Valued for Murder is the second book in Victoria Tait’s Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery series.
Dotty Sayers, recently widowed and receptions at Akemans Antiques, is excited about The Antique Tour TV show hosted by Akemans Antiques at Charbury Castle Hotel. David, Marion, Gilly, Georgina and Aunt Beanie will be a part of the show. Dotty too is asked to help out – she will be directing clients to their respective appraisers.
Zenobia Richardson, the new owner of Windrush Hall and renowned opera singer, is one of the antique experts at the Antiques Tour TV Show. When a man from London brings a bronze statue for evaluation, she says the statue would fetch millions at the auction. Zenobia’s words gains attention and everyone is curious to know how the appraisal would proceed. That same night, Dotty hears an argument between Zenobia and her assistant Serena.
The next morning, the guests of the Antiques Tour show are asked to gather at the second floor library of Charbury Castle Hotel. Rumor is, someone was found dead at the bottom of the stairs that morning. The only guest who failed to arrive at the library is Zenobia. The local police are called in and Dotty is expecting her new friend Constable Keya Varma to arrive at the crime scene. Instead, she sees a suit-clad sergeant named Unwin. Dotty wonders if Keya did not pass the sergeants exam and regrets not keeping in touch with her.
Was Zenobia’s death accidental? It certainly seems so but the police have their doubts. Dotty decides to leave the investigation to the police. After all, her previous interference in a murder case resulted in a head injury. Dotty and David visit the dead woman’s house for appraising artifacts. After meeting Zenobia’s solicitor, Dotty has her doubts on one person – someone who was hurt by Zenobia.
Mystery behind the priceless bronze statue keeps niggling Dotty. So she and her friends – David, Aunt Beanie, Gilly and Keya decide to visit the London museum where the statue is currently exhibited. They learn a thing or two about the statue’s origin and its current owner. On returning to Cotswolds, Dotty finds her cat Earl Grey missing.
Victoria Tait is one of the best authors ever! I have been following her writing journey from the start. Her Kenya Kanga series – a masterpiece. Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery series – another masterpiece. I had included almost all the books in Kenya Kanga series in my best books of the year list and for this year, I already see two of Tait’s books making it to the list. *wink wink*
What do I say? Absolutely fantastic setting – I have never been to Cotswolds but I don’t think I need, not after getting a visual tour through Dotty Sayers mysteries. I had no clue about auctions before reading this series. At the end of the story, we have no bids for a replica of Egyptian jewelry – Aunt Beanie, the owner of Akemans Antiques says this happens at times. Rumor goes around that no one is to bid for a certain item – or even if they do, keep the price very low.
The best part of Valued for Murder has to be Dotty’s transformation. My god! Dotty with a new hairstyle and highlights, trendy dresses… who dat gurl! I really loved Dotty’s want for something new in her life. The poor thing led a cocooned life and she feels like life has given her a second chance – from finding new friends to having a pet to makeover. Also, Dotty seems to have a crush on a certain somebody – turns out, the crush might be mutual. I hope to see some romance in the next book.
A dash of humor and quirky characters makes the read even more interesting. During the TV show filming, we meet five Carols – yes, five women who are called Carols – they help clients find their respective appraiser/antique expert. Then we have Constable Keya Varma who is as clumsy as a bear. We do not get to see a lot of her clumsiness in this book but she has passed her sergeants exam and is looking forward to start her new role as a… tell you what, read the book and find out. 😉
The mystery behind the murder and the priceless antique keeps one guessing till the end. It is quite clear that the priceless statue has something to do with the murder. Then we have the case of the missing cat – Earl Grey has disappeared and is nowhere to be found. Couldn’t read this bit at a better time, eh. One of our cats Peter has gone missing. She was there one minute and whoosh, the next. She had just recovered from her injuries so I hope she comes back safe and sound.
Well, I can go on and on, praising this book and turning this review post into a mini-book! But worry not, I won’t.
If you love cozy mysteries and are looking try a new cozy-series-theme, I recommend you to give Dotty Sayers Antique Mysteries a try. Valued for Murder is another fantastic and smashing addition to the series. Goodness, I am going to be so confused if asked to choose a favorite in this series because it looks like all are equally good.
I recevied an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.