In A Killer Keepsake, the sixth book in the Antiques & Collectibles Mystery Series by Ellery Adams and Parker Riggs, Molly Appleby has interviewed the members of the Forget Me Not Doll Club for an article in Collector’s Weekly, where she serves as the star reporter. Each member of the club collects a different type of doll, for example haunted dolls by Sierra, Barbie dolls by Miranda, and lifelike baby dolls by Eliza, Miranda’s personal assistant. Sierra owns a 1930s’ German doll named Emma that is particularly special to her, and Miranda has it in her head that Emma is another of Sierra’s haunted dolls and has the ability to put curses on others. Miranda has been harassing Sierra to sell her the doll for weeks with the hopes that it will help her force her husband to give her a more than generous divorce settlement. The meeting soon breaks up when Miranda feels sick and insists on leaving. The next morning, Molly and Sierra find Miranda dead in her bed, and sitting in the chair next to her is Sierra’s doll Emma.
Because of the involvement of the collector’s doll, Lombardi, Molly’s police detective friend, asks Molly to sit in on interviews with members of the Forget Me Not Doll Club, but soon that escalates to her involvement in the full- fledged investigation, even conducting the first official interview with Miranda’s estranged husband in his bikini club. Things get scary as another member of the club gets shot, with further ensuing danger and drama.
Each book in this series begins each new chapter with a tale tracing an artifact that eventually gets tied into the main plot of the book featuring Molly; her mother, Clara; and Molly’s new husband, Matt. In the case of A Killer Keepsake, we follow the journey of the doll Emma from Germany and to the U.S. on the Hindenburg on its fateful 1937 journey. This plot was fascinating and added deeply to the strength of this book as a whole.
I greatly enjoyed listening to A Killer Keepsake, which is a good addition to the series. I liked the plot and characters, and I found myself clearly disliking the members of the Forget Me Not Doll Club. I loved getting to travel back in time to 1937 with Emma, a setting that came alive more strongly than that of the modern- day characters.
I do have two qualms about the book, though neither is significant enough to change my rating of its quality. Over the course of the series, Molly has made for herself a reputation as a snoop, even to the extent that part of her promise to Matt upon getting married was to stop putting herself in the midst of investigations and subsequent danger. However, it seems unrealistic for the police to ask Molly to help with interviewing suspects, even just collectors. After all, the fact that Emma is in Miranda’s room does not seem reasonable enough justification to involve a civilian in a case. Further, it is especially strange for Molly to interview others not in the doll club. I can’t imagine the police having a civilian interview a suspect alone.
The second thing I would have preferred is to have gotten to see more collectibles and artifacts as in the previous books. Adams has such a genius for turning these inanimate objects into genuine characters that I was disappointed not to get to see more of in this book.
The audio edition is performed by Andi Arndt, who, as usual, does an outstanding job in her portrayal of the book. She brings out the already- existing life in the book, taking us to Maine to be with Molly and her friends and family. She does an excellent job of dealing with the accents of the Maine residents, the Southern Molly and Clara, and the Germans in the 1937 flashbacks. I appreciate the excellent performance of this book.
A Killer Keepsake was a fun addition to the Antiques & Collectibles Mystery Series, which is highly creative in its concept. I especially appreciated the flashbacks to 1937 Germany and later the Hindenburg, which made me emotionally invested in the case. I give this book five stars!
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