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Linzé: I reviewed the first book in the series. Keep an eye out for reviews on the next ones.
It is a fact that I have mentioned on several occasions: I am a huge fan of the amateur sleuth mystery genre, and I have found another author to add to my to-read list.
I volunteered to review the Alicia Trent series written by Eileen Harris, and what a find that turned out to be. The first book, Antique Magic, introduces the series and the main character, Alicia, aka Ali to the reader. I fell in love with Ali, and her partner Barry, almost from the get go. Together they own an antique's store and while I am no collector, the passion the characters show for their vocation could almost convince anyone to start up the hobby.
Antiques come with histories, good or bad, and invariably some mystery will be attached to those histories making for a good background to the series. I like Ali's persistence and enthusiasm to get to the bottom of the mystery she is investigating. Barry is a good supporting character to provide the sidekick role in the series.
The reader are drawn into the details as Ali digs deeper into the mystery and murder that results as the story unfolds. There is a little romance happening, which adds to the realness of the main character, while other characters are depicted in a likeable and realistic way, each with their own uniqueness.
The magic component to the story was unusual, but not overwhelmingly in your face. Ali gets a clue or two from the magical items, but the mystery does not depend on this alone. A definite point in the author's favour.
Like all good mysteries the truth is well concealed, but could be detected by the reader who pays very close attention to the story, and not only to the clues. Even if you are not a sleuth, the story is very enjoyable and the aha! moment not so much of a surprise that it cannot be believed.
Antique Magic earns a well deserved four stars for the first book in a series.