A Vintage Magic Mystery, No 4
July 2011/ ISBN 978-0-425-24222-3
by Laura Hinds
Skirting the Grave is the fourth book in Annette Blair’s
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.