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by Barbara Allan
Kensington, October 2008
232 pages
ISBN: 0758211953

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

After her divorce, Brandy Borne moved back to her childhood home to share it with her mother Vivian, an elderly women with a great deal of joie de vivre and a talent for forgetting to take her Prozac on schedule.

They both own in a small business together, selling antiques that they find. Life is good, though there is never a dull moment.

After meeting their neighbor Walter's long lost niece, Chaz, who came to the US from the UK to find him, Brandy is surprised when Chaz soon asks her for help. Her uncle has been found dead. Arsenic was found in Chaz's room and the police think that she murdered him.

Both Brandy and Vivian try not to be too excited, but solving crimes has become their happy side-line lately and they start to investigate, much to the chagrin of Brandy's latest boyfriend Brian, the local detective.

Add in a much loved, but blind pet Shih Tzu, a social-climbing sister who is old enough to be Brandy's mother, a friend who asks Brandy to be the surrogate mother of a child in her place, a troubled veteran who tends to go off his meds to relive his time in combat and the hunky chief of police who seems to have a bit too much interest in Brandy for her comfort and you'll find that ANTIQUES FLEE MARKET has all the ingredients for a rousing good cozy murder mystery.

This book does not major in having a tight, fast-paced murder investigation with a lead character who knows what she's doing. On the contrary, solving this crime requires more luck to it than skill, but it does have marvelous dialogue, great characters, and a fine murder mystery that resolves in a satisfying way.

Brandy herself is a funny and unusual leading character who also needs to keep taking her medication on time or she might go more around the bend. She isn't a terribly warm lady, whose fast retorts and one liners came as a defense mechanism from living with her irascible mom and too perfect older sister, but I grew to like Brandy a lot through the pages and would welcome visiting her again in future books in this "A Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery" series.

One criticism though is that the Trash 'n' Treasures Tips that Brandy gives to the readers about finding, buying and collecting antiques aren't worth printing. They have no real information in them and at worst doesn't seem to be written by anyone who actually cares or knows anything about antiques. They lower the quality of the book and either should be thought over more or eliminated.

I couldn't put down ANTIQUES FLEE MARKET and found that it brightened my day considerably. I honestly can say that I look forward to the next in the series and am thrilled that it looks like there will actually be one coming soon!

Reviewed by A.L. Katz, August 2008

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