Antique Tragedy by Victoria Tait

Title: Antique tragedy (Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery #5)

Author: Victoria Tait

Published on: 26 December 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Antique Tragedy is the fifth book in Victoria Tait’s Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery series.

Trainee antique expert Dotty Sayers feels vulnerable and betrayed after being framed for art trafficking by a trusted friend. David Ross, a fellow colleague at Akemans Auction house where Dotty works asks her to accompany him to a local antique fair.

It’s a welcoming distraction and Dotty readily agrees. At the fair, she encounters two old ladies Edith and Ethel – they con customers and trick them into buying antiques at a much higher rate. They have a deal with the sellers and when an item is sold at a higher price, they are paid the difference amount. David also tells her about Billy – he buys an item at a lower cost and sells it at a stall further for more than twice the price.

A week later, Dotty accompanies her friend Sergeant Keya Varma on another antique fair. This time, they witness a tiff between husband-wife and the husband’s mistress. A few minutes later, the husband is found dead – stabbed with a star-shaped antique item.

The local police are called in and while questioning the main suspects (wife and mistress), a stall owner claims there’s an antique item missing from his stall. Dotty cannot keep her nosey self away from the crime so she starts to investigate. Meanwhile, David’s been acting weird and Dotty wonders if he’s hiding something.

Another fantastic and absolutely fabulous addition to the series. You know, I should stop writing long reviews, say this and end the post: 5 STARS. GO BUY THE BOOK.

I am out of words to describe this series. I have been following this series from the start. In fact, I have been following Victoria Tait’s writing career from the start and in the last three years, she’s written not one but two cozy mysteries. Both are super fun, full of personality (characters), amateur sleuths doing their best at solving crimes and handling personal life problems, scenic settings (Kenya and Cotswolds), mysteries that keep one guessing till the end and, each installment ends with an unexpected twist.

In the previous book (Bidding for Revenge), things didn’t end well for Dotty. I never saw the twist coming and it brought about a shocking turn of events to the whole series-plot. The aforementioned twist and shocking developments continue in this book too. As the story begins, we see Dotty lost in her own world. She thought he was different and they had a spark between them. Turns out, he was just another wolf in sheep’s clothing.

When David invites her to accompany him to an antique fair, she readily agrees. Then she goes to another fair a week later with her best friend Keya where she once again becomes involved in a murder case. The local detectives know better than to warn or stop Dotty from investigating. They cannot stop her you see, she’s solved the past crimes before they could.

We have some progress regarding the recurring characters. Aunt Beanie (Dotty’s landlord) is helping the fraud division while sergeant Keya is attending baking classes. We also have Norman wanting to do something better in life and starts going on long treks. Dotty’s finished her antiques course and looks forward to expand her knowledge on antiques and bidding.

The mystery behind the murder kept me guessing till the end. The main suspects are, of course, the wife and the mistress. But as Dotty and the detectives dig deeper, they learn the victim was no saint. He had cheated a lot of people. This discovery expands the pool of suspects.

The events that led to Dotty zeroing in on the killer was a scene straight out of a famous Golden Age Mystery series – assemble the suspects at the scene of crime, recreate the events and then point finger at the one who’s alibi was false. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

But this is not the end of the story, my friend. We have another unexpected and shocking twist for Dotty. Boy, sometimes I do wonder if things would ever get better for Dotty. Norman warns her to be careful because sometimes, people might not be who they seem to be. Hmm! Don’t worry Dotty darling, things will get better soon… Fingers crossed!

I received an ARC from Victoria in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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