Stealing With Style
by Emyl Jenkins
Algonquin Books 2005
Website Emyl Jenkins
I grabbed this book off the sale table because the cover looked so gorgeous. And it was an Antiques mystery by a new (to me) author. I LOVE antique mysteries.
This is a Sterling Glass Mystery - and Sterling Glass really is her name. She is an experienced Antiques Appraiser living in Leemont, Virginia, and after a normal maybe even boring life as an appraiser, raising her kids, writing an antiques column for the newspaper and readjusting to life as a widow, she finally stumbles into a mystery.
When a valuable 1810 tea urn and a Georgian style diamond & pearl brooch are found at the local Salvation Army thrift shop, Sterling is called in, to determine where they came from. The trail eventually leads her to a gang of house sitters and roofers who "case the joint" of the rich homeowners and steal the valuables.
Along the way Sterling meets an ex-priest with whom she might be falling in love, a knowledgeable insurance agent, and a sleazy auctionhouse salesman. She also stumbles across some very valuable Art Deco figurines that are being stolen and sold for a quick buck.
To add to the ambience of the story, each chapter opens with a Question and Answer about Antiques, in the manner of Sterling's newspaper column. These Q&A's were very educational.
The Author is a well known Antiques Appraiser in real life and has written several books on the subject. This was her first novel. The excerpt at the back looked good for a second novel, but so far there is no second novel. Which is a great pity because this is one character I would REALLY love to read more of.
Unfortunately, when one does a search for Sterling Glass, one finds a company using that name located in Sterling, Virginia. I suspect Ms Jenkin's publishers did not do an adequate copyright search on the name, before publishing this novel. If the lead character's name has been changed slightly, there may well have been more books in this series. Which is a great pity because I LOVED this story.