Sarah and her friend Harriet are preparing an indoor garage sale for Alice Krandle, a new client. After spending hours pricing the knickknacks, artwork, and expensive figurines, Sarah wants to wind down for the day. Unfortunately, a random phone call, revelation of a kidnapping, and strict instructions has Sarah running across town. Stella, her landlady, has been kidnapped and her kidnapper is using Sarah to complete bizarre tasks in order to gain, or lose, precious time to locate Stella. At a loss for what to do or where to turn, Sarah realizes the kidnapper didn't include Harriet in his list of no-nos. Harriet is former FBI with contacts all over the place. With some strategy and hiding things from her friends, including her boyfriend Seth, maybe Sarah will be able to locate Stella before any harm comes to her - even if it means losing the trust of everyone around her. Stella's life is more valuable and Sarah hopes to find her alive. It's better to ask for forgiveness sometimes, at least Sarah hopes so.
I really enjoy the Garage Sale Mysteries by Sherry Harris. As a lover of garage sales, yard sales, flea markets, etc., a cozy setting of this nature makes me happy. Sarah is a great protagonist and has been in such a way that I feel like I know her personally. She has very realistic characteristics and the author really brings Sarah to life. I love all the secondary characters the author has created for this series, too. Seth, Pelltner, Mike “the big cheese” Titone, Stella, Awesome, and all the rest compliment this series so well. I’m glad Sarah’s love life doesn’t overpower the stories, providing a nice balance and sense of realism to her.
As I said about the rest of the books in the series, Absence of Alice is a fantastic cozy mystery full of twists, turns, distractions, and multiple storylines. There are suspenseful, humorous, and heartbreaking moments that are sure to keep the reader engaged. The author provides a few characters as the potential suspects and expertly pulls the tablecloth out from underneath them without spilling the truth. The ending was a complete shocker! The Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries are one of my favorite cozy series'. The author keeps the stories fresh and entertaining. The characters are wonderful, and I love the setting.