My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
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housekeeper’s suspicious demise coincides with Avery’s discovery that many of the Duke’s most priceless heirlooms have been replaced by fakes.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 received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it.
I enjoyed the first book in this series and requested this second book when I saw it on Netgalley. Peril at Pennington Manor is the second book in this series and follows Avery on another assignment. They are hired to do appraisals at Pennington manor. Quickly it becomes clear this is not just another normal job, some heirloom pieces have gone missing and have been replaced by fakes. And then there is a murder as well.
I liked the mystery in this one and how there was the case of the stolen/ missing antiques as well as the murder. I liked seeing how they work on uncovering the truth of what happened to both these things and the way the storylines get woven together as they both involve Pennington manor and those who live and work there. I did feel the wrap up could’ve been a bit more extensive as there were a few more questions I wanted answered. The main lines are clear, but I would’ve liked a few more specifics.
I liked how Avery got involved in the case as it involved her job and how Art worked together with her again. I was a bit annoyed at how Art handled a few things at the start and the way Avery reacted, but I liked to see how they worked things out and their relationship went to better footing again as the book progressed. There is a bit of a romantic sub plot as they try and figure out whether to give their relationship another try or if the problems that got them apart in the first place are too big too overcome.
Besides the mysteries and the romance there are a few side plot lines as well, with Avery training for a marathon, an antique she appraises for a friend, Tilly who unexpectedly comes home from school as well as her father who is having some troubles adjusting back to normal life. It made for an interesting read with everything going on and I enjoyed reading it. It has less of that typical small town vibe as most other cozies, but I like how that gives this series a different feel with the small town where Avery lives and how she works in the city usually. I like the focus on antiques and Avery’s job.
To summarize: Peril at Pennington Manor is a great sequel in this series. There are two mysteries in this book, a murder and some antiques that have gone missing. I like how Avery gets involved in the cases and seeing how it all progresses throughout the books. The reveal made sense, although I would’ve liked a few more answers. Besides the mysteries there are some other sub plot lines going on as well involving Avery, her romance with Art and some plot lines involving her family. I enjoyed this book and I look forward to the next one.