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Antiques Roadkill: A Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Allan
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

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Discover the Captivating World of Max Allan Collins
Max Allan Collins is the New York Times best-selling author of Road to Perdition and multiple award-winning novels, screenplays, comic books, and more. Browse his mysteries and thrillers.

Book Description

Determined to make a new start in her quaint hometown on the banks of the Mississippi, Brandy Borne never dreams she'll become the prime suspect in a murder case. . .

Moving back in with her eccentric, larger-than-life mother, Brandy Borne finds small-town Serenity anything but serene. It seems an unscrupulous antiques dealer has swindled Vivian out of the family's heirlooms. But when he is found run over in a country lane, Brandy becomes Murder Suspect Number One--with her mother coming in a very close second. . .

The list of other suspects is impressive--the victim's business seems to have been based on bilking seniors out of their possessions. And when the Borne "girls" uncover a few very unsavory Serenity secrets, they become targets for a murderer whose favorite hobby seems to be collecting victims.

Don't miss Brandy Borne's tips on antiques!

"Cozy mystery fans will love this down-to-earth heroine with the wry sense of humor and a big heart." --Nancy Pickard

"With its small-town setting and quirky characters, Antiques Roadkill is fun from start to finish. Dive in and enjoy."--Laurien Berenson



Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

After her divorce, Brandy Borne heads back to the small midwestern town where she grew up only to find that her mentally ill mother, Vivian, has sold all the family's antiques to unscrupulous dealer Clint Carson. Before Brandy can reclaim the family heirlooms, Carson is murdered, and both Brandy and Vivian confess, each hoping to protect the other. When it becomes clear that neither of them is guilty, Brandy investigates. This mystery offers a likable heroine whose first-person narration draws the reader into the story, which includes subplots concerning the somewhat strained relationship between Brandy and her much older sister and the challenge of living with a flamboyant mother who is quite eccentric when she doesn't take her medication. Humor, though sometimes somewhat forced, laces the narrative in this first in a promising series. Readers of Sharon Fiffer will enjoy the antiques frame, including various tricks of the trade addressed to the reader at the end of each chapter. Sue O'Brien
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"With its small town setting and cast of quirky characters, Antiques Roadkill is fun from start to finish. Dive in and enjoy."

Product Details

  • File Size: 468 KB
  • Print Length: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington Books (July 1, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004NNUZ3W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,210 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't even finish it! April 23, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First, I'd like to say I admire anyone who writes a book, so it's difficult for me to say this one is worth skipping but there it is. I really, really, really wanted to like this book since I love antiques, but Brandy for me was not my idea of a heroine. Her whole personality is annoying and self centered - she actually blamed the wife of the man she had an affair with for subsequently ruining Brandy's own marriage by telling Brandy's husband about the affair. Really?? We're supposed to feel sorry for Brandy, who chalked up ruining two marriages to a silly mistake? Ugggh. Then she storms around town making snarky comments about everyone's clothing and slams people who have to buy "off the rack". Frankly I was more interested in seeing if anyone would kick her behind than I cared about solving the murder. And don't get me started about all the asides in parenthesis - they completely and constantly broke the flow of writing and often give really stupid advice. I stopped reading once I got to the tidbit on dog pee -again, really?? Put a towel on the wet stain and stomp on it but don't do it in bare feet??? That was the limit of the sage advice and of Brandy that I could take. I didn't even bother to skip to the end to see who did it, which is too bad as I also have the second one in the series and can't even bring myself to read it. I did like the dog, sort of, but the others including her mother were really annoying.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An average cozy September 21, 2006
Format:Hardcover
Brandy Borne returns to Iowa and gets involved in solving a murder mystery in her hometown. She's accompanied by an eccentric mother with a flair for the dramatic and a blind Shih Tzu named Sushi. In spite of the Bornes nosing around when and where lay citizens definitely shouldn't, the culprit is satisfactorily brought to justice in the end.

Compared to other light mysteries, I've got to say that "Antiques Roadkill" is rather average. Like another reviewer, I didn't particularly like Brandy at first. Her constant asides to the readers (know what I mean?) began to wear on me. If you're hankering to read an antiques mystery based in the Midwest, pick up one of the Jane Wheel mysteries by Sharon Fiffer. As for me: one episode of this series was enough ... though I *did* enjoy the scene of the final denouement.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good writing overcomes initially unlikable protagonist September 7, 2006
Format:Hardcover
With the breakup of her marriage (due to a one-night drunken mistake at a high school reunion), Brandy Borne and her blind Shih Tzu move back in with her mother--a woman who is colorful in the best of times and disturbed (and disturbing) when she's off her medication. During the last incident when she'd been off her medication, her mother had sold a lifetime's collection of antiques to an unscrupulous dealer for a few hundred dollars. Now Brandy has to figure out how to get her life back together, while attending the mother-daughter day at the red hat society, getting together with old friends (unfortunately including the woman whose husband was the other participant in the reunion mistake), and dealing with Brandy's much older (and painfully perfect) sister, Peggy Sue.

After a name-calling fight with the antiques dealer at the red hat meeting, Brandy gets a late-night message to meet with him. Her mother picked up the message first and headed out (without a drivers license) running over the dealer. Abruptly, Brandy's life turns downward, with former friends turning away from her and with a repeated series of near-misses on Brandy's life.

The author team writing as Barbara Allan combine some laugh-out-loud situations with antiques advice and small town sleuthing in a promising first mystery. Although Brandy comes off unsympathetically at first, with her not-especially regretful attitude toward her affair, her confrontational posture toward the dealer without giving him a chance to explain himself, and her hateful relationship with her sister, I found that she grew on me as the book continued--of course, putting her in near-death situations would have this effect.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cute -- too cute! March 20, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Appealing characters, interesting story -- if "Barbara Allan" ever gets over the cutsies, learns the difference between a parenthesis and a comma, and gets a good editor to clear out the unnecessary references, "her" writing may be more fun to read. Unfortunately, I purchased this book, and will now donate it to my library or a thrift store, and I will not buy any more in this series. It's a shame, as the concept is really delightful,but the readabiility is nearly zero! Oh, and all the references to trendy clothes -- why stop the storyline for them? In short, what a shame Kensington didn't run this past a few Beta readers first, and get the manuscript cleaned up.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
A long, detailed review would probably do "Antiques Roadkill" a disservice, as the book clearly isn't meant to be scrutinized and analyzed, rather pleasantly enjoyed and passed to a friend... or, in my case, sent to the second Kindle on my account, so my wife could read it. In any event, printed book or Kindle-ized version, Barbara Allan's first installment in her "Trash & Treasures" mystery series has all the elements any self-respecting "cozy" series needs. A cute heroine? Check. Quirky, eccentric, but ultimately likable supporting characters surrounding the heroine? Check. A picturesque small town setting? Check. A fascinating hobby or interest that's promoted by the characters and ties the whole book together? Check (in this case, it's antiques). Exasperated law enforcement officials who slowly lose patience for the heroine's amateur sleuthing efforts? Check. And finally, a credible mystery plot laced with enough danger to create adequate tension but not enough to torpedo the overall light, bouncy, tone of the story? Check.

In other words, Ms. Allan's "Antiques Roadkill" delivers everything fans of light, "cozy" mysteries expect, but does so in a fresh, invigorating way.

Okay, enough cute hedging about the book's authorship. Barbara Allan is, of course, the pen name for the husband-and-wife writing team of Max Allan Collins and Barbara Collins. I'm a big fan of Mr. Collins' solo mystery works, so I thought I'd try this collaboration out. It's not as tough or sexy as the stories Mr. Collins produces on his own, but then it's not supposed to be. What you get is banter, family craziness, a couple of tight spots, and yes, a cute pet (another "cozy" must). Nothing spectacular, but all fun. Though I don't know for sure, I suspect Mr.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Light hearted fun with interesting characters.
Published 24 days ago by Carla Porter
5.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of laughs to keep you up at night.
Couldn't put it down. It's a shame to have to work when you have a Barbara Allen book to read.
Published 1 month ago by Katie Chapman
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice enough little time waster
Nice little read. You're not going to strain your brain reading this. The main character, Brandy, isn't the most likeable person, and her mother is just annoying. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kenny Shelley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amusing and entertaining.
Published 2 months ago by Bonnie G. Schwab
5.0 out of 5 stars crazy
I'm not being mean. I'm on medications, too. I love this book. I love the dog. I cannot wait to read more! The mother/daughter pair are a hoot. The older sister is... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mj
2.0 out of 5 stars not as fun as I wanted
I only read e-books so I am use to seeing what I think are formatting issues, but this book had that and some messed up grammar! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Piper
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT
This is the first book I read by Miss Allan, I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
Published 6 months ago by pennypurrs
5.0 out of 5 stars A fuuny humorous mystery series
Despite some flaws with the heroine I really did love this mystery and found her to be funny despite her flaws and quirks. But while reading a book I like all kinds of characters. Read more
Published 7 months ago by TBreakiron
2.0 out of 5 stars Just not my cup of tea
I have a rule where I don't start a book without finishing it. In my lifetime, I have broken this rule only a few times. This is probably a lovely book but not for me. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Too descriptive
The author lost me many times by going into detail of things that didn't matter. Could use much more excitement
Published 9 months ago by Teresa Bunch
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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.

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