Molly Appleby, staff writer for Collector’s Weekly, travels to Nashville to cover the Heart of Dixie auction, where the major dealers in the field of Southern antiques have gathered, and there she gets involved in another murder case in A Deadly Dealer by Ellery Adams. Exploring the antiques being offered, Molly and her mother, Clara, meet various interesting people who specialize in such fields as old and valuable books, textiles, and furniture. Molly especially enjoys meeting Tom Barnett, a friend of her mother’s who specializes in medical antiques, though he seems rather worried. The next morning, Molly comes across the body of Tom hidden in a flower garden.
Determined to find glory by solving a murder case, something she has tried to do in the previous two books, Molly works with Clara to track down clues. She discovers that Tom was not the incredibly wonderful man her mother had thought, neglecting to pay his debts to his ex-wife for their children and mortgage. Clues come through Tom’s collection of canes, including an elaborate cane Molly has bought for her boyfriend topped with a caduceus, the symbol of medicine that uses a staff and two snakes.
The book begins each chapter with a fascinating brief quote from sources that talk about the history of canes. This is a great way to help the readers become more immersed in the world of antique canes without getting preachy. In addition, periodically throughout the book, there are short chapters relating wicked episodes in the life of one specific cane made specifically for evil purposes. I really enjoyed the way these pieces brought history to life.
This series, Antiques and Collectibles Mysteries, uses a unique field, that of buying and selling antiques, to build up creative mysteries. It educates about that field in a way that even those who care nothing about the area of antiques will enjoy the books. Adams has reworked the books, originally published under the name of J.B. Stanley, now published under her own name.
The book is performed by Andi Arndt, who uses her considerable vocal and linguistic training to create voices for the characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Deadly Dealer, and the book ended long before I wanted it to end. While being the third book in its series, readers can approach this without having read the first two books. I highly recommend this book to everyone, and I give it five stars.
The rewritten version of this book is available in only the Kindle and audio versions. To purchase the CD of this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.