This is the 18th book in this series, and although I’ve really enjoyed this series, this one was not my favorite. I think, maybe, the characters are getting tired. You know how some series go on and on and then you suddenly realize the characters had reached the end of their lifespan a few books earlier? I hope–I very very much hope–that this isn’t the case here but I’m afraid.
These books are centered on a woman who runs a mystery bookstore on an island off the coast of South Carolina. At the beginning, it was mostly just her at the center of the story. As the books have gone on, she’s gotten married, and the cast of familiar characters includes a host of people and they’re all pretty predictable. I can always tell what her mother-in-law is going to say or do, and the same with her husband, and I wish, I REALLY wish, they had some more fire. *sigh*
Ok, in this one, Annie and her husband Max are remodeling an old plantation home for their own use. Because naturally, he’s from money, making all sorts of life issues for them easier. Ahem.
He owns a private detective agency on the island because on a small island there’s SO MUCH need for that, but again, fine, ok.
Someone calls and says she’s afraid and needs help and he’s not willing to take the call. Apparently in the last book which I read approximately 12 million years ago, a woman started her conversation with him that way and it ended badly.
*I* think if you’re not interested in talking to people with problems, maybe you should close down your private detective business, but ok.
But his secretary (also super predictable) takes a message anyway. The lady says she hid something at the house they’re remodeling but now the locks have been changed and she needs to get it back.
They go out there and it’s some lady living in a small cottage not far from their mansion and another mansion, where she worked as a housekeeper. The other mansion has a rich guy and his family living in it and the rich guy just had his rare coin collection stolen.
Clearly, the idea is that she hid the coins in their house.
But no one can find the damn things. Coins are small, mmmkay?
Oh and the lady in question has been murdered, making her unlikely to be the thief.
Other characters drop, but no one we expect to see again anyway, and everyone looks for the coins, and in the end, it’s a nice little mystery but not terribly exciting.
I’m partial to the earlier books in this series, especially “The Christie Caper.” There’s nothing actually wrong with this book, it just lacks the ingenuity and fire I’d like to have seen. I’m not saying not to read it, I’m saying maybe start with the earlier books first.