Published March 5, 2013; Berkely paperback
Genre: mystery, cozy mystery
When I look at cozies, there are certain themes that will make me gravitate to the books right away: books, flowers or gardens, pets, bird watching, and of course, food. I liked the pug on the cover of this book and the series title, a Book Collector's Mystery.
Jordan Bingham of Harrison Falls, New York, comes from a family with sticky fingers and questionable ethics. Her uncles have taught her tricks like lock picking, self defense, and how to be street smart. After college, she is looking for a job that is on the up and up and agrees to be the live-in employee for an eccentric but wealthy book collector, Vera Van Alst.
Vera wants Jordan to investigate a rumor of an unpublished Agatha Christie play. She is willing to pay a lot of money to buy this collector's item.
I spent the rest of the afternoon plowing through my stack of research material on Agatha Christie, her disappearance and her plays. I worked undisturbed for hours, if you don't count Signora Panetone arriving with ... prosciutto, melon and fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano. (ch. 6)There are risks to the job: Jordan's predecessor Alex was killed when he fell or was pushed in front of a train, and a woman is attacked and left for dead after a book show. But Jordan keeps her job as she loves her new digs in Vera's mansion: her rooms decorated with old cabbage rose wallpaper, its spectacular view of the grounds, and the gourmet meals and snacks that the cook insists she eat every day. The only drawback in Jordan's mind is the bipolar Siamese cat who is loving one day and on the next doesn't miss a chance to use its sharp claws on Jordan's ankles.
This is a new series; there is humor, interesting dialogue, and a main character who is easy to like. The writing style of the author and the plot makes the cozy a pleasant reading trip. I am looking forward to the next in the series.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book.
Submitted to Saturday Review of Books hosted by Semicolon.