Saturday, November 10, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: A Vintage Death

A Vintage Death
By Mary Ellen Hughes
A Keepsake Cove Mystery #2
Midnight Ink, 2018


As the new music box store owner and resident of Keepsake Cove, a quaint town full of collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Callie Reed is eager to get more involved in her community. She volunteers to plan the Fall street decorations and welcome a visiting author who’s come for a special book signing. But the celebratory mood is cut short when the local B&B owner is found dead, killed by a pair of vintage scissors.

Suspicion is cast on the victim’s estranged wife, Dorothy, who owns Keepsake Cove’s vintage sewing shop. Callie is sure Dorothy is innocent, and the visiting author agrees. Together, they begin their own investigation, only to discover that many people in Keepsake Cove have secrets. Secrets that are worth killing to keep quiet.

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My thoughts

If you’d like to relax with a heartwarming traditional cozy mystery, A Vintage Death is a great choice. It has that perfect blend of enchanting setting, characters that you enjoy spending time with, and a well-crafted mystery. Each book in the Keepsake Cove series stands alone, but I recommend reading them in order to enjoy the character development.

“We help each other out. When one of us runs into a jam,
we pull together to get them out of it.”
– Del Hodges

In this second book, Callie is settling into Keepsake Cove, enjoying her music box store, and making friends within the community. What fun names for stores … such as House of Melody (Callie), Shake It Up! (Delia), and Stitches Thru Time (Dorothy).  I don’t know if these specialty stores could succeed in real life, but Hughes has beautifully imagined a shopping village on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that I’d love to visit. And Callie’s young assistant, Tabitha, is a hoot as she dresses in the vintage style of someone famous every day.

Music boxes have always held a special appeal, so Callie and the store that she inherited from her aunt fascinate me. Grandpa Reed’s music box gives the series a slight paranormal element, “with its disconcerting habit of turning itself on at random times as though commenting or sending a message.” I’m not a fan of paranormal themes, but it works well here and is quite charming, although I haven’t exactly figured out the music box’s meaning. Encouragement or warning, or both?

A Vintage Death falls well into the fall season, as the Keepsake Cove community prepares a spooky-themed promotional event for a famous author. The murder of a store owner’s estranged husband puts Callie’s friend, Dorothy, in the role of a major suspect because the victim was stabbed with her Georgian dagger scissors. I loved how the mystery is solved by good old-fashioned sleuthing, although I often wanted to warn Callie that she might be questioning the actual murderer. Secrets within the historical home housing the victim’s B&B also adds a lot of interest. The murder storyline is well crafted and I enjoyed trying to discover the solution along with Callie.

A Vintage Death is a completely clean read and I recommend it to cozy mystery fans everywhere.

I received a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Please click on the title to see my review of the previous book in this series, A Fatal Collection.


Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. 

A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories. Visit her at




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