Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Sayers Swindle by Victoria Abbott

Victoria Abbott follows up the success of the caper, The Christie Curse, with another fun romp involving classic mystery novels. This time, Dorothy L. Sayers is in the spotlight as Jordan Bingham tries to track down a missing collection in  The Sayers Swindle. "The crowd of uncles, friends, colleagues, crooks, and cops" is fitting for the best caper mysteries.

At twenty-six, Jordan Bingham is the first person in the history of her family to go straight. While she tries to save money to go back to school for her PhD, Jordan works for "noted book collector and grouch, Vera Van Alst". This time, Vera has Jordan tracking down a missing collection of first editions by Sayers, books that were sold by a book dealer who failed to check their provenance. And, now, after an accident, Karen Smith, owner of Cozy Corpses mystery bookstore, has problems with her memory. Jordan has her hands full as she tries to press Karen for answers, but they finally track down the buyer of the books. Randolph Adams, the customer, is an elderly man, who may be trapped in his own nightmare with two strange people watching over every move. Now, Jordan is worried that Randolph might be abused. When Randolph and his family disappear, and a body is found nearby, Jordan fears she'll be out in the street with no job and no roof over her head if she can't recover the Sayers collection. She can't return home to her uncles because her shady Uncle Kevin is hiding from even shadier characters, with Jordan's pink childhood bedroom as his refuge.

The Sayers Swindle is filled with black humor in the midst of tragedy as Jordan searches for missing books and a killer. Adding to the Keystone Cops atmosphere are Jordan's uncles and Walter, Karen's pug, now adored by the uncles. As cops disappear and reappear, another dog shows up, and Jordan eats her way through the story, the book just becomes funnier. Throw in zucchini, a little romance, and Jordan's frantic phone calls to hospitals as she searches for missing men. Victoria Abbott has a recipe for fun and mystery. And, over and over again, as she grows puzzled, Jordan Bingham asks that magic question, "What would Lord Peter Wimsey do?"

Victoria Abbott's website is www.victoria-abbott.com.

The Sayers Swindle by Victoria Abbott.  Berkley Prime Crime. 2013. ISBN 9780425255292 (paperback), 296p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Laura Morrigan said...

I need to start at the beginning of this series!
Thanks for the great review, Lesa!

Lesa said...

You should start at the beginning, Laura. It's a fun series. I hope you enjoy it!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thanks so much for this lovely review, Lesa!

May you have a happy reading season ahead.



Lesa said...

Thank you, Mary Jane, for proving a lovely book! And, thank you for the wishes!