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The Marsh Madness by Victoria Abbott
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A funny little mystery in the Book Collector Mystery series. It's really a cozy set in upstate New York, centering on a young woman from a con artist family who has decided to 'go straight', but who falls into all these murderous adventures. ok for what it is. ( )
  ffortsa | Oct 4, 2016 |
Jordan Bingham and her boss, book-collector Vera Van Alst, are invited to meet with Chadwick Kauffman, a collector who is offering Vera some first editions by Ngaio Marsh. Shortly after they leave the meeting, books in hand, Chadwick Kauffman is dead and the two women – plus Jordan’s uncle Kevin Kelly, are under suspicion of murder. What’s even more alarming is that the police appear to have evidence of their guilt. After a second, related murder, the three are really in hot water.

While dodging the police, Jordan and her friend Lance, the hunky super-hero librarian, come up with information that dead Chadwick and the “Chadwick” they met with are not the same man. What’s going on? And who is setting Jordan and her friends up for a murder rap.

The “book-collector’s mysteries” are compelling and quick reads, with great characters and fast-paced plots – and more than a dollop of humor! Plus there are recipes. ( )
  NewsieQ | May 4, 2016 |
Jordan Bingham works hard to find rare books for her employer Vera Van Alt, who collects them, and is thrilled when she not only has a chance of getting a collection of Ngaio Marsh’s first editions but to visit the summer estate Summerlea. Things quickly turned sour, however, when Summerlea’s owner Chadwick Kauffman turns up dead the next day and Jordan, Vera, and Uncle Kev are the chief suspects in his death. Jordan knows they are innocent and being set up but can she convince the police before it is too late?

“Marsh Madness” is the delightful fourth book in Victoria Abbott’s Book Collector cozy mystery series. I love the setting and characters in the series and the way the characters have grown throughout the series especially Vera who seems to be thawing just the tiniest bit. Jordan is one of my favorite heroines -raised by uncles who aren't afraid to bend the law, she is determined to stay straight even though she has a penchant for wearing wigs and owns lock picks. The mystery is intricately plotted - it is less of a whodunit then why is someone framing Jordan and her friends. Towards the end of the book I did figure out who the culprit was but it was still fun watching Abbott weave the plot together. There is plenty of tension in the book - this is the kind of book you could stay up all night reading just to see what happens next!

“Marsh Madness” is another nice cozy mystery by Victoria Abbott. ( )
  drebbles | Feb 24, 2016 |
I've been a fan of Victoria Abbott's Book Collector series since the first, The Christie Curse, but in this fourth installment the series has come into its own in glorious style. All the elements mesh together perfectly. The humor is often laugh-out-loud funny, and the plot is a knockout. At first I couldn't believe that Jordan and Vera could be so naive about their Marsh windfall, but when I was proved right, the story immediately kicked into another gear that took me straight to the realm of "What in the world is going on?!?"

The characters are a delight. Jordan, with her love of vintage fashion, Signora Pantone's cooking, her job, and her family's background in the shadier side of commerce. Jordan's Uncle Kevin, who's a one-man disaster area waiting to touch down. Vera's got the curmudgeon-with-tunnel-vision down to a fine art. Friends like Cherie and Lance know just how and when to lend a helping hand. And you can always count on Signora Panetone to make sure you won't faint from hunger. Even the animals in the book-- Walter the pug, Good Cat, and Bad Cat-- have their own wonderful DeMille-like closeups. Detectives Castellano and Stoddard are the only blights on The Marsh Madness's landscape, but even they did their jobs well, since they really made me fear for Jordan.

I could rave about this book for quite some time, but I won't. Instead I'll end with an added bonus this series has given me: the incentive to read books written by the Golden Age authors it has covered. Since I've been avoiding the aforementioned authors for years, that's quite some added bonus. I can't wait to see where this series takes me next. ( )
  cathyskye | Feb 5, 2016 |
Warning: this review may contain spoilers


When it comes to books in a series, some installments can be harder to find in a given set or of a given edition than others. So when Jordan Bingham hears about a full collection of Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Roderick Alleyn series, in first editions and for a relatively good price, she is keen to obtain them for her employer, Vera Van Alst. Jordan, Vera, and Jordan's uncle Kevin are invited to the owner's house to seal the deal over lunch. The next day, the owner is found dead, and the three lunch guests are suspected of his murder. At every turn, the evidence looks bad and gets worse. Will they be able to clear their name and avoid being convicted of a crime they did not commit?

In some ways this is a culminating volume of the Book Collector series. The ongoing thread about Jordan's ex-boyfriend is resolved in a manner that I inadvertently predicted, but it was good to have that thread resolved. I did find Vera a bit more obtuse and wilfully grumpy than I remembered, and the police seemed almost cartoonishly determined to arrest Jordan for murder. And yes, there were still a few mentions of Uncle Mick's chest hair (STOP IT ALREADY, HE'S YOUR UNCLE). But overall I found this a good installment of the series. It's also making me want to revisit Ngaio Marsh. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Jan 23, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425280349, Mass Market Paperback)

The national bestselling author of The Wolfe Widow presents another spine-tingling mystery featuring rare book collector Jordan Bingham and some Ngaio Marsh first editions worth killing for…

Jordan works hard to improve Vera Van Alst’s collection of classic detective stories. So when Chadwick Kauffman—heir to the Kauffman fortune—offers a very good price on a fine collection of Ngaio Marsh first editions owned by his recently deceased stepfather, she is thrilled to meet with him at his fabled summer estate, Summerlea.

The next day, Jordan and Vera are shocked to read that Chadwick has died in a fall from the grand staircase at Summerlea. But when the picture in the paper is of a different man, it becomes clear that the ladies are victims of a scam. And they’ll have to unmask the imposter fast, because someone is trying to frame them for murder…

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:13 -0400)

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