First Line: Love fades.
Sarah Winston hasn't seen her brother Luke in twenty years, and when he shows up on her doorstep, it couldn't be at a worse time. Just hours earlier, the garage sale Sarah was running was taped off as a crime scene after the discovery of a murdered Vietnam vet and his gravely injured wife-- Sarah's clients, the Spencers. Now Luke is here, asking her not to tell anyone in town, even her ex-husband the chief of police.
All Sarah knows is that Luke is undercover and investigating a story. Then he vanishes. As she searches for clues to where Luke may be hiding, Sarah comes across a list of veterans and realizes that she's going to have to find out who killed Mr. Spencer in order to find her brother. And all without telling her ex.
Although this is Sherry Harris's fourth Garage Sale mystery, it's the first one I've read, and I'm happy to say that A Good Day to Buy works very well as a standalone. I didn't feel lost once, nor did I feel bogged down in backstory. I was a bit reluctant to read a book that focuses on garage sales, but Sarah Winston doesn't focus on just those. We also read about her attendance at estate sales as well as working with art and antiques. So it's not just about people's "cast-off junk." (I think Harris also managed to raise my opinion of garage sales as I read.)
This is an excellent, multi-layered mystery that revolves around Sarah's estranged brother. It's a chance for readers to learn some of the main character's family dynamics... speaking of which, the relationship she has with her ex-husband is an interesting one. Sarah Winston is a main character I rapidly grew to like, and I had to smile when her friend Gennie laid down the law and insisted Sarah learn self-defense after finding herself in a dangerous situation once again. I know of several other main characters in cozy mystery series who should do the same thing. Gennie could have a flourishing career.
The mystery is solved in A Good Day to Buy, but the book ends on a cliffhanger with Sarah's personal life. I was very impressed with my first Garage Sale mystery, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if I visit Sarah Winston again-- especially to see how that cliffhanger turns out.
A Good Day to Buy by Sherry Harris
Kensington Books © 2017
eBook, 288 pages
Cozy Mystery, #4 Garage Sale mystery
Source: Net Galley