Although we don't know whether or not protagonist Sterling Glass is a "traditionally built" woman, she does possess much of the same type of homespun, parent-inspired wit and wisdom of Alexander McCall Smith's Mma Precious Ramotswe. In the tradition of Glass's Southern heritage, even though her mother has passed away, Sterling frequently refers to recollected bon mots, the down-to-earth principles that guided her mother and, via legacy, steer her own life. This generates an irresistible charm and adds depth to a character that becomes frosting on the cake of what I would call an engaging American parlor mystery.
The mystery, however, is not confined to a parlor crammed with antiques and collectibles; It extends to the dining room, bedrooms, hallways and attic at Wynderly, a nontraditional Southern mansion, all chock-full of rare items that Sterling is hired to appraise....
Beyond the Book
Jenkins' crackerjack antiques appraiser Sterling Glass unlocks a veritable Pandora's Box when she commences to open doors and snoop around the secret rooms and passageways of Wynderly. She quite literally uncovers ancient family secrets that might be best left unexposed to the harsh light of judgment. The problem is, however, many of the secrets directly affect the cash value of an estate that is on the verge of bankruptcy and whose solvency plays a pivotal role in the lives of several people.
Unfortunately, in an effort to conceal past sins, misdemeanors and maybe even felonies, a proper comprehensive personal property appraisal had never been conducted after the last remaining heir had passed away. The burglary necessitated an appraisal, which...