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Ruby Red Herring: An Avery Ayers Antique Mystery Hardcover – June 8, 2021
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In this Avery Ayers Antique Mystery series debut, perfect for fans of Ellery Adams and Jane K. Cleland, an antiques appraiser hunts a missing gem while probing her parents' deaths.
After her parents' deaths, Avery Ayers takes over the family business, Antiquities & Artifacts Appraised, from the home office in Lilac Grove and a branch in Manhattan. Now living back at home with her younger sister Tilly and their newly moved-in, eccentric Aunt Midge and her Afghan hound, Avery's life is filled with jewels, tapestries, paintings, and rare finds. But their world is rocked when Avery learns that the theft of a priceless ruby may be connected to her parents' demise.
The trouble starts when the Museum of Antiquities hires Avery to appraise a rare, resplendent ruby. It bears a striking similarity to a solitary stone in the museum's prized Xiang Dynasty bejeweled dragon medallion exhibit, which has long been missing one of its ruby eyes. Now, Avery and her colleagues--ostentatious Sir Robert Lane and fatherly Micah Abbott--suspect they may have the missing gem. But facets of the case remain cloudy. Security guard Art Smith is always underfoot but is not what he appears. Another body turns up connected to the appraisal. And Avery receives mysterious notes that begin to put her life in danger.
Avery enlists possible ally Art's help in cutting the list of suspects who might have polished off her parents and swiped the jewel. Was it art collector Oliver Renell? Curator Nate Brennan? Acquisitions Liaison Francesca Giolitti? Actor Tyler Chadwick? Was the crime impersonal or perpetrated by someone all too close to Avery? If she can't find the culprit, lovely Lilac Grove may be the setting for Avery's own death.
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Frequently bought together
“A lively combination of mystery, romance, and gemology that will appeal to fans of Jane K. Cleland and Paige Shelton.”
“A superbly crafted 'whodunnit' style mystery [that] showcases author Tracy Gardner's impressive mastery of the genre.”
―Midwest Book Review
“Don’t miss this wonderful mystery with a main character you’ll adore. I loved this book. It’s a real gem!” ―Paige Shelton, New York Times bestselling author of the Scottish Bookshop mysteries
“Tracy Gardner has created a complex mystery with delightful characters while giving us the coziness of a small town and the glamour of New York City.”
―Sharon Dunn, USA Today bestselling author
"RUBY RED HERRING shimmers and sparkles like the mysterious gemstone at the center of this cozy mystery. Full of twists and turns, I loved every page."
―Teri Wilson, USA Today bestselling author of The Accidental Beauty Queen
“Ruby Red Herring was a delightfully charming and unique cozy. With great characters, lots of twists, and an intriguing premise, it was a pleasure to read.”
―Jody Holford, author of the Britton Bay mysteries
About the Author
- Publisher : Crooked Lane Books; First Edition (June 8, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1643856596
- ISBN-13 : 978-1643856599
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.74 x 1.02 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #814,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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This book deals with appraising antiques and artifacts. Ms. Gardner provided just enough information about the appraising to help me understand the process and not take away from the mystery solving. Another thing that I liked is that the main character, Avery Ayers, actually works at her job instead of letting her employees run the business while she is out investigating.
Avery takes over the family business following the death of her parents in an automobile accident. Avery lives in the family home in Lilac Grove, NY, along with her sister Tilly, their Aunt Midge, and Midge’s Afghan Hound, Halston.
Avery is about ready to sign a contract with the Museum of Antiquities(MOA) to certify and appraise a ruby that Oliver Renell, a collector, sent to MOA. As Avery begins to inspect the ruby, she can’t help but remember the note she had found on her doorstep that morning. The note warned her not to sign the contract, or her life would be in danger, and was supposedly signed by her father, but her mother and father had died in an automobile accident several months before. The ruby might be the missing jewel of MOA’s most precious possession, the Emperor Xiang medallion. It seems that the medallion was the last item on which her parents worked. When Avery and her employees, Sir Robert and Micah, begin to doubt the ruby, they review her parents’ paperwork on the medallion. Before long, someone breaks into her house and ransacks her father’s office, and a couple of days later, Micah’s house is broken into, and Micah is shot in the shoulder, and Renell is found dead in his hotel room. There is also a break-in at the MOA. With the help of Art, the security guard/policeman, Avery set out to find who doesn’t want the ruby to be appraised.
The book moves at a steady pace, and there were enough twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. The book is well-written and plotted. The characters are well-developed and believable.
I’ll be looking for the next book in this gem of a new series.
I loved the genuine friendship Avery had with her business partners and how they treated her like a daughter after having lost her dad, their good friend. Tilly and Avery's relationship was great! It was silly, fun and sometimes serious if needed. Avery was an amazing older sister, and Tilly was surprising with some of the insight she had at times. And who wouldn't love Aunt Midge! She wasn't a cuddly type aunt, but she loved the girls so much she'd given up living in Manhattan to stay with them when their parents died. Art should get an award for detective of the century or something for not giving up on his cases. I hope eventually that can include boyfriend of the century! ;)
The dynamics between Avery and Art were great and I loved how even if she didn't listen to him, he didn't make her feel bad but did show his displeasure with whatever it was she did. But he also respected her and didn't just tell her that her ideas were silly when she came to him with a crazy one. The ending was amazing and well-wrapped up as you'll see when you read it--the whole book was just hard to put down and nearly impossible to find a suitable stopping point for things like sleeping or eating, lol. I'm super excited for the next book in this series! Keep 'em coming, Ms. Gardner!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.