Molly Appleby is a former teacher turned writer for Collectors Weekly: a specialist newspaper. While at an early morning kiln opening with her pottery-mad mother Molly notices something unusual happen to one of the collectors. When that man later dies Molly suspects the death is not of natural causes and becomes involved in uncovering which of his many enemies was responsible for his death.
I’ve read books from two of Ellery Adams other series and enjoyed them so was willing to give this one a go even though I have zero interest in antiques, pottery or collecting in general. Once again Adams didn’t let me down by providing a lighter-than-usual-read without treating readers like idiots. In the same way that Dick Francis managed to interest me in esoteric subjects in many of his novels, Adams has a knack for balancing her knowledge of special subjects with superior storytelling abilities. Here she introduces readers to a world of pottery as folk art and, literally, gives clay a voice that carries right through the novel. The mystery itself is not terribly complicated though it hangs together well and the resolution does have a twist that I liked.
The characters are engaging too, although I could have done with a teeny bit less of Molly’s mooning over her colleague. Generally though Molly and the other people I assume will be series regulars are fun and compelling enough that I would happily meet them all again. The one-time characters – i.e. the suspect pool – also prove interesting and a cut above the clichéd ‘bad guys’ that cosy mysteries are often cluttered with.
A KILLER COLLECTION was first released in 2006 under one of Ellery Adams’ pseudonyms but was apparently revised by the author before being reissued under own name two years ago. I don’t know how many changes were made in that time but there is nothing that dates the novel now. Well perhaps aside from the fact its central character still works for a thriving specialist newspaper that releases a physical edition once a week. Certainly in Australia that seems like pure fantasy in the week when another 120 journalists have lost their jobs at our leading daily paper but perhaps the situation is not so dire elsewhere.
A KILLER COLLECTION is an intelligent, well-written cosy mystery that has fun without being silly. If you’re an audio book fan then I can recommend Andi Arndt’s excellent narration.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
I’ve reviewed four of Ellery Adams other books here
A KILLER PLOT, A DEADLY CLICHÉ and WRITTEN IN STONE all from the Books by the Bay series and MURDER IN THE MYSTERY SUITE which is the first in the Book Retreat Series. I think there are three other series of Adams’ that I haven’t even tried yet!
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Narrator Andi Arndt
Publisher Tantor [This edition 2016, original edition 2006]
Length 5 hours 53 minutes
Format audio (mp3)
Book Series #1 in the Antiques & Collectibles Mysteries series