Saturday, August 16, 2014

Dolled Up for Murder - Deb Baker

Gretchen Birch receives a frantic phone call in the early hours of the morning from her aunt in Arizona. She is told that her mother, Caroline, has gone missing and one of the neighbours has been found dead on the hill behind her mother's house. Thinking that her aunt Nina's tendency to exaggerate and be dramatic might be at the bottom of this "crisis" she heads to Arizona anyway, to find out why her aunt is so worried. When she gets to her mother's house, Gretchen soon realises something is really wrong, especially when she finds that the only thing missing out of all of Caroline's personal belongings appears to be her car - even her toothbrush is still in the bathroom!

What follows is a race to find out what really happened to the neighbour, Martha, who police now believe was murdered and as Caroline has become the chief suspect due to what appears to be an incriminating note found in Martha's hand, time is running out.

This story is really interesting in many ways. It takes the reader on a journey into the world of the doll trade and provides some great insight into the restoration, buying, selling and collecting of antique dolls of all kinds. The murder victim was obsessed with dolls which were like children to her. She once had a extensive and highly valuable collection, but, due to her inability to stop buying more and more expensive pieces, she got in trouble with the bank and lost her home, her collection and ultimately became an alcoholic vagrant living on the streets with other people down on their luck.

In spite of the story being quite suspenseful and there being several possible suspects, it lost a little of it's appeal to me because of the numerous spelling and grammar mistakes throughout. The story would have really benefitted from another edit. As far as the quality of the mystery goes, I had the culprit figured out about 60% of the way through but it was an interesting read, none-the-less.

If you like a fairly decent murder mystery and are interested or would like to know more about the world of dolls, then this is the book for you.


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