KILLER STUFF by Sharon Fiffer
St. Martin's Minotaur, September 2001
Jane Wheel is a picker--someone who scouts garage sales, rumage sales, and estate sales for antiques, always on the search for killer stuff. When she returns a borrowed van and finds her neighbor murdered, Jane's life descends into nightmare. The police even suspect that Jane may be behind the murder, especially when rumors emerge that Jane was having an affair with the neighbor's husband. When Jane finds a second corpse, she starts to wonder whether this could possibly be coincidence, or whether she is at the center of some terrible plot.
Author Sharon Fiffer (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Fiffer) writes convincingly of the antiques business, its stresses and increasingly competitive nature. Both Jane, and her gay sidekick Tim, are well drawn characters with enough foibles to keep them interesting. Fiffer's style is smooth and KILLER STUFF is an engaging read.
I recommend KILLER STUFF as an enjoyable and well written novel. Perhaps as a result of first novelitis, however, the murder plot did suffer from a bit of over-complexity and the novel supplied insufficient red herrings to keep the reader fully engaged in the who-dunnit aspects of the story. Read KILLER STUFF for its look into the soul of a woman consumed with the need to fill the vacancies in her heart with Bakelite jewelry and you can't go wrong.
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