Victoria Abbott's new Book Collector mystery, The Sayers Swindle, is due out in a couple weeks, and I had not yet read the first in the series. It was time to pick up The Christie Curse. What a fun story! A recluse, an old house, a group of retainers, collectible mysteries, and a charming family of con artists. The Christie Curse is a little bit caper and a little bit mystery.
Jordan Bingham is fresh out of grad school and desperate for a job, so she pushes herself into an interview with Vera Van Alst, the most hated woman in Harrison Falls, NY. But, Jordan knows she's capable of research, and the job comes with a place to live. As much as she loves her uncles, men who skate a little on the shady side of the law, she doesn't have the same style as the Kellys. She intends to make money the hard way, legally.
It might be difficult to make her living as a researcher, though. Vera is a gruff employer who doesn't give Jordan much help, other than she wants her to find a play that Agatha Christie might have written. Between her ill-mannered employer, the Jekyll and Hyde cat who appears night after night in Jordan's room, and the stories that the previous person who had her job died under mysterious circumstances, the job isn't easy. And, when a friendly bookseller is attacked
and left for dead, Jordan knows there's something wrong with her job assignment.
The Christie Curse is a mystery filled with comic relief. The cat that appears in Jordan's locked room night after night, Signora Panetone, the housekeeper/cook with her demands, "Eat!", the Kelly uncles, and the policeman who just happens to be everywhere Jordan shows up, are all wonderful additions to the story. These elements make the story stand apart from other mysteries.
I'm sorry I waited so long to read Victoria Abbott's The Christie Curse. On the other hand, that means I won't have long to wait for Jordan Bingham's next book collecting adventure, The Sayers Swindle.
"Victoria Abbott's" website is http://www.maryjanemaffini.ca
The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott. Berkley Prime Crime. 2013. ISBN 9780425255285 (paperback), 295p.
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