really two people: Max Allan Collins and Barbara Collins, who write together under this name.  This volume in their "Trash and Treasure" series returns Brandy Borne and her mother (who's really her grandmother), Vivian, to the crime-fighting game by way of a reality TV show.

Make that a planned TV show. When the producer comes to town to meet our only slightly goofy narrators (mostly Brandy, but Vivian gets two chapters this time, and even Brandy's son, Jake, gets to join in with some writing of his own), Vivian has the perfect setting picked out, an old house where there was an axe murder many years ago.  I hope it's not a huge spoiler to tell you that the producer gets whacked with an axe in that very house, and of course that means that Vivian is hot on the trail of the killer with Brandy reluctantly following along.  There are plenty of suspects, a red herring or two, and lots of laughs along the way.

This is a cozy with an edge and with a dark clouds for a lot of the silver linings.  I particularly enjoyed the way cops the dealt with the amateur sleuths after they solve the crime in this one.  No, I'm not going to tell you what it is.  You'll have to read the book.  You'll have a great time, and you can thank me later.

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