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Skirting the Grave
A Vintage Magic Mystery, No 4
Annette Blair

July 2011/ ISBN 978-0-425-24222-3

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Skirting the Grave is the fourth book in Annette Blair’s fabulous Vintage Magic Mystery series. Vintage clothing is Maddie Cutler’s passion in life. Well, along with the two men who are in love with her! She owns the clothing shop Vintage Magic, and magic does happen indeed because she is blessed (or cursed) with the paranormal ability to get psychic visions from holding the previously-owned clothes. This is not always a good thing, but has helped Maddie to solve some crimes in the past.

Maddie’s sister, Brandi, is holding a very big charity event and guess who gets to organize it? Yes, Maddie. Fortunately, she has a new intern, Isobel York, who is more than capable of helping to run the store while Maddie works on the charity event. Alas, a look-alike to Isobel is murdered, and Isobel is getting death threats on the telephone. Of course Maddie, along with hunky guy friends Nick (FBI agent) and Detective Lytton Werner, investigate the murder and find themselves drawn deeper into a tangled case that turns as deceptive as a spider’s web is to a fly.

I enjoyed this book very much because it is a well drawn out mystery featuring likeable characters, and offers a healthy dose of humor and even some vintage fashion tips. There is plenty of romance with Maddie conflicted by her feelings for the two men in her life, yet no unnecessary sex scenes that would make Maddie look like a loose woman. I did wish for a little more of Maddie’s home life, but her family is also prominently featured. I missed reading more about her cat, Chakra too, and wished for a little more time with her best friend, Eve. Also present was the ghost, Dante, who exists in Vintage Magic and has an actual romance with 104-year-old Dolly!

Nevertheless, the book was a fun read, and fans of the series will be quite happy to have this new installment. It is also fine as a stand-alone read, and is suitable for all ages from tweeners on up. Annette Blair is a very skilled author, and the story, while complex, comes together nicely at the end. Violence is kept to a minimum, although there are actually two murders and some close calls. This is a good read for the beach or a lazy day sprawled out in a hammock.


Reviewer Laura Hinds is the author of Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?
Reviewed 2011
© 2011