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Annette Blair, NY Times & USA Today Bestseller

 

 

 

 

 

LARCENY AND LACE

A VINTAGE MAGIC MYSTERY

Book Two

 

Reviews:

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  FANG-TASTIC BOOKS

Five Fangs for Larceny and Lace by Annette Blair

Annette Blair's whimsical and witty writing style is true magic on the page. She never disappoints.

Madeira Cutler is back in Larceny and Lace the second book in Vintage Magic Mysteries. She's preparing to open her new vintage clothing store, which is an old renovated morgue/mortuary, when an old bag of bones is found in the old storage room then stolen from the place while the playhouse next door is burned down-and the owner killed.

It's another complicated murder case that Maddie finds herself wrapped up in. And the vintage clothes are speaking to her again as her powers keep developing. But how is it all tied together? The bones, the murder (both past and present) and Maddie's shop.

Maddie gets duped, banged up and knocked down but in the end it all makes sense as everything comes together for a clear picture.

It's a fast paced read you will not want to put down until the book is done and then you'll be left longing for more.

I love that the mystery has just a hint of romance in it. Will she end up with Werner or will Nick end up playing a stronger roll in upcoming books?

Detective Werner, the guy Maddie dubbed the wiener back in third grade) is always hot on Maddie's heels catching her in precarious situations and often saving her butt from more disastrous outcomes.

But Maddie's on again, off again boy toy Nick is hardly ever around since he's busy being a hot shot FBI guy.

Honestly I hope Maddie and Werner end up together, it's so obvious they have a thing for each other even if Maddie can only realize it unconsciously. He's there and into her while Nick is never around-in Maddie's life or the book. That has to be some serious foreshadowing there that the love interest doesn't even get much ink in the books.

I love Blair's use of words and the way she blends magic and vintage clothing into the stories like they are characters themselves, especially the clothes. I really like that even if I don't know jack about fashion, vintage or otherwise. It just adds another element, another layer to the story cake that makes it that much more interesting.

I fell in love with Blair's writing when I found her accidental and triplet witch trilogies, such sexy works. This new series with it's blend of magic and mystery really has me hooked. I can't wait to read more Vintage Magic Mysteries.

PENELOPE'S REVIEWS

"I'm not sure there is a grade good enough for this baby, so I'm bestowing my first Grade A++"

          Penelope has been feeling somewhat cranky lately and nothing could bust me out of my funk. Not my new professional margarita maker. Not a soak in the hot tub at the pool. Not even Top Chef Masters edition. Then, I dove into Annette Blair's latest installment of the Vintage Magic Mystery series, Larceny and Lace, and my whole mood changed. It was better than Lexapro, baby! Why, you ask, did this delightful book accomplish what no frozen alcoholic beverage was able to do? Where to start? Awesome first person narrative, colorful, smart and sassy heroine Madeira Cutler, touching secondary characters including a romantic ghost pining for his lost love who is now 103 years old, as well as a lovely secondary story line with Maddie's widowed father and her Aunt Fiona, snappy dialogue, intriguing mystery (with no excessive blood and violence, which I detest....I like to  call Annette's stories "light" mysteries), and finally, delicious sexual tension with Detective Wiener (oops! i meant Werner...hee hee!).

          Blair's writing is an absolute breath of fresh air...witty, original, perfectly-paced, and filled with fascinating tidbits. The vintage clothing angle rocks out and makes me want to jump onto a train to NYC and shop for vintage clothes like I did during my freshman year at Vassar with my best friend Jilly B. In spite of the fact that this book has no sex scenes, I hardly noticed. Why? Because the delicious and unexpected sexy undercurrents flowing between Maddie and Wiener (oops! I mean Werner) were soooo totally satisfying. Plus, there was even a scene with a dachshund! You have got to be kidding me...all my favorite things in one book, even a wiener dog!!!! Yippee! The only thing that makes me sad about this book is that it's over.

          All right, it's confession time. I actually cried TWO times while reading this book (I know, I know, I'm a big crybaby). The scene where Maddie and her father both smell chocolate, a paranormal indicator that her dead mother's presence is being felt by both of them, was so sweet and touching, I welled up and cried. And the final scene of this book is absolutely wondrous! It was hands-down the best scene in a book I have read in ....well, forever. So romantic, so sweet, so embarrassed I was blubbering when my kids got home.

          Thank you, Annette Blair, I bow down to the greatness that is this book. Now if there was only a way to package it in pill form, I would be all set. I'm not sure there is a grade good enough for this baby, so I'm bestowing my first A++!"   Ready to shop till I drop, Penelope, Penelope's Romance Reviews

 


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Harriet Klausner

Larceny and Lace-Annette Blair

Berkley, Aug. 4, 2009, $7.99, ISBN: 9780425229118

She originally came to Mystick Falls, Connecticut for her sister’s wedding (see A Veiled Deception) that turned ugly with the homicide of the groom’s ex.  However she has remained in the picturesque small town thanks to her centenarian friend Dolly Sweet giving her a building to house her new business.  Madeira “Mad” Cutler knows the renovations from the Underhill Funeral Chapel carriage house is almost complete and in two weeks she will open the doors to Vintage Magic, a dress shop with historical classics and originals.

The construction crew has just left the facility when Maddie hears a noise; the intruder escapes and her spirited resident Dante the ghost says the person is male, but has no idea who he is.  An arson set blaze destroys the historical playhouse across the street from Vintage Magic.  While Maddie was there, her invader returned stealing the three decade old bones wrapped in a quilt and hidden in a drawer.  Detective Sergeant Lytton Werner tells Maddie to stay out of his investigation and calls her shop a crime scene.  However between Dante’s tips and her psychometric skill to see things that occurred by touching them, she tries to piece together what happened before the Halloween grand opening.  Aunt Fiona, chairman of the Southeast Connecticut Chapter of the White Star Circle of Spirit arrives to help or hinder depending on who you ask at a time someone wants her dead with Dante, her best friend Eve, and Lytton trying to prevent her death.

The second Vintage Magic mystery (see A VEILED DECEPTION) is a wonderful investigative tale that will have armchair readers spellbound trying to solve the case before Maddie can.  The inquiry enables the audience to learn more about the heroine’s family especially her father and aunt, as well as her BFF.  With whimsy, humor and Dante to round out the magic, fans will enjoy this entertaining paranormal amateur sleuth while wondering if Lytton will become the latest cop bewitched by Mad Maddie.  Harriet Klausner

 


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HUNTRESS REVIEWS

 

TITLE: Larceny & Lace (Vintage Magic Mystery #2)

AUTHOR: Annette Blair

13 ISBN: 9780425229118

10 ISBN: 0425229114

Set in Mystick Falls (fictional town), Connecticut. Madeira "Maddie or Mad" Cutler is a former New York fashion designer. She now owns a huge building, compliments of her friend and centenarian Dolly Sweet. The building used to be the Underhill Funeral Chapel carriage house. In less than two weeks it will be reopening its doors as Mad's new business, Vintage Magic. It will be her dress shop for timeless classics and designer originals. Almost everything, including the decor, will be vintage. Events begin immediately. Less than an hour after the construction crew leaves, Maddie walks into her shop and hears an intruder upstairs. The thief gets away. The building's ghost, Dante, has no idea who it was except that it was male. Maddie is one of the few people who are able to see and speak with the handsome specter. Dante is a big help whenever Maddie finds herself in the middle of a mystery, such as this one.

After the second arson attempt claims the old playhouse (theater) across the street, Maddie returns to Vintage Magic and learns that her intruder had returned during her absence. The only things taken, though, were some old bones that had previously been wrapped in an old quilt and hidden in a body drawer. Detective Sergeant Lytton Werner is not pleased to find Maddie in the thick of things again. He has no idea that much of what Maddie learns comes from a ghost and from the visions she sometimes receives from touching vintage items. Her psychometric ability is one of the gifts Maddie inherited from her deceased mother. The bones make her shop a crime scene and Maddie begins to worry about the upcoming grand opening. Enter Aunt Fiona, the chairman of the White Star Circle of Spirit, Southeast Connecticut Chapter. Aunt Fiona is, as Maddie's mother was, a witch. Soon the grand opening is due for Halloween day, with a costume ball that evening sponsored by the Circle.

Maddie's days and nights become hectic as she deals with the grand opening, a publicity hound councilman, the councilman's trophy wife/town gossip columnist, the thirty-year-old murder of a woman named Isobel (the bones), the recent death of the playhouse owner, unwanted visions, a detective that hates and likes her (both at once), and a whole bunch of suspects (at least one of which wants her dead). It would be easier if Maddie's boyfriend, and FBI agent, was in town more often lately. But at least he can be reached (sometimes) via phone for research help.

It is up to a ghost, her best friend (Eve), and an irritatingly handsome detective to keep Maddie alive this time around.

***** FOUR AND A HALF STARS! This is the second Vintage Magic mystery. Though there is not as much danger this time, the mystery will still test your wits. The backgrounds of Maddie's friends and family members become more fleshed out as well. It is great to learn a bit more about Mad's father, aunt, and Eve. Looks like Maddie's FBI boyfriend may have some competition soon and romance just may be in her dad's future too. For those wanting to know more about Dante and Dolly, you will be pleased to see the pair interact. (Yes, Dolly can see Dante in the shop too.) And you simply HAVE to admit that a vintage shop owner with psychometric ability just oozes over with possibilities! I am SO ready for the next mystery! Brava! *****   Reviewed by Detra Fitch


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THE ROMANCE READERS CONNECTION

In LARCENY AND LACE, Annette Blair’s second novel in the Vintage Magic Mystery series, Madeira Cutler returns to Mystic, Connecticut, with intentions of setting up a vintage clothing shop sure to lure in collectors.  With updates on the old town morgue complete, transforming it into an unusual showplace for her ever-growing collection, Madeira is ready to set up shop and draw in customers.  When the quilt-wrapped bones of an unknown individual turns up in Madeira’s renovated building, she knows she'll need to use her special gifts in order to crack the case.  Using her unusual talent of psychometry to “feel” fabric allows Madeira to figure out that the individual was murdered—but the person’s identity is unknown.  Manipulating Werner and childhood friend and nemesis, without revealing the basis for her facts is difficult, but with the help of her friend Eve, her Aunt Fiona, and the unexpected help of her father, Madeira may be up to the task.  As she gets closer to the truth, however, a set of fires, prowlers, and vandalism may close Madeira’s shop and the investigation for good.

LARCENY AND LACE delivers a follow-up tale that is every bit as satisfying as the first Vintage Magic novel, or perhaps may even be better than the original!  Maddie’s knowledge of fashion is amazing and beyond this reader’s knowledge, but readers/collectors and fashion mavens will enjoy the effective employment of fashion terminology, clothing lines, designers, and more.  Romance is hinted at, but never quite occurs in LARCENY AND LACE, and readers may start rooting for the “favorite” male to pair up with Maddie—my money is on Werner, who is both adorable and challenging to Maddie, instead of Nick, who appears to be comfortable with the way thing are in his on-again-off-again relationship with Maddie.  Friendship and magic are essential to Maddie’s tale, and we see her slowly start to embrace the magical side of life…albeit a bit cautiously!  Overall, LARCENY AND LACE is a fun whodunit that keeps readers guessing and ensnared…waiting (impatiently) for the next Vintage Magic tale.  Reviewed by Angela Etheridge


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Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews

Lace and Larceny: A Vintage Magic Mystery

In book two of Blair’s Vintage Magic series, our heroine Maddie is moving home to open her new store, “Vintage Magic.”

With all the stress of renovating the old Underhill Funeral Chapel, and stocking her new vintage clothing store, Maddie Cutler is exhausted. But she’s determined to find the secret room that former owner Dolly Sweet has told her about. However, a surprise awaits her as while investigating a break-in at her new store, Maddie and her best friend Eve discover a quilt-wrapped collection of human bones in an old body drawer. And the bones are as vintage as Maddie's stock, or so says resident ghost, Dante Underhill.

Maddie wonders if the break-in at her store could have something to do with the argument she had witnessed earlier between the local playhouse owner and a mysterious stranger. And when the theatre is later burned, and the cranky old owner Broderick Sampson is found dead, Maddie wonders if her intruder and the stranger could be one in the same. Soon Maddie finds herself juggling getting her store ready to open in time for Halloween and crime solving. Add to the brew the local witch's costume ball, being held at her store, and Maddie will be wishing she knew how to ride a broom right out of there.

Again, “Lace and Larceny” is another fast-paced novel that keeps the reader entertained from the word go! Blair’s characters are warm and endearing, and you feel as if you’re visiting old friends among the pages. I love the side love story between old Mrs. Sweet and her ghostly boyfriend, Dante. And I love that Blair includes Maddie’s familiar, a cute little cat named Chakra, in the story. I look forward to more stories of the Cutler family and Mystic, Connecticut from this wonderful author.


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"Warm, endearing and full of magic!"

Reviewed by Sharon Galligar Chance
Posted January 5, 2010

Mystery Woman Sleuth

Annette Blair's "Vintage Magic" series is one of the most adorable, fascinating cozy mystery series I have run across. And in her 2nd book of the series, "LACE AND LARCENY", her heroine Maddie has decided to move back home to fulfil her dream of opening her store, "Vintage Magic."

With all the stress of renovating the old Underhill Funeral Chapel, and stocking her new vintage clothing store, Maddie Cutler is exhausted. But she's determined to find the secret room that former owner Dolly Sweet has told her about. However, a surprise awaits her as while investigating a break-in at her new store, Maddie and her best friend Eve discover a quilt-wrapped collection of human bones in an old body drawer. And the bones are as vintage as Maddie's stock, or so says resident ghost, Dante Underhill.

Maddie wonders if the break-in at her store could have something to do with the argument she had witnessed earlier between the local playhouse owner and a mysterious stranger. And when the theatre is later burned, and the cranky old owner Broderick Sampson is found dead, Maddie wonders if her intruder and the stranger could be one in the same. Soon Maddie finds herself juggling getting her store ready to open in time for Halloween and crime solving. Add to the brew the local witch's costume ball, being held at her store, and Maddie will be wishing she knew how to ride a broom right out of there.

Again, "LARCENY AND LACE" is another fast-paced novel that keeps the reader entertained from the word go! Annette Blair's characters are warm and endearing, and you feel as if you're visiting old friends among the pages. I love the side love story between old Mrs. Sweet and her ghostly boyfriend, Dante. And I love that Blair includes Maddie's familiar, a cute little cat named Chakra, in the story. I look forward to more stories of the Cutler family and Mystic, Connecticut from this wonderful author.


 

 

 
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