BOOK REVIEW – Gavels, Tinsel and Murder: A British Cozy Mystery with a Female Amateur Sleuth (A Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery Book 4)

by Victoria Tait  (Author)

A Book Review by Jackie Houchin

Settle into the cozy atmosphere that Victoria Tait has created in her Dotty Sayers Antiques Mystery series.

In Gavels, Tinsel, and Murder, readers will enjoy catching up with Dotty and Gilmore, Aunt Beanie and Norman, Keya the Policewoman, and the other nice people at Akeman’s Antiques Auction. You will meet a few new folks to get to know, both lovely and… dastardly.

The warm farmhouse kitchen seems so inviting; the TV is going in the background for Uncle Cliff, and the gals are sitting around the table over steaming cups, planning Akeman’s Annual Christmas Charity Ball, which will be set at Windrush Hall. Petite cook Kuki, a friend of Keya has brought samples for them to try for the catered dinner. The ladies are in heaven.

Akeman’s is busy at the end of the year but Dottie has time to sneak away to attend a lecture for an art course she is taking. She meets the handsome Gilmore afterwards. He is very attentive. Is this a budding romance? Oh, boy, is it ever!

At the Charity Ball, there is dancing (with Gilmore of course!), a delicious dinner with music, and a live auction of big-ticket items, including a valuable painting. But when the curtains are drawn back to start the bidding on the painting, there is a loud gasp. The body of the nastiest business man in the Cotswold’s is leaning lifeless against the tripod.

Dotty tries to stay out of the investigation, but this time she is “asked” to make subtle inquiries. She does, and what she discovers is both horrible and heartbreaking.

As a co-story, we see Aunt Beanie dealing with the worsening health and dementia of Uncle Cliff. She must decide what to do! But before she can, calamity happens.

This book has some strong emotions as the people in the art world and Dotty’s circle of friends reel. How will this Christmas turn from loss, to joy and celebration?  Read it. You will be happily surprised. Tait’s writing never disappoints, and her stories and characters just grow richer and better.

NOTE: If you have read any of Victoria Tait’s Kenya Kanga mysteries, this one reminds me in some ways of Jackal & Hide, fourth in that series as well.

FIVE Stars



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.