An Antique Print Mystery (Book #6)

By Lea Wait

Perseverance Press, 2013 ($15.95)

ISBN-13: 978-1-56474-531-6

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
(March, 2014)

Maggie Summers, tired after the long drive from New Jersey to her friend's home on Cape Cod, finds that Gussie isn't there, and decides to take a walk on the beach to relax and unwind while she waits. Her pleasant stroll comes to an abrupt halt when she finds a man's body on the beach. She calls 9-1-1 to report what appears to be a drowning, gives her statement to the sheriff, and returns to the welcome sight of Gussie turning into the drive.

Maggie, a college professor and antique print dealer, is in Winslow to help her best friend move into her new home, relocate her antique shop, and plan the last details of her wedding. After all, that's what friends are for. She didn't realize she'd have to assist Gussie in preventing her future mother-in-law from turning the simple wedding into an extravaganza worthy of Scarlett O'Hara, get involved, once again, in a murder investigation, and try to help a young woman who'd thought her father died years ago to understand how he could turn up alive, and then dead for real. She also has to help the girl to communicate with her father's deaf cousin, using her sign language skills.

While helping others get their lives sorted out, she is also dealing with some major changes of her own. She has always wanted a child, and has applied to an adoption agency, but she's not sure her significant other will be in favor of her choice, or if it will matter to her if he doesn't.

There is another murder, some major changes in everyone's plans, and, just to add to the adventure, a late-season hurricane is barreling straight for the Cape. Maggie takes a wild ride through the storm that will have the reader's heart pounding.

Each chapter begins with the description of an antique print that sets the tone for the next part of the story. This is an interesting and engaging way of carrying the plot forward as well as an informative primer on antique and collectible prints.

The plot is well-crafted, with plenty of red herrings and references to delicious lobster delicacies. While the reader may guess who some of the bad guys are, there is one big twist I didn't see coming. The characters are believable, and Maggie is a likable and resourceful protagonist. The beauty of Cape Cod in autumn shines through and adds to the reader's pleasure.

This is the sixth in the charming Antique Print Mystery series. Ms. Wait also writes novels for children and young adults.

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