Alicia, aka Ali, Trent was asked by longtime family friends Janice and Arthur Darnell to sort, pack, and sell the large jewelry collection left by the death of Olivia Knox, the sister of Janice Darnell. Olivia died unexpectedly at the age of forty-nine and Ali was to assign value to the individual pieces of antique jewelry.
Ali was hesitant to take on this assignment. The year before she was cataloging a collection of antiques for the family of a Mrs. Hall who had passed away, and had been given two unique items by the deceased. One was a thick glass bottle that appeared to answer questions when asked, and the other was a small bedroom clock that predicted specific future events. The latter gave Ali a prediction that she would find the body of a friend on February twelfth at the Knox home, causing her to hesitate about taking on the new assignment until after the thirteenth.
The Darnells were insistent that she go ahead due to their need to sell the house and return to New York, so Ali traveled from Arizona to Pennsylvania to complete the project in spite of her misgivings. Oliviaís staff was still on the premises and Ali and the Darnells were treated well, including elegant meals.
Despite Aliís attempt to stop the result of the prediction, she did end up finding a body of someone close to her. As the police began their investigation Ali found other reasons to suspect that more people were in danger, including Ali.
Antique Forgery is the second Alicia Trent Mystery written by Eileen Harris, author of Desert Shadow. This series is quickly becoming an intriguing look into the antique business and the behind the scenes behavior of those who are willing to do anything in order to possess items that many times are worth a fortune. In this case, the items include antique jewelry and valuable paintings.
The characters are realistic and believable in their behavior. Attention to detail helps the reader feel a part of the story including the feeling that something in that large house is not right.
From the staff to the relatives of the deceased, no one is beyond suspicion as more incidents come to light. Relationships are well drawn and there are plenty of secrets to keep readers guessing who is behind the murder.
Harris keeps the clues and red herrings coming and pages turning until the final reveal. Hopefully, the author will also keep the increasingly interesting Ali Trent mysteries coming as well.
A special thank you goes to Wings Press, Inc. for providing a complimentary copy of Antique Forgery for our review. All of the books authored by Eileen Harris are available at Amazon.com.