Oline H. Cogdill


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I often hear the refrain “How will I catch up?” from readers who have just discovered an author in mid-series. After all, not every reader is with an author from book one, and sometimes it seems daunting to catch up.

Plus, sometimes readers are leery about starting a series midway for fear that new book will give away plots in the previous novels.

Jane K. Cleland, who writes a lovely series about antiques dealer Josie Prescott, offers her readers a solution.

Because Josie deals in antiques, Cleland’s plots revolve around all things old. Cleland’s 11th novel, Glow of Death, has several guides to previous novels that readers will appreciate.

In Glow of Death, Josie is asked to assess a Tiffany lamp owned by a wealthy couple. The knowledgeable Josie knows that most such lamps are actually excellent duplicates. While a good copy can fetch up to $50,000, the real thing can bring in more than $1 million.

Naturally, Josie is more than thrilled to discover the lamp is real, and that she will earn an extra commission by selling it for the couple. My review of Glow of Death is here.

So when Josie has a conversation about the time her shop bought vintage clothing, Cleland supplies a handy asterisk referring the reader to her previous novel, Deadly Threads.

A reference to sneaking GPS devices into items will lead readers to Dolled Up for Murder.

And a bit about an heirloom ring will have readers wanting to find out more in Deadly Appraisal.

These little references are smoothly added in and do not give away any previous plots.

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