What antique would you kill for? The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder by C.L. Miller #bookreview #TheAntiqueHuntersGuidetoMurder #NetGalley

In this irresistible and thrilling debut novel, a former antique hunter investigates a suspicious death at an isolated English manor, embroiling her back in the dangerous world of tracking stolen artifacts.
What antique would you kill for?
Freya Lockwood is shocked when she learns that Arthur Crockleford, antiques dealer and her estranged mentor, has died under mysterious circumstances. She has spent the last twenty years avoiding her quaint English hometown, but when she receives a letter from Arthur asking her to investigate—sent just days before his death—Freya has no choice but to return to a life she had sworn to leave behind.
Joining forces with her eccentric Aunt Carole, Freya follows clues and her instincts to an old manor house for an advertised antiques enthusiast’s weekend. But not all is as it seems. It’s clear to Freya that the antiques are all just poor reproductions and her fellow guests are secretive and menacing. What is going on at this estate and how was Arthur involved? More importantly, can Freya and Carole discover the truth before the killer strikes again?

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Hi and welcome to my review of The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder!

I must admit that the blurb of The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder created expectations that the story itself didn’t quite live up to. Not to me, in any case.

The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder starts off rather mysterious and I was instantly tickled, wanting to know more. So I do feel it has a strong beginning. However, as the story progressed, it sort of lost me.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think I perhaps expected more exciting antiques business and to learn a thing or two about the intricacies of the business, maybe? The author clearly knows her stuff, no argument there, but I don’t know, I guess I expected… More? Sheesh, what a review this is turning out to be 😅

I also felt the middle dragged somewhat and my concentration (already rather precarious due to brain fog) waned. Too many (unnecessary) points of view? Too repetitive? Too slow? (All of which I don’t need when I have the attention span of a gnat.) All I know is that as the pace of the story slowed, so did my reading pace, which is never a good sign.

I do need to stress that the final part more than makes up for the slower pace of the middle part. Three quarters in, I was fully caught up in the story and I blew through that final 25% or so.

I think it helped that the main character, Freya, whom I found a tad bland at first, is undoubtedly more plucky in that part. And let me just say literally everyone needs an aunt Carole! I loved her to bits!

It would seem that The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder is the first in a cosy crime series and although I wasn’t fully convinced by this debut, I do feel the author has tons of potential and I will be looking forward to a Freya in full hunting mode.

The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder is out now in hardcover, digital formats and audio, with the paperback to follow in September.

Massive thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own.

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