Thursday, November 8, 2018

ARC Review: A Vintage Death by Mary Ellen Hughes

A Vintage Death
Author: Mary Ellen Hughes
Series: A Keepsake Cove Mystery
Publication: Midnight Ink (November 8, 2018)

Description: Callie Reed has put together a special event, but a killer is ripping it apart at the seams

As the new owner of a music box store in Keepsake Cove, a quaint town full of collectible shops on Maryland's Eastern Shore, Callie Reed is eager to get more involved in her community. So she volunteers to plan the fall street decorations and welcome a visiting author who's come for a special book signing. But the celebratory mood is cut short when the local B&B owner is found dead, killed with a pair of vintage scissors.

Suspicion is cast on the victim's estranged wife, Dorothy, who owns Keepsake Cove's vintage sewing shop. Callie is sure Dorothy is innocent, and the visiting author agrees. Together, they begin their own investigation, only to discover that many people in Keepsake Cove have secrets. Secrets that are worth killing to keep.

My Thoughts: Callie Reed is just getting used to being the owner of her late aunt' shop which sells music boxes. Her shop is in an area filled with other shops selling collectibles. She wants to get involved in the community and volunteers to plan the fall decorations and organize an event for a visiting author.

Author Lyssa Hammond is staying at the local B & B while her home is being remodeled. The whole event is almost derailed when the owner of the B&B, and the estranged husband of one of Callie's fellow shop owners, is found stabbed in the park with a pair of antique scissors from his wife Dorothy's Stitches Thru Time shop.

Dorothy immediately falls under suspicion despite the alibi given by her cousin Jane and Callie and Lyssa begin to investigate. They learn all sorts of secrets about Callie's fellow shopkeepers and they quickly learn that Dorothy's estranged husband Cliff was quite a shady character. Someone doesn't like that Callie and Lyssa are getting close and begins trying to sabotage Lyssa's book signing by cancelling the order for the books that will be sold and setting the decorative hayrack at the venue on fire.

When another store owner is found stabbed to death in the same park as Cliff after arguing with Dorothy and trying to trash her reputation, things don't look good for Dorothy and the challenge is even bigger for Callie and Lyssa.

This was a fun cozy. While I have my doubts that shops as specialized as those in Keepsake Cove would be economically viable, I liked the concept of a group of specialty shops that are a tourist destination. I can see the possibility for lots of stories there. Callie was also an interesting character. I liked the paranormal twist of the music box that might be giving Callie clues and encouragement.

Favorite Quote:
Renata Moore nodded vigorously. "Crazy busy. We did a total redo of the shop over the summer. I mean total! New shelving and paint, which meant shifting the stock constantly."

"Which fell to me, of course, since somebody's back was acting up like it always seems to at certain times." Jerry grinned lopsidedly, apparently trying for humor but failing.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Midnight Ink. You can buy your copy here.

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