Friday, June 29, 2007

Pg. 69: Jane K. Cleland's "Deadly Appraisal"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: Jane K. Cleland's Deadly Appraisal.

About the book, from the publisher:
Josie Prescott is settling into her new life in New Hampshire. Her antiques business is thriving, she’s beginning to make some close friends, and her relationship with the local police chief is becoming more interesting. Not bad for someone who has completely uprooted her life as a New York City auction house expert in order to get a fresh start in a small New England town.

With so much suddenly to lose, Josie can’t help but worry when murder invades her seemingly quiet community. Josie is sponsoring the Portsmouth Women’s Guild Annual Black and Gold Gala and is looking forward to receiving a kindly worded thank-you for her efforts. Instead, the Guild representative, Maisy Gaylor, dies a horrible death in the midst of the banquet. Who could have wanted to kill earnest, drab little Maisy? “Funny, isn’t it,” muses the hostile Detective Rowcliff, “how a lot of people end up dead when no one has any enemies.”

Everyone who had access to the wine Maisy drank, including Josie herself, soon comes under suspicion. Can Josie manage to ferret out the truth, keep her business running smoothly, and continue to put down roots in her new town, or will everything prove too much for her to handle on her own?
Among the praise for Deadly Appraisal:
"Jane K. Cleland’s first mystery, Consigned to Death, was nominated for an Agatha Award for best first novel in 2006 -- I reviewed it and gave it 4½ quills. Deadly Appraisal is a worthy successor.... With great dialogue and description, a strong but insecure heroine and enough inside info about Josie’s business to satisfy an Antiques Roadshow fan – what’s not to like?"
--Mystery News, April-May 2007

"Josie is a multifaceted, vulnerable character ... the story is framed with details of the antiques business, and numerous well-developed secondary characters populate the book."

"I love this series. Josie is such a fun character. Even though antiques are not my thing, I really enjoy this antiques mystery series. The mystery is very well crafted and the information about antiques does not hit us over the heads. The author has done a great job of this! I love the New Hampshire setting as well. Great place to set a mystery. I highly recommend this book and the series."
--Dawn Dowdle

"I give this book a 5/5 because it carried the storylines from the previous book very well. I felt like I was coming home and I hope there are more to come. It was wonderfully written and expressed. I loved seeing how things changed and how Josie did get some more confidence. Great series and one I highly recommend....
--Lover of Books Blog, May 2007
Visit Jane Cleland's website and her blog, and read an excerpt from Deadly Appraisal.

The Page 69 Test: Deadly Appraisal.

--Marshal Zeringue