A Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery
Jane K. Cleland
Minotaur Books, 2014
Blood Rubies is a cozy murder mystery set in the fictional Rocky Point, New Hampshire with antiques as its underlying theme. This book is number nine out of a series of nine. In it, the reader is given a lesson in Russian Imperial antiques, namely the Fabergé Eggs as well as ‘gadget canes’ something I’ve never heard of. The story is basically an up and coming celebrity chef has a Fabergé egg that has been passed down through her family and she asks Josie to appraise it for her. While waiting for the egg to show up, the fiancé of the chef’s best friend is murdered and the priceless egg is found smashed beyond recognition around his feet. Together with the local police chief, Josie solves who killed the fiancé and where is the Egg, while trying not to be murdered herself.
*Josie Prescott, antiques dealer, appraiser and owner of Prescott’s Antiques
*Ana Yartsin, up and coming celebrity chef, asks her father to bring the family’s Fabergé Spring Egg to her in Rocky Point where she is filming her new TV show.
*Chief Ellis Hunter, local police chief and friend to Josie. He blatantly seeks her help in solving the murder constantly by asking “What would you do?” which doesn’t make him seem to bright.
*Ty, former local police chief and boyfriend to Josie. The moments between him and Josie are all sugary-coated-sweetness and romance. Blechhh!
*Heather Walker, Ana’s best friend and fiancé of Jason, seemingly so dazzled by Jason’s brilliance, can’t see him for the creep he really is
*Jason Ferris, fiancé of Heather, arrogant, mean-spirited and self-centered – which makes him a perfect murder victim
*Peter Yartsin, hot-headed, fly-off-the-handle brother of Ana and obsessed with Heather in a stalker-like way
*Stefan Yartsin, father to Ana and Peter, seems guilty from the beginning because he is most definitely hiding something!!
Most important character
*Hank, the Maine Coon Shop Cat
I enjoyed this book as its always fun to learn about antiques. The mystery was well thought out and all the various suspects eliminated one by one in a logical and thoughtful way. I guessed at who the murderer was almost from the beginning – not because of any evidence but because of the way his/her character was written. It was pretty obvious, at least to me.
Blood Rubies is pretty far along in the Josie Prescott series and although it can stand alone for the most part, I did feel like I had missed out on previous stuff that might have made the events in this book more meaningful. That was a long sentence to say, it is a series book and it reads like a series book. It didn’t help that the author footnoted her previous books three separate times when describing events or characters. And, as adult authors usually do, she is very, very descriptive when it comes to – well, just about everything. Does the fact that Josie sits and gazes out the restaurant window at “A small brown bird landed on a birch tree. It fluttered its wings for a moment, then grew still. . . . The little brown bird appeared to be resting, its head tucked under its wing.” (pgs 181-182) really make a difference to the story? Some readers may like little moments like these. I don’t; I think they’re just fluff. I won’t be reading the rest of the series any time soon – there are just too many other books on my to-read pile.
Rating: 3 out of 5 paws
The Tsarevich Egg is a Fabergé egg, one in a series of fifty-two jewelled eggs made under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé. It was created in 1912 for Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna as a tribute by Faberge to her son the Tsarevich Alexis (Alexei). The egg currently resides in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. (Wikipedia)
Peter the Great Egg
Romanov Tercentenary Egg by Fabergé 1913