Way back in 2006, Jane K. Cleland’s Consigned to Death, the first book in her Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries series, was published. (Coincidentally, 2006 was the year in which I started my Cozy Mystery site. It is weird to think how long ago that was.) Anyway, Consigned to Death is the next in my series of posts about the most popular and recommended Cozy mystery books.
I just finished re-reading this book earlier this month, and wow, I have to say that if you have any interest at all in reading an excellent mystery that contains a lot of information about antiques, this is the series for you.
Josie Prescott is the owner of a very busy antique shop in the small seacoast town of Rocky Point, New Hampshire. Josie had moved there only a couple of years before the story begins. Her move from the big city did not happen because of a boyfriend/husband break up, but rather because she had been a whistle-blower about illegal activity happening at the large antique auction house she previously worked for in New York City. She moved to a small town and opened her own auction store/auction warehouse. Somewhat refreshingly, by doing so she stayed in the same field of expertise that she had been in when working in New York.
Unfortunately for Josie, as the book opens the town’s police chief shows up to ask her questions about a potential client that Josie met that same day who had been found murdered. And, even more, unfortunately, as the police’s investigation moved forward, more and more evidence seemed to point to Josie as being the murderer.
On the other hand, fortunately for Josie, she had earlier met a very good lawyer in town who she hired to help her through the legal maze in which she found herself. Even more fortunately for Josie, the chief of police turned out to be a very smart and thorough man (who just happened to be quite handsome). Needless to say, Josie and the police found that there were a lot of threads to pull before this mystery could be unraveled.
Consigned to Death is a very good mystery read with a highly sympathetic main character and a very well-rounded supporting cast. I highly recommend it. There is no doubt that Jane K. Cleland is a very accomplished writer. Just a quick glance at her website’s “about page” and you will see the numerous awards her books have won or been chosen as finalists. And, not only has she written best-selling cozy mystery books, but she has also authored several books and articles about the craft of writing.
As an aside, I have to add that her website is one of the best author websites I have seen in recent years. In my opinion, far too many authors rely on a really difficult-to-navigate Facebook page or have no online presence at all. I really wish that more authors would take a look at this site and try to emulate its depth and quality of information.
If you’re interested in seeing other most recommended or popular Cozy Mystery authors/series, please visit the Most Popular & Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on my site.