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  • First in a fabulous new cozy series!

    Edie Brown just completed an internship at Christie’s after completing her Masters. She’s left the Big Apple and is off to find some treasures she can turn into cash and get started on her own career. Awakened by a call from her uncle asking her to come home and help the family business while her Mother is in prison for fraud, Edie changes course and heads home to Vermont. When a woman engages Edie to look at a hand carved decoy, Edie begins to think this might just be what the business needs to recover and move forward. Then when the decoy collection disappears, it appears someone has set Edie and the family up as scapegoats for the heist. With the business and her life at stake, Edie vows to find the collection and clear her name. Now she just has to do it before the mastermind decides to kill her and get away with the goods. 
This is the first book in a new cozy series and I am already hooked! The New England setting is perfect when it comes to antiques and mystery. It’s one of my favorite settings for cozies. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the future has in tore for Edie and the gang in future entries.

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  • excellent!

    teamwork, theft, threats, thriller, family-business, family-dynamics, female-sleuth, framed, fraud, friendship, art-theft, organized-crime, law-enforcement, historical-research, history-and-culture, Vermont***** The publisher's blurb is a good hook, so no need to go over that territory. But there is a lot to learn here about the antiques business, a particular form of art fraud and theft, and who knew there was so much about early decoys as an art form? It is a good whodunit (complete with chase scenes and suspense) and I always want to learn something new! Excellent! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

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  • A crafty whodunit!

    The Art of the Decoy by Trish Esden is the first book in A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mysteries. This is one busy cozy mystery with an attempted murder, a robbery, a museum heist, a murder, and more. We travel to Scandal Mountain, Vermont where Edie Brown is returning after being gone for many years. Her mother has just been sentenced to nine months in prison for art forgery and someone is needed to run the family antique store, Scandal Mountain Fine Arts & Antiques. At an antique appraisal fair, Edie meets Nina with an antique duck decoy. Edie secures the job of appraising the Bouchard family collection which could be quite lucrative for the store and the Bouchard family. When the decoys go missing, Nina cries fowl accusing Edie of the theft. This would forever destroy the business and land her in prison (she could be roommates with her mother). She gets Nina to agree to give her a chance to recover the lost decoys. Edie is given a tight timeline. Edie works with her Uncle Tuck and new employee, Kala Acosta to uncover who stole the antique waterfowl collection and recover them. The author provided beautiful descriptions of Vermont. I also enjoyed the details on the various antiques especially the duck decoys. It sounded like an amazing collection. There are a variety of characters in the story with my favorites being Edie’s Uncle Tuck and Kala (a clever girl with lots of energy). The mystery was multifaceted. There are some unlikeable characters (our villains) who may or may not be guilty. Many of them appear guilty, but you never know. The reveal will have you holding on as Edie speeds toward the conclusion to wrap up the case. We get some answers along the way with the complete details at the end. There is a romantic interest for Edie in the form of her old probation officer and lover. I could have done with less of this element. I felt it was a little heavy handed in the beginning. There are some areas that dragged for me (and I ended up skimming through them) and I felt the story was a little long. The story does contain foul language, mention of intimate situations, and references to wacky tobacky. There are some wonderful antiques mentioned in this book (I grew up surrounded by them with two aunts in the business). There are duplicitous people out there who will be happy to take advantage of people to make a buck. The Art of the Decoy has a crafty whodunit with prized duck decoys, an antique appraisal, an enthusiastic employee, a grumpy Gerard, a former lover, filched fowl, a curious connection, and a rough wrap-up.

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