Jump into a delightful visit to the antiquated gold mining town of Larkingdale, California where, Thea James presides over the family business, James and Company Antique Emporium. If you love eccentric characters, this first novel by Cathy Elliott will satisfy your quirky tooth.
Homeless Picker Pete, rides a bicycle for transportation, collects trash dumped beside the country roads and sells it to Thea. Today, however, she receives a pleasant surprise. Wrapped within the smelly old rags he usually brings rests an original, Roseville vase. She rewards Pete with several chits to Curly's Diner, doing her part to keep Pete off the sauce.
On Friday Thea meets her uncle, ex-cop Nick Marianello, at the diner for brunch. He has taken it upon himself to continue the custom started by Thea's dead fiancée'. She and Uncle Nick read about the discovery of a skeleton in the Larkingdale Lamplight. It had been unearthed at the Larkin Lake Resort during remodeling. It can't be murder, not in this quiet town.
Thea finds another surprise inside the Roseville vase. A yellowed slip of paper that contains four names of girls she had attended Bible Camp with at Larkin Lake Resort. She has not seen two of these girls since then. But when the top name, Hattie May Bloom, arrives at the hospital after being pushed from a cliff at Larkingdale Falls, Thea thinks about the list. She then searches for Molly Shannon McNealy, another childhood friend whose name is inside the vase. Molly's family tells Thea she has been missing for several days. Now Thea becomes alarmed. The other two names on the list are hers and Rosie's, her sister.
James, a contemporary cross between Miss Marple and Miss Raisin, will become your next favorite cozy mystery sleuth after reading A Vase of Mistaken Identity. Readers will observe the town of Larkingdale, its hidden surly fiends and established devoted families, in full color with the magic words of Cathy Elliott.