A Fatal Fabergé
Antiques & Collectibles Mysteries
By Ellery Adams and Parker Riggs
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
In the grips of a cold and drab autumn, Collector’s Weekly reporter Molly Appleby is thrilled to be attending a festive black-tie fundraiser hosted by the very private Natasha Gordon, an heiress known for her charitable events and aversion to the limelight. It’s Molly first chance to see the stunning interior of the Gordon estate, but when a rare book dealer is pushed from a high window to his death, she’s confronted with a sight that’s become all too common for her. And despite the fact that the crude and pompous victim was roundly disliked by all who knew him and that any number of people may have wanted him dead, Molly agrees to look into the murder for his surviving son.
As the police go about their steady business of interviewing the dozens of people in attendance that night, Molly decides to look closer to home and begins questioning the staff and anyone else connected to the estate and the victim. More and more stories of the dead man’s troubled life and marriage begin to emerge, including a potentially lucrative deal that’s gone bust and an old Gordon family heirloom that’s gone missing—a rare jeweled Fabergé egg once owned by the Empress Alexandra of Russia.
When clues to the murderer’s identity begin to accumulate, so too do the threats to Molly, and she knows she’s getting close to the truth. But with a secret family history and an untold amount of money on the line, Molly knows she’ll need to tread carefully before she becomes the latest victim of a killer trying to cover their tracks.
I am always apprehensive when I jump into a series mid-series but much to my delight and amazement, I had no difficulty with A Fatal Fabergé, the 8th book in the Antiques & Collectibles Mysteries series. There is just enough of a backstory told so that the reader feels like they know the characters without feeling out of sorts by not specifically reading all that has passed previously.
Molly Appleby is the main character and amateur sleuth of this delightful cozy mystery. Molly’s day job is that of a reporter for “Collector’s Weekly” and her full time job is that of mum to her 14-month old son named Tyler. Being a reporter has led the way to Molly being known around the community she and her husband, Matt (a doctor at the University of Vermont hospital), live in – Burlington, Vermont.
Being a reporter sets Molly and her husband up nicely to get an invitation to a black-tie fundraiser held by Natasha Gordon, the heiress to the “Gordon” fortune, which includes the gorgeous Gordon Estate. With excitement in the air and anticipation of being at such a grand event, Molly and Matt are present for when the “accident” occurs and the death of Curtis Cobb follows. Now ask anyone – Curtis is not well liked but when his son asks Molly to find out what happened as he finds it hard to believe the fall was an accident, Molly agrees to help Maxim Cobb get to the truth.
I found that the flow of Molly’s sleuthing very captivating and a joy to follow. The twists and turn were engaging and thought provoking. As the story unfolded, more intrigue ensued. Maybe the death of Maxim’s mother just months previously was related? After all, how does a great swimmer accidentally drown? And then let’s not forget about the mystery surrounding the hidden Fabergé egg which was once owned by the Empress Alexandra of Russia. Why does the family wish for it to be kept a secret? Now if that didn’t add intrigue and interest to the story – I don’t know what would.
Additionally, Molly is not the only interesting character in the book. Even though one may despise the deceased, Curtis, it was interesting to see how he got to being so disliked. What was his relationship with his deceased wife? We do learn that the family relationship with sister-in-law, Natasha is filled with many surprises.
Some additional points that made me smile and like this story even more than it being a good cozy mystery where I did not really figure out whodunit until the end:
- Molly’s cat’s names are “Merlin” and “Griffin”
- Her favourite coffee shop is named “Java Jitters”
This story has all the earmarking’s of a first class cozy mystery – at least as far as this reader is concerned, though I must admit – I am a huge fan of Ellery Adams already. The collaboration between Adams and Riggs is splendid, in my opinion. I was kept engaged and I did not figure out “whodunit” until the end.
Needless to say – I have gone right out and obtained the Antiques & Collectibles Boxed set – which includes the first three titles in this series: A Killer Collection, A Fatal Appraisal and A Deadly Dealer.
*OBS would like to thank the author for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*