Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Veiled Deception by Annette Blair

Title: A Veiled Deception
Author: Annette Blair
ISBN: 9780425226407
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, 2009
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Amateur Sleuth, #1 Vintage Magic mystery
Rating: B
Source: Paperback Swap

First Line: My father would never have asked me to take a leave of absence from my job in New York City if he could have handled my sister's wedding and the "Jezebel" plotting to preempt it without me.

Madeira (Maddie) Cutler takes a leave of absence from her design job in a New York fashion house to go home to Connecticut to help with her younger sister's wedding. Sherry is looking forward to having Maddie design a spectacular wedding dress just for her, but at dinner they learn that the groom's mother has an heirloom dress and veil that she fully expects to be used. Not only that but a former girlfriend is draped all over the husband-to-be.

When the Jezebel later turns up dead, Sherry is the prime suspect, and Maddie isn't about to let something like that spoil her sister's wedding. What she knows that most other folks don't is that she's going to have a little extra help: Maddie not only can see the occasional ghost, she can touch fabrics and see things associated with the clothing's past.

This is a light, fun read-- perfect for curling up on a cold winter afternoon. I loved Maddie's fashion- and fabric-inspired way of cursing ("son of a stitch", "wooly knobby knits", etc.). It shows a lot more education and imagination than the usual profanities. I also loved the bits that dealt with design and vintage clothing.

The mystery was a bit weak; the killer seemed very obvious to me, but all the characters clucked and scratched everywhere in the barnyard but inside the hen house. Me? I was enjoying myself and more than content to watch them cluck and fuss. When I need something light and fun, I know that I'll be able to turn to this series for a pleasurable read.


  1. Cathy - I'm with you about language. Oh, trust me, I'm no prude at all. But it's nice when a write has creative ways of expressing the things that profanity expresses.

  2. My opinion has always been that a writer who resorts to ordinary everyday profanity needs to locate an imagination, and quickly! I've walked out of movies with much profanity because to me it's a sign of lazy writing.

  3. Margot-- I'm far from being a prude myself, but the usual profanity is just old, tired, and lazy.

    Barbara-- I once rented "Scarface" because I love Al Pacino. I started counting the number of times a certain word was used, and within a matter of minutes, I stopped watching the movie. That word overwhelmed everything else in the film for me. :(

  4. I like the paranormal aspect of this mystery, or rather I like the idea of it. I haven't actually read this one yet, but it has my interest. I'm glad to see you liked it.

  5. Kris-- It was a rather pleasant surprise, and I'm looking forward to reading another in the series.


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