The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder by C.L. MillerThe Antique Hunter's Guide to Murder by C.L. Miller
Narrator: Emilia Fox
Series: The Antique Hunters #1
Published by Macmillan Audio on February 6, 2024
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery
Length: 11 hrs 3 mins
Pages: 304
Format: Audiobook
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In this irresistible and thrilling debut novel, a former antique hunter investigates a suspicious death at an isolated English manor, embroiling her back in the dangerous world of tracking stolen artifacts.

What antique would you kill for?

Freya Lockwood is shocked when she learns that Arthur Crockleford, antiques dealer and her estranged mentor, has died under mysterious circumstances. She has spent the last twenty years avoiding her quaint English hometown, but when she receives a letter from Arthur asking her to investigate—sent just days before his death—Freya has no choice but to return to a life she had sworn to leave behind.

Joining forces with her eccentric Aunt Carole, Freya follows clues and her instincts to an old manor house for an advertised antiques enthusiast’s weekend. But not all is as it seems. It’s clear to Freya that the antiques are all just poor reproductions and her fellow guests are secretive and menacing. What is going on at this estate and how was Arthur involved? More importantly, can Freya and Carole discover the truth before the killer strikes again?

I’ll admit, the whole Agatha Christie/ Antiques Roadshow/ Indiana Jones vibe is what drew me to The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder. When Freya learns that Arthur Crockleford, her aunt’s best friend and her own mentor, is dead, Freya Lockwood heads back to her hometown. When she gets there, she and Aunt Carole become suspicious of the events surrounding Arthur’s death and become convinced they can find answers at an antique retreat Arthur arranged for them to attend before his death.

I wanted to like Freya. She’s middle-aged, and recently divorced from her negative, controlling, husband. Decades ago, she had been an antiques hunter, repatriating stolen antiques and antiquities, but she left that world due to “what happened in Cairo,” which she dwells on a lot. Now that she’s single and her daughter is studying in America, maybe it’s time for her to rediscover herself. I enjoy her when she’s tough and uses her skill and knowledge, but she spends so much time whining and dwelling on the past. Happily, there’s a connection to the current situation though.

Thins I wasn’t fond of:

  • The book starts off rather slowly and when it finally does start to pick up, we get so many characters it’s hard to keep track.
  • Most of the secondary characters don’t have much backstory to allow us to understand their actions/ motives.
  • Some parts stretched credibility too far, like an FBI agent using a folly on a criminal’s land as a base to investigate from.
  • Carole trying to set Freya up with a handsome man in the middle of the investigation. It really is okay for a woman, even a middle-aged woman, to not have a partner.

This is the first book of a series. I might give the second a chance because I do like the antiques idea and Freya and Carole make an interesting team.

About C.L. Miller

Cara started working life in publishing as an editorial assistant for her mother, Judith Miller on the Miller’s Antique Price Guide and as a researcher for the Antique Hunter’s Guide to Europe and then went into hospitality and events.

After she had children, she decided to follow her long-held dream of becoming an author and took time out to concentrate full-time on her writing.

Cara lives in a medieval cottage in Dedham Vale, Suffolk with her family.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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