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Antiques Maul (Trash 'n' Treasures Mysteries, No. 2) Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 28, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758211937
  • ASIN: B003IWYHF6
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,437,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this jumbled sequel to Antiques Roadkill (2006), Allan (the pseudonymous husband-and-wife writing team of Max Allan and Barbara Collins) burdens a simple whodunit with too much sentimental ornament. Recent divorcée Brandy Borne has her hands full with her aging, scatterbrained mother, Vivian, who has just announced her retirement from local theater. To keep Vivian busy and generate some cash, Brandy suggests they open a stall in the new antiques mall in their small Midwestern town of Serenity. Then the two women find a retired schoolteacher dead at the mall, apparently killed by her pit bull. Vivian insists the woman was murdered, but the official investigation comes up empty. Brandy and Vivian also detect a bit, but to little practical effect, eventually stumbling on the solution by chance. Brandy's rambling narration and Vivian's dotty escapades may not hold the attention of hardcore mystery fans, but antiques addicts will enjoy the trash 'n' treasures tips. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"* "Charming... A laugh-out-loud funny mystery." - Romantic Times (four stars)." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Barbara Allan is the joint pseudonym of acclaimed short story writer Barbara Collins (Too Many Tomcats) and New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Max Allan Collins (ROAD TO PERDITION). Their previous collaborations have included one son, a short story collection, and five novels, including the 2008 winner of the Romantic Times Toby Bromberg Award for Most Humorous Mystery, ANTIQUES FLEE MARKET. They live in Iowa in a house filled with trash and treasures.

Customer Reviews

Well written and witty.
Sharron K. Fuller
This is the first book that I have read in this series.....and I don't think I will be reading any more of them.
Georgia Peach
I would recommend this to anyone who can laugh at adversity, and likes a good cozy mystery.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on September 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Second in this new series by authors Max Allan and Barbara Collins, this funny and informative cozy mystery has many surprises in store for you. Not only are there Trash `n' Treasure tips at the end of each chapter, a few recipes are also thrown in!

Max and Barbara have created some fantastic characters in Brandy and Vivian Borne. Brandy has returned home to a small Midwestern town on the Mississippi to live with her mother after a messy divorce. She has custody of the old blind Shih Tzu, Sushi, while her husband has custody of ten-year-old Jake back in Chicago.

Vivian has been a fixture at the Community Theatre Playhouse, and is dismayed when her archrival Bernice, a recent arrival in town, gets the position of Director. Vivian quits the theatre and Brandy comes up with an idea to keep her mother busy and out of her hair: she gets a booth at the new antiques mall in town.

They travel to a federal auction of confiscated goods, buy enough to fill the booth, and pick up Jake for a short visit. Shortly after they set up their booth early one morning, they discover the owner of the mall, Mrs. Norton, on the floor, covered in blood with her timid pit bull standing over her! Was she mauled by her dog?

And, who has been following Brandy? Why is the man from the federal antiques auction after the rolltop desk Brandy bought? Did he follow her to Serenity and try and track it down? Who is the young man Brandy sees arguing with Bernice? Son Jake comes to visit and helps out at the Antiques Mall, and finds a secret compartment in the wooden cigar store Indian. He claims all that was in there was the cigar.

The authors have a unique voice and a quirky conversational style. This amusing trek through the world of antiques will keep you giggling. My favorite chapter was when Vivian takes over and does some sleuthing on her own.

Armchair Interviews says: Treasures exist throughout this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Priebe on December 21, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are looking for some light reading and prefer mysteries, this book is for you. It had me lol right away. I love how eccentric the mother Vivian is! It's a great book for people who like to read, but don't have a lot of time to do so. Perfect for busy mothers who have a few minutes of "me time".
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 10, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Another in the wonderful series of cozy mysteries- I, for one, am tired of foresnic overkill and enjoy the cerebral aspect of mysteries (hence, "Cozy") I collect series and this is a welcome addition to my collection
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Pajot on May 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought I would like the book. I like antiquing, I like mysteries, but I couldn't finish it, and I almost always finish a book once I'm a ways into it.
I hated the incredible detail of what everyone was wearing, down to the shoes, with brand names and fashion style. Just says she's wearing a tan shirt and jeans not "I put on a BCBG tan jacket with epaulets and military buttons, Rock & Republic jeans (rolled up), and a pair of distressed brown Frye boots. To counter the armed forces look, I picked out a girly pink Betsey Johnson rhinestone-encrusted hobo bag and matching hip-slung belt." Followed by 3 pages of how only going to the salon 4 times a year and giving up the nail salon and going with fake nails will net you $200 to go shopping to buy more name brand cr*&.

Then the murder, **SPOILER ALERT** A Pitbull is introduced the day before the murder "That didn't erase the fact that pit bulls can--and do--kill people, and many towns ban them. Having a cutesy movie-star name didn't make Brad's fangs any duller, or take the kill out of killer instinct." The poor dog was scared to come out, a gentle soul, that did bark at first. They had an ancient ratty dog the protagonist Mother was wearing in a baby sling on her chest. Totally ridiculous. And a huge bias against big dogs.

I do not appreciate the stereo-typing of pitbulls as killers that should be banned from towns. They are generally gentle dogs that love their people deeply. Few are the killers that they are too often protrayed as, as that is the humans fault, not the dogs. They are a perfect example of nature versus nurture. Raised with love and guidance and not forced to fight and being raised with violence they are sweet dogs!

Then there is the going on and on and on about innane info that adds nothing to the story.

I finally gave up! I only finished half and just couldn't take it any more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ann de Vries on April 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the first book in the 'Antiques' series, but "Antiques Maul" left me with mixed feelings. The author writes very well, but the content became annoying after a while.

The heroine is a vain, frivolous character, which fits with the lighthearted theme of the book. She was very likeable most of the time and her quirky character added a lot of humour to the story. The secondary characters were also likeable and well drawn. The plot was a bit lightweight, but the book is a cozy mystery, so that is to be expected. However, the book was ruined for me by all of the distracting asides. They didn't bother me that much in the first book, but in "Antiques Mall", they became very distracting and annoying. They added nothing to the plot and slowed the action down considerably. Every time I got immersed in the story, an aside abruptly jolted me out of it. I had no interest in asides on how to shop in malls or how to shop for antiques, and I didn't like being torn from the main story at the end of every chapter. The story needed to be fleshed out more to be truly satisfying, but it was as if the unnecessary asides were substituted for substance.

I usually reread the books I liked, but I don't think many people could reread "Antiques Maul". If one actually enjoyed the asides at first reading, I think they would pall upon subsequent readings, once the novelty wore off. I know I found myself wondering "Where was the story?", once I finished the book. It was very disappointing when a book written by such a good writer, with such likeable characters and a potentially great plot was ruined by a literary device that detracted from the story. Humour is wonderful in a cozy mystery, but it has to fit within the framework of the story and not seem like something thrown in after-the-fact or like padding to increase the word count.
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