Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: Skirting the Grave by Annette Blair

First line: Eve Meyers, my BFF, a gothic fashionista with a steampunk edge, tall in her black and brass Lindi Buckle Leather Booties, invaded my vintage dress shop with mischief aforethought.

From the back cover: Even though Maddie is swamped running Vintage Magic and dealing with the consequences of the visions she gets from certain of her fashion treasures, she's agreed to plan her sister Sherri's baby shower and mentor a design intern. But when Maddie goes to the Mystic train station to pick up her new student, she finds a murder scene instead. The victim: intern Isobel York. Cause of death: suspicious circumstances.

Later that evening, a woman claiming to be Isobel appears on her doorstep, and Maddie knows it's not just a case of "whodunit" but "who-is-it." Luckily a gift of lusciously luxe vintage clothes offers clues, and though the '50s wardrobe and accessories are to die for, Maddie is determined to iron out the wrinkles before the murderer can return to put an end to a promising fashion career...

My thoughts: This is the fourth book in Annette Blair's Vintage Magic Mystery series and I found it to be a quick, fun read. I love the fashion descriptions and the storyline of Maddie being able to "read" fashions. And author Annette Blair has a way of describing the vintage fashion that makes me long to go and shop at Maddie's store.
In this installment, Maddie reluctantly takes on an intern that her do-gooder sister, Brandy, foists on her. Maddie goes to pick Isobel York up at the train station only to find her dead and the police already there, including Lytton Warner, lead detective and a man from her childhood that she is attracted to. Although there are no obvious signs of murder, Werner and Maddie are both sure Isobel has been killed. Maddie is perplexed though because Isobel is wearing very ordinary clothes and is not the fashionista that she was led to believe her new intern was. Then, to only add to the confusion, Isobel shows up later that night on Maddie's doorstep, along with Maddie's on again-off again love interest Nick Jaconetti.

The rest of the book has twists and turns as to who has been murdered and why. It also deals with the love triangle that Maddie has recently found herself in, between herself, Nick and Werner. And of course, there is lots of fashion. In this case, the fashion is from the 1950s, so Maddie's flashbacks take her back to a time of car hops, which was fun to read about. The problem of having these flashbacks is that only two people really know about this gift Maddie has, so she has to be careful how she drops these clues she learns that she knows will help solve the case.

I really enjoy reading this series and am excited to see how the love triangle continues to play out as well as what other fashions Maddie gets her hands on. The next installment, Cloaked in Malice, comes out this summer and I can't wait!

(I purchased this book.)

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