Friday, June 07, 2013

The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott

First Line: If I hadn't been desperate for a job and a new place to live, I might have made a run for it as soon as I got a good look at that sour face.

Jordan Kelly is in debt, thanks to school loans and a thieving ex-boyfriend. She needs a place to live, and she needs a job. NOW.  When she learns of a position available that provides room and board while she spends her days tracking down rare books for a passionate collector, she can't believe her good fortune. But yes, there's a catch: Jordan will be working for Vera Van Alst-- the most hated person in Harrison Falls, New York. 

Jordan's first assignment is to track down an Agatha Christie play. Supposedly written in eleven days while the famous author went missing, people aren't even certain that the play exists. The assignment is made even more difficult when Jordan learns that her predecessor met his untimely end while searching for it. This job is good, but with someone out there willing to kill to keep the play out of Vera's hands, Jordan's got to wonder if her new employment is worth losing her life over.

This is the first installment of the Book Collector cozy mystery series written by mother-daughter writing team Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini. It didn't take me many pages at all before I knew these two have a winner on their hands. Not only does the reader have the opportunity to learn about books, authors and book collecting, there's also a wonderful cast of characters to get acquainted with, and many, many moments filled with laughter. The sense of humor in this book is absolutely delicious!

Jordan Kelly is just the sort of smart yet hapless heroine that readers can fall in love with. Her life is not only complicated by her thieving ex and those student loans, she has uncles who aren't always on the right side of the law. Their unlawful knowledge can come in handy in certain circumstances, but at other times those uncles can make life difficult. Then there's Jordan's new boss, Vera Van Alst, whose five facial expressions include "scowl, glower, sneer, utter boredom, and reverence, although reverence was reserved for books in her collection." Don't stand in this woman's way because Vera would just as soon run over you with her wheelchair than look at you. The vast Van Alst mansion is a bit worse for wear (except for the pristine, state-of-the-art room that houses Vera's book collection), but Jordan loves her rooms-- even though she lives in "a house that's ruled by a bipolar cat that can walk through walls." I have to admit that Jordan and the cat made me laugh. A lot. Simply because it took her so long to figure out what was going on.

If you're in the mood to enjoy a good mystery with a cast of characters that will keep a grin plastered on your face, get your hands on The Christie Curse. I'm already impatiently waiting for Book Collector #2 (The Sayers Swindle).

The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott
ISBN: 9780425255285
Berkley Prime Crime © 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Cozy Mystery, #1 in the Book Collector series
Rating: A-
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen.


  1. Cathy - Oooh....let me think...books? Goofy characters? A protagonist who's likeable? Yup. Sounds like something well worth the read. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks so much, Cathy! What a great review! We're thrilled. Daisy and Lily are a bit miffed over Walter the Pug making the cover and all, but they send you cuddles!

    1. You know... I was wondering about Daisy and Lily as I was reading about Walter. Give them some cuddles from me, please!


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