Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Antique House Murders, book two in Leslie Nagel’s OAKWOOD MYSTERY SERIES

The Antique House Murders
by Leslie Nagel

In this irresistible cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders, amateur sleuth Charley Carpenter fights to avenge a crime that hits far too close to home.

Mulbridge House stood, silent and decaying, deep in the woods at the heart of Oakwood, Ohio, long before the passing of Augusta Mulbridge. Yet suddenly everyone in town seems to have a stake in its fate: the greedy heirs, eager to tear it down for a tidy profit; the local preservationists, determined to maintain it as an historic site; the angry neighbors, staunchly opposed to the construction of a modern subdivision. Even Charley Carpenter is forced to admit that her beloved shop, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, could use an infusion of the estate’s treasures.

 The clock is ticking. The wrecking ball is ready to swing. All that stands between Mulbridge House and oblivion is one final vote. That, and murder . . .

 The trouble begins when Charley walks into auctioneer Calvin Prescott’s office to find her cherished family friend crumpled on the floor. Detective Marcus Trenault quickly connects his death to a string of increasingly violent burglaries plaguing Oakwood. But when Charley uncovers a link to a massive land swindle worth millions, not to mention a drug ring operating out of the manor’s abandoned outbuildings, that theory crumbles faster than Mulbridge House. Now Charley’s racing to catch a killer before everything falls apart.

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A complicated set of connected mysteries that lead Charley Carpenter into circumstances she can't control. 

Charley loves vintage fashion. She is struggling to keep her Old Hat clothing store operating in the black. Fortunately she has an "in" with an estate sale planner, and good friend of her father, the Coach.
Not everyone is happy about the sale of everything at Mulbridge House. Tempers flare at every turn. The neighbors fear increased traffic and noise, a local group of seniors want to preserve the crumbling house as a historical monument. Even after the public auction and sale, confrontations continue. Charley finds herself and her store amidst the controversy even when she has not taken a side.

Her dear friend, the sale planner, is murdered and Charley discovers the body.  What is this knack she has for being in the wrong place at the worst time?   Her boyfriend, Detective Marcus Trenault, tells her to keep out of the investigation. She tries to stay out of his way, but this murder is personal.

Several mysteries are tangled together, entwining past and present relationships.
Everything centers around the neglected and vacant Mulbridge House but the whole town is involved. 

Charley has the best friends ever. References are made to Scooby Doo and Mystery, Inc. Charley's friends are just as loyal and adventurous. Each has a unique character and comes to her aid over and over. You just know danger is shadowing them as they search for clues. Being in a relationship with a detective does not seem to protect Charley, as hard as Marc tries.

Sometimes Charley believes things to be black and white, the good people always good and the bad guys always bad. She discovers life is made up of shades of gray.
I enjoyed how this cozy mystery kept the action hopping and did not easily point to just one solution.

Leslie Nagel is the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders, the first novel in the Oakwood Mystery series. She lives in the real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where she teaches writing at a local community college. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son and daughter, hiking, tennis, and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.

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