Friday, July 21, 2017

Death is a Cabaret

Former FBI agent Jeff Talbot turned antique picker is headed from Seattle to the huge Annual Antiques Festival auction on Mackinac Island. His mission is to find the Napoleonic cabaret set his friend Blanche Appleby's family once owned. In Death is a Cabaret by Deborah Morgan a cabaret set figures prominently

What is a cabaret set, you ask. Well I will tell you. It is an eighteenth century a coffee or tea service usually made of porcelain and including a teapot, coffeepot, sugar bowl, creamer a cup and saucer and tray. Usually it is a tea service for one - this particular one served the Empress Josephine (Napoleon's wife) from France. Some how through the years, the tea service, which was supposed to be a wedding gift for Blanche, was sold and it disappeared.

Jeff loves a challenge and he heads to Michigan where he hopes to find the cabaret set in the auction.

The Festival is being held at the magnificent Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and the hotel is filled
with beautifully-dressed antique hunters. When Jeff arrives he meets a glamorous couple, three senior citizen antique hunters from New Orleans and a body. The body coincidentally turns out to be Frank Hamilton, an irritating, sly picker from Seattle, who had had a run in with  Jeff before the trip to Michigan.

Jeff offers his former FBI experience to the local police and together they try to find the solution to the murder. Before that happens the famous auctioneer Edward Davenport is found hanged. It is believed to be a suicide, but there was no note and that bothers Jeff. Davenport was at the top of his game as one of the most respected auctioneers and authorities on antiques. Why would he kill himself?

This was an intriguing book for many reasons. First, the concept of antiques is so foreign to me, I learned a great deal. Second, the killer is deeply buried in the characters and I went to bed one night trying to figure it out. Third, Jeff's wife Sheila is an agoraphobic and has not been out of the house in five years. And fourth, they employ a real live butler. Put all this together and you have a unique mystery series.

I did find myself humming Life is a Cabaret for much of the time I was reading the book. You know how those earworms are!

For other books in this series by Deborah Morgan, click here.

No comments: