Review: THE ART OF THE DECOY by Trish Esden

I recently had the pleasure of reading an advance review copy of The Art of the Decoy (A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery), the first book in a new series by Trish Esden. I was immediately drawn to the beautiful cover when I was browsing on NetGalley, and the book itself didn’t disappoint. Although the book has not yet released, you will want to add it to your TBR list.

Description

After her mother is sent to prison for art forgery, Edie Brown returns to Northern Vermont to rebuild her family’s fine art and antiques business. She’s certain she can do it now that her mother is gone. After all, butting heads with her mom over bad business practices was what drove Edie away three years ago, including a screwup that landed Edie on probation for selling stolen property.

When Edie scores a job appraising a waterfowl decoy collection at a hoarder’s farmhouse, she’s determined to take advantage of the situation to rebuild the business’s tarnished reputation and dwindling coffers. In lieu of payment, Edie intends to cherry-pick an exceptional decoy carved by the client’s renowned Quebecoise folk artist ancestors. Only the tables turn when the collection vanishes.

Accused of the theft, Edie’s terrified that the fallout will destroy the business and land her in prison next to her mom. Desperate, she digs into the underbelly of the local antiques and art world. When Edie uncovers a possible link between the decoy theft and a deadly robbery at a Quebec museum, she longs to ask her ex-probation officer, and ex-lover, for help. But she suspects his recent interest in rekindling their romance may hide a darker motive.

With the help of her eccentric uncle Tuck and Kala, their enigmatic new employee, Edie must risk all she holds dear to expose the thieves and recover the decoys before the FBI’s Art Crime Team or the ruthless thieves themselves catch up with her.

*Description as appears on Amazon.

My Review

The first book in a new cozy series, this was an engaging read, well written and sprinkled with humor. Edie is a great character – unique, a far cry from so many “goodie two-shoes” cozy mystery protagonists. She isn’t perfect, a fact made immediately clear from her arrest record and her family’s checkered past. The family operates an antique business in Vermont, and Edie has a strong background in art history and American folk art. She is smart, and cautious yet bold at the same time.

Things get interesting when Edie secures a particularly lucrative appraisal job of what might be a long-lost collection of bird decoys, that is, if they are authentic. The stakes are high and she’s not the only one with an interest in the collection. She soon becomes a prime suspect in the theft of these decoys and others and is determined to prove her innocence and discover more about the history of the decoys, and the perpetrators of an array of crimes related to their disappearance.

I look forward to reading additional books in this series in the future.

FTC disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley. This has not affected the content of my review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s