May 8, 2022

Peril at Pennington Manor by Tracy Gardner

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing "Peril at Pennington Manor" the 2nd instalment in the Avery Ayers Antique Mystery series by Tracy Gardner which releases on June 7th. I believe this is the first book I have read by her, and it can easily be read as a standalone but I recommend reading in order.  I have since purchased book one in the series.

. Perfect for fans of Jane K. Cleland and Ellery Adams, the second volume in Tracy Gardner’s antiques-themed mystery series finds appraiser Avery Ayers sleuthing a murder in a castle.

Thanks to Aunt Midge’s unlikely friendship with Nicholas Pennington, the Duke of Valle Charme, Avery Ayers and her associates at Antiques and Artifacts Appraised head off to their most glamorous assignment yet—cataloguing and appraising the contents of a castle-like mansion on the Hudson River. But regal splendor becomes a backdrop to mayhem when the precious Viktor Petrova timepiece disappears—and housekeeper Suzanne Vick plummets from a parapet to her death.

Avery, her dad William, and colleagues Micah Abbott and Sir Robert Lane soon learn that Suzanne’s predecessor also met with an untimely end. Further, the housekeeper’s suspicious demise coincides with Avery’s discovery that many of the Duke’s most priceless heirlooms have been replaced by fakes.

Detective Art Smith lends his expertise, but the suspect list encompasses the Duke’s entire retinue—including his family. Could the killer be someone intimately familiar with the Pennington estate, such as caretaker couple Ira and Lynn Hoffman, the Penningtons’ chauffeur Roderick, or even one of the heirs to the Pennington fortune?

Then the duke himself is injured in an inexplicable riding accident, and the clock swiftly ticks toward a reckoning with a cold-blooded killer. A criminal mastermind is making a desperate bid for ill-gotten riches…can Avery bring the culprit to justice before her time is up?

I really liked the setting of Lilac Grove in rural New York, and the manor house on the Hudson River. The main characters are likable, interesting and realistic for the most part. Avery is an independent, strong woman who has been dealt some hardships with the loss of her mother.  I’m looking forward to learning more about all the family dynamics (will be reading book one) and seeing what happens in Avery’s love life.  I also liked the addition of some cute kittens .

The mystery was interesting and well plotted, with enough twists to keep me interested.  I kept guessing and second-guessing myself on whodunnit right to the very end.   I recommend this book to all my cozy lover friends.

I requested and received an advance reader copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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