Book Review: Jane K. Cleland’s Antiques to Die For

Posted August 25, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Jane K. Cleland’s Antiques to Die For

Antiques to Die For

on April 15, 2008 and has 320 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Third in the Josie Prescott Antiques mystery series set in a contemporary Rocky Point, New Hampshire.

In 2009, Antiques to Die For was nominated for the David Award.

My Take

In spite of Josie, I do enjoy this series. Cleland provides a fascinating look at the behind-the-scenes of the antiques business.

It’s one thing to refuse to gossip about someone, it’s another entirely to withhold information of any kind from the police. If it’s just a feeling, say that. Josie is such a hypocrite when she refuses to talk to the police. ARghHh! She won’t pass on information because a. it’s gossip or a feeling and b. Rosalie told her a secret. Hullo??? She’s dead. That “secret” could well be the reason she was murdered!!! Josie then leaves a valuable clue behind after reading it — all the while clucking about how wrong reading it is — and then she spills everything she knows to a reporter with no qualm.

True to form, Josie takes fright at everything and leaps to conclusions with little reason. It’s practically a guarantee that the first few whom Josie thinks are guilty are actually innocent. For someone who hates being involved in a murder investigation and is involved with the chief of police, she certainly goes out of her way to get involved. What?? She doesn’t trust her boyfriend to be smart enough to solve the case? She’s such a hypocrite.

It must be pretty dull in Rocky Point when the police department can spare a cop to follow Josie all over creation and back. That or it’s who she knows…

I did enjoy the snark about Edie, although I don’t have quite the respect for Rosalie that I would have liked.

There are some scary things someone can do with your cellphone per this story!! Which could make it worth the reading.

The Story

A brief intro so we have someone to kill, er, I mean, a lovely friend of Josie’s is murdered, leaving behind a vulnerable sister. And Josie is dragged into the investigation simply because she knew her.

It’s a case that turns deadly for Josie both emotionally and physically. She can relate to how Paige feels since she too has lost both her parents. Besides, Paige has a family secret for which she needs Josie’s help. One that confuses others who are negatively interested in how the case is solved and what may turn up.

The Characters

Josie Prescott and her shop are prospering in Rocky Point. Even if she does keep getting caught up in murders.

Her employees include the bubbly Gretchen who loves to gossip; her chief appraiser Sasha has a Ph.D. in art history and trusts everyone, while Fred is her newest appraiser and complements Sasha with his acerbic self-assurance and street smarts; Eric is her young warehouse supervisor — he’s growing into the job and his confidence; Cara is a temp who just may become permanent part-time.

Rosalie Chaffee is a 32-year-old student who has almost finished her doctorate on historical communications at Hitchens College; Paige is her 12-year-old sister. Rosalie has been Paige’s guardian since they lost their parents four years ago. She and Josie met at Heyer’s Modular Furniture. Rodney is an estranged cousin who has been appointed Paige’s guardian.

Paul Greeley is her ex-boyfriend, gorgeous, and shares office space with her at the college. Dr. Cooper Bennington is the assistant chair for the history department there. And there’s no love lost between Cooper and anyone.

Gerry Fine is the CEO of Heyer’s and has employed Rosalie to ghostwrite his biography and Josie has been installing a selection of antique furniture and artwork. His wife, Edie, wallows in her position as the CEO’s wife. That’s about as close as she gets to being one. Tricia Dobson is his assistant. Ned Anderson is the chief financial officer with the snarky, sarcastic attitude. Una is the receptionist.

Ty Alverez is the chief of police in Rocky Point as well as Josie’s boyfriend. He’s currently interviewing for a job with Homeland Security which will entail a lot of trips away from home. Officer Claire Brownley (I do like her) spends a lot of time protecting the twit, er, I mean, Josie. Officer Griffin is another officer.

Wes Smith is the snoopy reporter who just has to meet at the beach on a sand dune because everything is just too hush-hush for words over a phone line. Tedious… Max Bixby is Josie’s lawyer and slips in for a quick consult. Mr. Bolton is the attorney appointed by the court to represent Paige. Zoë is her landlady and lives next door with her two kids Emma and Jake and a newcomer, her cousin Frankie who’s been kicked out of his mother’s house.

Lesha Moore‘s request for an appraisal of the Whistler palette is a filler although it is interesting how they go about authenticating this gift from her dead boyfriend, Evan Woodricky.

The Cover and Title

The cover is cute with its bright pink background — channeling Paige, perhaps? I suspect the two-story house housing the Antiques and Auctions shop with its “giftwrap” of crime scene tape sums up Josie’s feelings at this point as well.

It’s true, there are Antiques to Die For. It’s just not the type that most of us could empathize with, book lover or no.