Antiques and Alibis by Wendy H Jones follows Cass Claymore as she investigates cases after she inherits a detective agency.
The book is written in the first-person narrative. The mystery and crime plots were constructed well. Initially, the story dragged a bit, but the pace quickened once the main story picked up. Cass investigates in her novice ways, and we follow an intriguing storyline. The mystery was fun, the crimes were curious, and the suspects curiouser. The story wrapped up nicely in the end.
Cass is a Scottish Russian girl. She wants to undertake detective work to earn a living and is eager to learn how to do it successfully. She is learning the skills a PI requires and wants her methods of investigating to be legal, though Quill and his friends may find it hard to do things that way. She is not the nicest person, and she is aware of this as she refers to her Russian temper. When she is thinking, her mind wanders quite often. The writing was spot-on for her character.
I loved the group that our protagonist was surrounded by. Eagal is entertaining, but I can see how he may be irritating. Elgin is helpful when he can be. Quill, in my opinion, deserves better from Cass.
The writing style was a mix of narration and Cass’s thoughts, which is why I loved how the book was written. It was more in clauses and phrases than complete sentences, and it seemed natural that someone’s thoughts were that way. Cass regularly digresses when she’s pondering, which is evident in the writing.
Anything described was written in a more “show” rather than “tell” manner. Sometimes it was “shown” indirectly which made it confusing to read and understand.
Moreover, the vocabulary is excellent. Additionally, there were Gaelic and Russian words as well as ballet references which made reading more enjoyable. Russian culture and food were also mentioned.
The book could benefit from a bit of editing. I also feel Cass could have been friendlier to Quill. He’s trying to improve, and he has big things at stake, so he is taking the opportunity he is given seriously.
In conclusion, Antiques and Alibis has an intriguing plot with great accurate writing that matches the protagonist, Cass Claymore! I can’t wait for the next one in the Cass Claymore series.