In Another Man’s Treasure by S.W. Hubbard, Audrey Nealon owns an estate sale business, where she cleans out the houses of those who have died and sells the contents to dealers and then in an estate sale. As she and get 2 two assistants, Jill and Tyshon, are sorting through a relic of a house, first Tyshon finds a bag filled with ecstacy and then Jill tumbles through the attic to the floor below while trying to check out a chest that turns out to be filled with all sorts of valuable jewelry. But everything around Audrey fades to the background when she discovers a unique ring, one that she knows had been made specially for her mother, who disappeared in a plunge into a lake during a serious snowstorm on Christmas Eve when Audrey was three. What is her mother’s ring doing in this old lady’s attic?
Before Audrey can begin her own personal investigation into the truth about her mother, she gets attacked viciously while on the way from the parking garage to deposit the proceeds of the estate sale in the bank. Waking up in the hospital, Audrey learns she has been unconscious for four days and required brain surgery, but also finds out in consternation that the police have arrested Tyshon for the crime because he has a criminal record. To free him, Audrey lies about remembering a detail from her attack, which is really a total blank to her, that would eliminate Tyshon.
In the midst of this case, Audrey starts dating the chief of the Democratic party in New Jersey, and gets to know the family of the Democrat running for governor whom her boyfriend represents, envying the ideal family they appear to have. Through the midst of all of this, Audrey faces clear danger in her life, though she is not sure the source.
Hubbard labels this book a romantic thriller, which is just a little more intense than a cozy mystery. The plot kept me entranced and kept me listening even when I should have been asleep! I appreciate the character development and the way the people are real and legitimate, not all good or all bad. I also like the fact that the cops are not portrayed as bumbling idiots whose ineptitude forces the amateurs to take up the slack. They are real people, with human error but the vabilityv to learn from their mistakes and change to become better. Probably my favorite character is Ethel, Audrey’s shepherd mix whom she rescued from the animal shelter and who has great character and defends Audrey. This dog was a lot of fun and seemed very realistic to this dog loving reader.
The material about the items that Audrey clears out of the houses is fascinating. As Indie Review describes in the official description on Amazon.com, ” ‘Law and Order’ meets ‘Antique Roadshow.’ ”
The first two of three books in this series are available on Audible, and I loved getting to listen to it. Janelle Tedesco narrates the book and helps to keep it alive.
I heartily enjoyed Another Man’s Treasure and eagerly moved on to the next book in the series. It kept me on edge, but since it was written in first person, I didn’t have to worry about the loss of the protagonist. I enjoyed the way the characters connect and the trail of evidence Audrey follows in seeking out her mother’s secret. Further, the book has several twists so that just when you think the book is wrapping up, you find another new angle. This makes the book even more enjoyable. I give it five stars.
To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.