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The Cane Mutiny (Den of Antiquity) Mass Market Paperback – April 25, 2006

3.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tamar Myers is the author of the Belgian Congo series and the Den of Antiquity series as well as the Pennsylvania-Dutch mysteries. Born and raised in the Congo, she lives in North Carolina.

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Product Details

  • Series: Den of Antiquity (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; 1st Printing edition (April 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060535199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060535193
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,418,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By drebbles VINE VOICE on May 17, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Abigail Timberlake, owner of the "Den of Antiquity" an antique store, makes one of the winning bids on a locker at a locked trunk sale. She's pleased to discover that one of things in the locker is a collection of antique canes. She's less pleased to find a gym bag containing what looks like a human skull. She calls the police, who, after asking too many stupid questions, arrest Abby for obstruction of justice. Her mother quickly bails her out and Abby sets out to clear her name by questioning all the people who also bid on the locker, thinking one of them might be a murderer.

This is a very funny book with lots of jokes and very little mystery. The plot meanders all over the place, from who is getting into the store and moving the antique canes, to who owned the skull that Abby found to who murdered the housekeeper/lover of one of the suspects. Halfway through I wondered why I was even reading this book until I came to the following sentence (describing an author in the book) "(her) novels are merely witty, relying far too heavily on humor and wordplay". Tamar Myers must have had her tongue planted firmly in cheek when she wrote that as she describes her own books perfectly. Her mysteries are filled with eccentric characters such as Abby, who knows shockingly little about antiques considering she owns an antique store; her mother, Mozilla, who dresses like a mother in a 50's sitcom; and her friend, C.J. who tells the most outrageous stories about her relatives. The mysteries are thin, but the books are at time laugh out loud funny and yes, involve lots of word play.

Tamar Myers' mysteries are for those who love humorous books and don't mind reading a really light mystery.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let us set the record straight right from the very beginning. If you are looking for a deep and puzzling mystery with serious sleuthing and hard-edged characters you will not like this book or this series. If on the other hand you like to take little flights of fancy and just read something that is fun, entertaining and just plain laugh out loud funny, this is an excellent series for you and this latest installment is simply wonderful.

Abigail Washburn, who uses the last name Timberlake for business purposes, has a highly successful antique store in the more snooty area of Charleston, South Carolina. Her problem is that her business keeps bringing her into contact with an unusually high number of dead bodies or parts thereof. Usually she finds that she is a suspect and jumps into action to clear herself because she says that she is too beautiful to go to prison. Don't get the wrong idea about her however for she says this in a very facetious manner. In this installment of the series she buys a locker that she is happy to discover contains some old walking canes. She is not so happy however when she discovers a skull that just might be human came with her purchase.

Once again she finds herself in trouble and heads out to do a little snooping and the fun really gets started. As usual the characters that she investigates are a highly unusual bunch and also as usual someone she has just talked to ends up dead. What is unusual about this entry into this series is that Abby actually solves the mystery in a way that would make Colombo proud. Usually she just bumbles around until the killer gets tired of her questions and tries to kill her. This time however she figures it all out for herself and finally confronts the killer from a point of strength.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Abigail Louise Wiggins Timberlake Washburn, owner of the antique store named the Den of Antiquity, takes a chance and makes a bid at a sale at a storage center. As high bidder, she's the proud new owner of whatever lurks in the old locker that was last opened who knows when and gets first look at what she's purchased.

To her delight, she discovers an excellent collection of old walking sticks to add to her inventory at the antique store. When Abby opened the store two mornings in a row, she discovered the sticks out of their display and scattered about. Assuming her assistant closed the store without tidying up, Abby asked her about the canes. In both instances, the assistant claimed the canes were in their display when she locked up. Odd.

While the canes were a plus, another item Abby purchased in the sale--a human skull--was not. The police arrive, ask questions, then arrest Abby for obstruction of justice. After her mother bails her out of jail, Abby begins her quest to clear herself and her reputation-and almost gets herself killed.

The eccentric characters (including the diminutive heroine) in this book are as much fun as figuring out whodunit. This is the thirteenth Den of Antiquity mystery, and each title hints at the irreverence and fun you can expect from this talented author. After you've finished The Cane Mutiny, there's an overview of each of the other books in the series in case you missed them. If you like cozy mysteries, you've got to add Tamar Myers to your must read list.

Armchair Interview says this is an intriguing story, worth your time.
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The "Den of Antiquity" series seems to have suffered the fate of so many other cozy mystery series: you have a core group of eccentric characters, you throw in 4-5 new people, at least of the newbies gets murdered, and one of the remaining newcomers committed the crime. It rather limits the suspect list and the complexity of the mystery.

Fortunately, for Tamar Myers and her heroine Abigail Louise Wiggins Timberlake Washburn, the humor is the main draw in this series, and it remains as amusing as previous outings. Abigail's mother lives in the 1950s, her friend C.J. makes Rose Nylund from "The Golden Girls" seem as staid and normal as your next-door neighbor, and Abby herself is never without a witty comeback or a preposterous plan for gathering information.

The book is, at times, laugh-out-loud funny. I won't summarize the plot, since it appears on the book's Amazon page and in other reviews. Suffice it to say that the plot is flimsy, and the murder (which appears halfway through the book) easy to solve.

There is some blatant repetition of humorous lines, and the storyline, though obviously contrived, does at times seriously veer into the nonsensical--even for this series. Also, at several points, it felt like the author intended to add more to a scene to increase the humor and forgot to go back and add the missing lines; it makes for some moments that are rather confusing and lead nowhere (although they don't affect the main plot of the book). These reservations keep me from giving the book four stars--even an author of a long-standing series must pay some attention to detail.

Bottom Line: "The Cane Mutiny" won't make your head spin with plot complexities or keep you up guessing who-done-it, but it will make you laugh, and you can finish it in a day's time. I wouldn't recommend it for readers new to the series, but if you've spent some time with Abigail before, go for it!
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