Jane Cleland's fans will be thrilled to find the fourth Josie Prescott mystery in bookstores this spring. Cleland, who used to own a rare books and antiques shop in New Hampshire (and knows whereof she writes) has created Prescott's Antiques and Appraisals in the fictional town of Rocky Point, located near Portsmouth on the very short shoreline of New Hampshire.
In Killer Keepsakes, as in the earlier books, Josie's first person narration reveals her thoughts and struggles. A strong businesswoman, she is nevertheless fragile because of her mother's early death and the death of her father at a pivotal point in her life. As the novel opens, Gretchen, Josie's cheerful helper, is missing. After apparently returning to New Hampshire from her Hawaiian vacation, she never returned to work. Worried about this uncharacteristic behavior, Josie goes to Gretchen's condo and discovers the corpse of an unknown man. Gretchen has never revealed anything about her past, and Josie has long suspected that she may have taken on a new identity. Determined to find her friend, Josie and her likeable crew at Prescott's Antiques put themselves in harm's way as they discover exciting facts about the antiques and artifacts along the way. The series is frequently referred to as the Antiques Roadshow for mystery lovers. The author does an excellent job of bringing the business to life and sharing antiques lore in an engaging fashion. Her ongoing cast of characters have become old friends to readers, and the new ones will as well. Cleland makes research exciting--into the lives of her characters as well as the provenance of rare vases or books. New readers can look forward to hours of enjoyment in this fine series.