ARC Review: The Antique House Murders by Leslie Nagel (The Oakwood Mystery Series #2)

TheAntiqueHouseMurdersCoverOfficial Synopsis from Goodreads: In this irresistible cozy mystery from the author of The Book Club Murders, amateur sleuth Charley Carpenter fights to avenge a crime that hits far too close to home.

Mulbridge House stood, silent and decaying, deep in the woods at the heart of Oakwood, Ohio, long before the passing of Augusta Mulbridge. Yet suddenly everyone in town seems to have a stake in its fate: the greedy heirs, eager to tear it down for a tidy profit; the local preservationists, determined to maintain it as an historic site; the angry neighbors, staunchly opposed to the construction of a modern subdivision. Even Charley Carpenter is forced to admit that her beloved shop, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, could use an infusion of the estate’s treasures.

The clock is ticking. The wrecking ball is ready to swing. All that stands between Mulbridge House and oblivion is one final vote. That, and murder . . .

The trouble begins when Charley walks into auctioneer Calvin Prescott’s office to find her cherished family friend crumpled on the floor. Detective Marcus Trenault quickly connects his death to a string of increasingly violent burglaries plaguing Oakwood. But when Charley uncovers a link to a massive land swindle worth millions, not to mention a drug ring operating out of the manor’s abandoned outbuildings, that theory crumbles faster than Mulbridge House. Now Charley’s racing to catch a killer before everything falls apart.

Genre: Cozy mystery
Setting: Modern day Oakwood, Ohio

***I received an eARC copy of The Antique House Murders from Random House Publishing Group – Alibi via NetGalley.***


Review: A cute and fun cozy mystery, but this one suffered a bit from the antics of your typical cozy heroine.

The Antique House Murders by Leslie Nagel is the second book in The Oakwood Mystery Series. While the first book in the series, The Book Club Murders, focused more on reading and murder mysteries, this mystery focuses on antiques and old homes. I have to say that I enjoyed The Book Club Murders more than this entry.

Our main character, Charlotte “Charley” Carpenter, is engaging enough. She’s tough, she runs a vintage clothing store, and she’s smart and capable. But, while in the first book, she stays away from the stereotypical cozy mystery heroine antics like investigating an abandoned home alone at night, and refusing to ask for help or discuss clues with law enforcement; here she falls into that behavior. And it was frustrating for me, as actions like this are why I tend to get irritated with cozy mysteries.

I also had a problem with the male lead, Marcus “Marc” Trenault, who happens to be a detective. He and Charley are now in a relationship, and while I loved them together in book one, here Marc was very irritating and controlling. I was disappointed in his behavior here, and was hoping Charley would stand up for herself!

There was one person who stole the show for me, and that is Dmitri St James, Charley’s best friend. Yes, his leather pants make another appearance here, and he’s got a big scene at the end that had me grinning from ear to ear. I just really like him, and his sister, Vanni, arrives in this book, and I hope she sticks around for future installments in this series, as she was great fun.

In terms of the mystery, I guessed who the murderer was right away, but I did enjoy all the different red herrings and plots that came up. I know it sounds like I really disliked this book, and that’s not true. I enjoyed it; it was fun; but it did suffer from the “classic cozy heroine” escapades that come with the genre. I do enjoy reading cozy mysteries, but I do get frustrated with many of the situations our leading ladies end up in, and this one was no exception.

Bottom Line: Enjoyable, but falls prey to typical cozy mystery antics.


Links to The Antique House Murders:

Amazon |   Goodreads

And links to The Book Club Murders, the first book in The Oakwood Mystery Series:

Amazon |   Goodreads  My Review


Does this sound like a fun series? Have you read The Book Club Murders?


6 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Antique House Murders by Leslie Nagel (The Oakwood Mystery Series #2)

  1. I felt similarly about the Terror in Taffeta book I read. Granted, it’s the only cozy mystery I can think of that in read as an adult, but the heroine constantly yelled at police and took on the weight of the case simply because she’d been hired as the wedding planner. I didn’t like it and found it silly in a rather unforgivable way. However, Margot, the crime novelist blogger, just reviewed a mystery that sounds great! It’s called Never Buried by Edie Claire: http://wp.me/p1yHxs-4ew

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that mystery does sound great! Yeah, it’s tough with cozy mysteries – I enjoy the amateur sleuth aspect and the some of the antics they get into. Plus, each mystery series seems to have a theme – like in this one the gal runs a vintage clothing store, sounds like the book you read was wedding planning based, and there are so many different ones (bee keepers, chefs, cheese shop owners, book store owners, travel agents, etc etc etc). So there are some other aspects to the books besides the mystery itself. But yeah, I have a hard time when they make silly mistakes and errors in judgement. Like, seriously – why on earth would you go by yourself and visit an abandoned home in the middle of the night to investigate something that someone has killed over. You can practically sense the giant flashing arrow over the house that screams “villain come here!” So many cozy mysteries follow this path and it’s frustrating! But even though they frustrate me, I still enjoy them and continue to read them, I just can’t read more than one or two before I need a break 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One time I was on Amazon and somehow was recommended a cozy mystery that had some kind of baking pun, like Cheddar Off Dead. There was a huge series of these puns books. I ended up getting on Facebook and asking people to come up with their own baking pun books, and the results were hilarious!

        Liked by 1 person

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