A dying invalid...a house full of treasures...a family haunted by tragedy.
Mystery and heartbreak await estate sale organizer Audrey Nealon when she accepts a lucrative new job in a posh New Jersey town. Eager to settle their mother's estate and close the door on their elegant family home, the Eskew children hire Audrey to run an estate sale as their mother lies dying, tended by a home health aide. Every day Audrey works in the house, she discovers another valuable artwork and another family secret. How did the adored oldest son die? What's wrong with the strange younger sister? Who is making off with rare books, antique silver, and vintage ball gowns? Most of all, how reliable are the dying woman's deathbed ramblings?
As Audrey learns about the Eskew family's tortured past, she's forced to confront her own feelings about marriage and children. And when a murderer strikes, Audrey's sense of justice compels her to defend the defenseless, no matter the risk to herself. Fans of Ninie Hammon and C. J. Lyons will enjoy this twist-ending mystery with a strong female sleuth and plenty of antiques, dogs, and humor.
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".the squeak of the swing's chain."
Audrey, who runs the small house clearance business, Another Man's Treasure, has good reason to be pleased to be called in to catalogue the contents of a prosperously well stocked, spacious 1960s home packed full of artwork, china and first edition books. The sale should bring her a large commission, especially welcome as she and fiancée Sean need the extra money to purchase their own first home together. Just one problem: the current owner, though very old and sick, is still alive, just. It is the daughter who has requested the inventory and is impatient for the sale to go ahead as soon as possible. Although reluctant to work in the house before the mother's death, Audrey really needs that large commission. But something feels wrong: a couple of valuable items go missing. Then the owner is brutally killed.
The marvellous Janelle Tedesco not only takes on the personality of Audrey, adding depth and feeling by her reading, but also convincingly voices all of the other characters, giving each their own distinct lives. Her performance is a pleasure to hear, never abrasive to the ear but always well modulated and clearly delivered. And always perfectly fitting the text. Superb, as always.
I was gifted my copy of this book by the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom. Thank you so much. This whole series is totally delightful. The characterisations are so good that throughout this sad and bizarre tale, it always feels real as the main protagonists are fully fleshed, living, feeling people. The third of the Palmyrton Estate Sale stories, This Bitter Treasure is completely standalone, any background information easily gleaned from the ongoing text, although part of the pleasure of these books is following the life changes of Audrey, Ty and Jill as seen through the eyes of Audrey herself. Warm, human, and an intriguing mystery yet without bad language, I highly recommend it.
- Norma Miles