Valued for Murder: A British Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery) by Victoria Tait
About Valued for Murder
Valued for Murder: A British Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery)
2nd in Series
Kanga Press (June 10, 2022)
Number of Pages c. 240
Digital ASIN : B09TRXWWNG
An antiques show. A dead diva. For an amateur sleuth, the truth is not always crystal clear.
Dotty Sayers is enjoying her job in a Cotswold auction house. When she’s offered a place on an antiques TV show, she nervously agrees to a makeover and is surprised by the admiring glances she receives. Working on set at a historic country hotel, she realises all that glitters is not gold when at the bottom of the circular staircase, one of the experts is found dead.
Was the death accidental or something shadier? Dotty promises to leave the investigation to the police, but as this amateur sleuth appraises the dead woman’s estate, she can’t help unveiling clues. But when she returns from viewing a priceless sculpture and finds her British blue cat missing, she knows that life does not imitate art.
Can Dotty tell a fake from the real deal and identify the killer?
Dotty Sayers made the big decision to stay near Cotswold and stay at a job she really enjoys at the auction house. Because of that job she is offered a position with a popular antique television show. She just needs to update her wardrobe and have a bit of a makeover. She is excited when she arrives at the historic hotel where she will be staying and the show will take place. She is quickly informed that her job will be taking people the bring their antiques to meet with an expert in the correct field, including a celebrity expert, opera singer, Zenobia Richard who will be evaluating the sculptures.
As the event begins Dotty is amazed by the number of people that show up to show their pieces in hopes of winning a place on the show. Everyone is surprised when Zenobia Richardson declares one object could be worth millions if genuine. When the day wraps up all the items deemed to qualify for a second look are moved to and locked in a large room on the floor where the crew is staying.
But the night must have had some drama. The next morning a woman’s body is found at the bottom of a circular staircase and the crew is sequestered on their floor. They soon realize the celebrity sculpture expert is missing, meaning it must be her body at the bottom of the stairs. Was it an accident? Did she fall or was she pushed? Could someone have murdered opera star Zenobia Richardson? Dotty Sayers finds herself in the perfect position to find out.
Dotty Sayers has grown so much since her husband passed away. She has become more confident and that confidence continues to grow over the course of this story. She does find herself in some perilous positions but she holds her own. Her relationships are growing with all the people in her life too. Some do push her out of her comfort zone but at times that is a good thing.
We are introduced to a variety of new characters. The “Carols” are quite a group who know their jobs and welcomed Dotty right into their fold. Zenobia is a total diva that is pushing her assistant to the end of her rope. Max the show’s producer and Mel his assistant work hard to keep the show on schedule while trying to deal with all the chaos around them. Each character is unique and memorable.
Ms. Tait entangled her protagonist in a complex mystery. Dotty is a curious sleuth, she wants to know the story behind what is happening and if that helps solve a case it’s great. I like that when she overhears or stumbles on a clue she can confide to Constable Keya Varma. Keya is a very interesting character who fits right in with Dotty and her friends unless, of course, she is on duty. So many things are happening that some of the investigation does happen off the page but the author tells the story in a great way to keep her readers fully engaged. She also delivers a very exciting ending.
I really enjoy the way Victoria Tait tells a story. Her descriptive style is fantastic. I was able to envision every scene fully in my mind. From what Dotty was wearing to her hairstyle, the outdoor area with the gazebos for each expert to the objects brought for valuation, the hotel guest rooms, the library where the objects were kept, to the body at the bottom of the staircase. She sets each scene with an expert hand. I have a great time escaping into her stories.
Valued for Murder is a wonderful second installment of this series. I especially enjoy the antique theme with all the behind the scene moments of the auctions and all the work they entail. I am excited about the next book, Bidding for Revenge, set to be released on August 19, 2022.
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About Victoria Tait
I was born and raised in Yorkshire, UK, and never expected to travel the world. But I fell for an Army Officer, and I’ve followed him from Northern Ireland, up to the Scottish Highlands, across to Africa and the Kenyan Savannah, back to the British Cotswolds, and we are now living in Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Southern Europe.
I never expected to be an author, but all this moving is not ideal for holding down a job. Instead, I’ve taken the experiences of the places I’ve lived to write vivid and evocative cozy mystery books with determined female sleuths.
I have two fast-growing teenage boys, and together we’ve learnt to ski on the Bosnian mountains. I also enjoy horse riding, mountain biking and I’ve started running as a way to improve my physical fitness, mental wellbeing and shed some excess pounds.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”