Some cozy mysteries take a few pages or a chapter to set the hook, but not this one. I was hooked right away. Set in Oakwood, Ohio, The Antique House Murders, by USA Today bestselling author, Leslie Nagel, has some unexpected twists and turns. Nagel, who lives in Oakwood, is also a recipient of the Agatha Award and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, and was shortlisted for the Pat Conroy Beach Music Mystery Prize.
In the old money section of town, Holland Mulbridge tries to liquidate her family home after the death of her mother. Make that her decaying family mansion, full of priceless antiques. Enter a neighborhood group determined to preserve history, and prevent the subdivision of the land which they feared would ruin their historic community with its narrow, curvy roads, plus some greedy developers and politicians. The deceased loved a good riddle, and is likely laughing from her grave, but soon there is a dead body, something she had likely not expected.
The hero or heroine of cozy mysteries is typically a civilian who is adept at solving crimes, and at being able to question people in casual conversation, something the police are not allowed to do. Main character, “Charley” Carpenter and her boyfriend, Detective Marc Trenault, are often at odds over her “meddling” in his cases in this adorable fast-paced, complex mystery.
The Antique House Murders is the first in the Oakwood Mystery Series. It’s a quick, easy read, that will keep you guessing almost until the last minute. I can’t wait to read the other books in this series.