Molly Appleby is a young writer for Collector's Weekly, and when the attractive reporter isn't covering auctions and antique shows all over the South, she's trying to get her new relationship with a coworker off the ground. When her latest assignment takes her to North Carolina pottery country to cover an exclusive kiln opening, she's certain that the show promises surprising offerings and rare finds. What she doesn't expect to find is a dead body.
George-Bradley Staunton is known throughout the antiques world as a very wealthy and very ruthless collector, and when he drops dead just after the opening, there are all too few mourners and a seemingly endless list of suspects. When the local police are stumped, Molly steps in to put her journalist's nose to work sniffing out the culprit. But no sooner does she start collecting clues than another dead body falls into her lap. As Molly digs beneath the genteel surface of antiques and collectibles, she finds a world filled with backstabbing and competition, and what started as a story about rare collections might leave Molly with nothing more than a collection of corpses.
©2006 Jennifer Stanley; revised copyright 2014 by Jennifer Stanley (P)2016 Tantor
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
A long time collector of southern pottery, I was in heaven listening to this book . . . our son is stationed at Fort Bragg, not far from the Seagrove Potters Community in North Carolina . . . and it was like going home to hear about Molly and her mother visiting the kiln openings there . . . the nasty, greedy old George-Bradley Staunton who knocked all the fellow collectors out of the way to get his hands on the wares made my blood boil, because we collectors are a mild mannered, happy bunch of folks . . . most of us doing it for the love of the time-honored art of pottery making handed down for generations . . . each time finding a new piece or a new artist sort of like discovering a treasure to be adored . . . not exploited . . . having collected and seen many of these artists go on to the big pottery wheel in the sky, and their children choose NOT to carry on the family tradition, I relish hearing about every aspect of the making of fine pieces . . . guess there's a bad egg in every hen house, so to speak, and poor old George finally got cracked. . . hated to see the second murder happen . . . all in all, great story . . . already downloaded the next book in the series . . . but it will have to work hard to beat this one!
I had read this book previously on Kindle (written under the name JB Stanley) and enjoyed it. But I prefer audio books, so I'm really happy that this series is being released in audio. I like Molly a lot. She's a likable person who I could easily be friends with. The details about collectibles, and the people who will stop at nothing to get them, are interesting and not overwhelming. It's a great read and I ordered the second in the series as soon as it was available.
A lover of cozy mysteries, contemporary romance and getting lost in the world of audiobooks
In typical Ellery Adams fashion, each chapter begins with a quote which I find is my favorite "quirk" or trademark of Ellery.
Although another review said this was too much of a "niche" plot with the pottery, I didn't feel that way at all. Molly (the main character) has no pottery knowledge going into this story, and as a reader we learn along with her. So it's not as if you're thrown into a world of pottery with terminology that doesn't make sense. Not like that at all. Most of the pottery details come into play as Molly investigated a death of a well known pottery collector. As she interviews key players she compiles info which is ultimately pertinent to solving the crime.
I also loved the mother/daughter relationship in this book. Molly often uses her mother as a sounding board to test her theories & suspicions, and they do a lot together. It's not something I've seen in other cozies so I loved that detail.
A few criticisms: outside of Molly & her mother there aren't really many other stable main characters. At least in this book we don't meet many. You have the love interest Matt & a few family friends, but I have a hard time figuring out who the cast of characters would be for this series going forward. I also didn't love the plot line where Molly is pitted as the "full figured plain girl" against a beautiful tall blonde who both want Matt's affections. It's just such an overdone and contrived mini plot line.
Overall though it was a solid start to this series & I will go on to book 2 and see if it picks up more & develops better as time goes on. It's a good cozy, although not Ellery's best, but it intrigued me enough to continue on.
I had high hopes for this southern mystery. I love to collect things (though not of that high value!), so I was looking forward to a series I could connect with, like Victoria Hamilton's Vintage Kitchen Mysteries.
Unfortunately, the writing style didn't jive with me. The plot was fine, and I really enjoyed the somewhat unconventional ending, but I just wasn't on the edge of my seat.
I didn't feel that the characters had real depth. Maybe they are better developed in later books.
I appreciate that the narrator did not attempt a "southern" accent. She had good character distinction, but her voice felt very sing-songy--a little too calm for the plot. I don't plan to seek out other books narrated by her, but I won't avoid them either.
I don't regret purchasing this book, but I don't plan to buy the next in the series.
Ellery Adams has another good cozy mystery series. I enjoyed this book lie her others. It has interesting characters and realistic situations. I hope the rest of the series is added soon to Audible.
If you're into collecting southern pottery, you'll probably LOVE this. For anyone who isn't, well, I'd recommend Adams' Books by the Bay series first. It's a much more well-written mystery series that will appeal to a broader audience.
I'm okay with most of the cozy murder mysteries that appeal to certain markets (baking, home repair, knitting, etc...), mostly because they don't usually consume the plot and characters. Not so with A Killer Collection. This book completely nuts with the pottery theme. I definitely learned a lot about pottery, but the characters and the actual murder mystery seemed to take a distant second and third place in precedence. The book even has scenes from a CLAY RABBIT'S perspective, scenes in which we learn that it can feel emotions, can smile, doesn't like the dark or loud noises, has a sense of smell, AND a sense of direction! So it just got too weird for me. No author is going to make to feel sorry for a chunk of clay. It would have been funny if the author hadn't been so solemnly and emphatically trying to evoke my sympathy for the thing.
Sort of fun story line. Interesting about pottery in the south. I prefer more psychological thriller. Good for light reading. Easy to follow. Characters kind of bland.
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