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Murder by the Spoonful

An Antique Hunters Mystery
Narrated by: Alissa Zea
Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Anne Hillstrom is hunting antiques, a diet that works, and her great-aunt Sybil's killer. This book tells the story of Anne and CC, two estate sale bloggers and antique hunters who get more than they bargain for when they discover a killer who is hunting the antique hunters.

©2015 Vicki Vass (P)2016 Vicki Vass and Alissa Zea

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 02-19-16

Great Book

I was quickly drawn into the story from the first page and my interest never wavered. The characters were funny, realistic and likable. The plot was interesting and fast paced. This was a great first book to a new cozy mystery series. I look forward to listening to the next book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Historical Fiction/mystery/laugh out loud

First, I am not a mystery buff. I like stories that teach me something new while making me care about the characters, laugh out loud, and leave me feeling as if I would recognize the characters in the market. Vass gave me that in this great novel about friendship, family dynamics, and lessons in how antiques should be valued by their stories first. Surprisingly to me, it had me wanting to help solve the mysteries too. Maybe I am becoming a mystery buff!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fun story, but Anne has shady basic ethics

Anne Hillstrom and her friend CC Muller are antique hunters, and CC writes a blog about their adventures at estate sales and other fun sources of antiques. Anne's Great-Aunt Sybil, collector of Viking swords and jewelry, has just died, and to the great frustration of much of the family, has left everything to a museum and named Anne as her executor.

Anne and CC attend estate sales and head off to flea markets on their weekends, while Anne is also busy being shocked that the greedier members of her extended family want to challenge Sybil's will on the grounds that she was obviously suffering from dementia, or she wouldn't have left all her valuable, museum-worthy collection to a museum. She's also finding that her cousin Suzanne is being abused by her husband. In their flea market adventures, she also finds a ring that looks like it could have, and likely did, come out of her aunt's collection.

Soon, it begins to seem that people are dying in unlikely ways, someone with an impeccable reputation is preying on eager collectors, and that CC (a newspaper reporter) and Anne (a chemist), bored with their boring day jobs, might have the prospect of a new career in tracking down specific antique and vintage items for followers of their blog interested in reclaiming some cherished memories.

They both meet interesting guys along the way. For Anne, it's Detective Towers, whom she manages to interest in the ring, even with no evidence it belonged to her aunt or was stolen. For CC, it's Tony, the Italian shipwright who is looking for some nice pieces of the correct vintage for the wooden yacht he's restoring.

CC is a walking encyclopedia of interesting facts about the stuff that interests her and the surrounding history. I actually sympathize greatly with this, but she has no off switch for it, and the author lets her go on far too long, far too often.

Anne is a mostly likable, and mostly good, person, with, sadly, a damaged set of ethics with regard to rules and property rights at estate sales. No, she doesn't steal things--not quite. Not outright. There were times I seriously wanted to whack her upside the head, though.

If this all sounds a little scattershot, it is. Much of the plot is interesting but not well-organized. The author also sometimes seems to not be paying attention. For instance, Detective Towers, who is from the UK originally, tells Anne fairly early on that he and his mother came to the US after the death of his father, when Towers was twelve. Later, he tells CC this happened when he was eleven. In a better-organized book, this would have been a great flashing clue that there's something shady about Towers, and I kept waiting for more to be revealed--but no. Towers is a perfectly nice, honest, upright guy--who unlike myself and every other person I know who had a parent die when they were children over the age of reason, doesn't remember how old he was when it happened. Or, as seems sadly more likely in this sometimes scattershot book, Vass didn't remember, didn't check, and didn't employ a copy-editor to catch those kinds of errors.

I find I have to comment on the narrator, too. Fine voice. Good reader. Really! But she should not be allowed to do accents. Every single foreign accent in the book wound up sounding overdone and a bit prissy.

Fun, but not something to put effort into hunting down.

I bought this audiobook.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I love antiques

I love this book. It was a little different than some of the cozy type mysteries i have listened to. I enjoyed how they went to antique stores and estate sales looking for things for their customers. At the same time trying to find out if some of the people of the estates they intended were murdered rather than dying of natural causes or accidents.


I look forward to more of these books. I

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Tammy
  • Casselman Ontario Canada
  • 05-25-17

more learning curve

As a murder mystery, this story falls short. As a tourist and estate/garage sale guide, this book excels. The murder happened in the first chapter of the novel and it was not referred to until chapter 12 or so. I am not sure what the author intended but as a general story about 2 friends writing a blog and going to estate and garage sales, it's perfect. The narrator did a great job with the story line and kept you very  interested.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't waste your money.

Would you try another book from Vicki Vass and/or Alissa Zea?

If I could have returned this, I would have done so within the first five minutes. Alissa Zea reads the book as though she's got a giant smile on her face the entire time. It's awful. I have listened to several audio books and have never heard a worse performance. She delivers every line like she's answering a question for a Miss America. The quality of writing is also sub-par. If you love Mary Higgins Clark and Kathy Reichs you will certainly find Vicki Vass wanting. I would never EVER read or buy a book by Vicki Vass again. If I find a book I want to listen to and Alissa Zea is narrating I will not be buying it. If I could give the performance 0 stars I would.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Anything not written or read by either of these women.

Would you be willing to try another one of Alissa Zea’s performances?

Absolutely not.

Any additional comments?

Don't waste your time or money.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful