Five Fangs for
Larceny and Lace by Annette Blair
Annette Blair's whimsical and witty writing style is true
magic on the page. She never disappoints.
Madeira Cutler is back in Larceny and Lace
the second book in Vintage Magic Mysteries.
She's preparing to open her new vintage clothing store, which is
an old renovated morgue/mortuary, when an old bag of bones is
found in the old storage room then stolen from the place while
the playhouse next door is burned down-and the owner killed.
It's another complicated murder case that Maddie finds herself
wrapped up in. And the vintage clothes are speaking to her again
as her powers keep developing. But how is it all tied together?
The bones, the murder (both past and present) and Maddie's shop.
Maddie gets duped, banged up and knocked down but in the end it
all makes sense as everything comes together for a clear
It's a fast paced read you will not want to put down until the
book is done and then you'll be left longing for more.
I love that the mystery has just a hint of romance in it. Will
she end up with Werner or will Nick end up playing a stronger
roll in upcoming books?
Detective Werner, the guy Maddie dubbed the wiener back
in third grade) is always hot on Maddie's heels catching her in
precarious situations and often saving her butt from more
But Maddie's on again, off again boy toy Nick is hardly ever
around since he's busy being a hot shot FBI guy.
Honestly I hope Maddie and Werner end up together, it's so
obvious they have a thing for each other even if Maddie can only
realize it unconsciously. He's there and into her while Nick is
never around-in Maddie's life or the book. That has to be some
serious foreshadowing there that the love interest doesn't even
get much ink in the books.
I love Blair's use of words and the way she blends magic and
vintage clothing into the stories like they are characters
themselves, especially the clothes. I really like that even if I
don't know jack about fashion, vintage or otherwise. It just
adds another element, another layer to the story cake that makes
it that much more interesting.
I fell in love with Blair's writing when I found her accidental
and triplet witch trilogies, such sexy works. This new series
with it's blend of magic and mystery really has me hooked. I
can't wait to read more Vintage Magic Mysteries.
not sure there is a grade good enough for this baby, so I'm
bestowing my first Grade A++"
Penelope has been feeling somewhat cranky lately and nothing could
bust me out of my funk. Not my new professional margarita maker. Not
a soak in the hot tub at the pool. Not even Top Chef Masters
edition. Then, I dove into Annette Blair's latest installment of the
Vintage Magic Mystery series, Larceny and Lace, and my whole mood
changed. It was better than Lexapro, baby! Why, you ask, did this
delightful book accomplish what no frozen alcoholic beverage was
able to do? Where to start? Awesome first person narrative,
colorful, smart and sassy heroine Madeira Cutler, touching secondary
characters including a romantic ghost pining for his lost love who
is now 103 years old, as well as a lovely secondary story line with
Maddie's widowed father and her Aunt Fiona, snappy dialogue,
intriguing mystery (with no excessive blood and violence, which I
detest....I like to call Annette's stories "light" mysteries), and
finally, delicious sexual tension with Detective Wiener (oops! i
meant Werner...hee hee!).
writing is an absolute breath of fresh air...witty, original,
perfectly-paced, and filled with fascinating tidbits. The vintage
clothing angle rocks out and makes me want to jump onto a train to
NYC and shop for vintage clothes like I did during my freshman year
at Vassar with my best friend Jilly B. In spite of the fact that
this book has no sex scenes, I hardly noticed. Why? Because the
delicious and unexpected sexy undercurrents flowing between Maddie
and Wiener (oops! I mean Werner) were soooo totally satisfying.
Plus, there was even a scene with a dachshund! You have got to be
kidding me...all my favorite things in one book, even a wiener
dog!!!! Yippee! The only thing that makes me sad about this book is
that it's over.
it's confession time. I actually cried TWO times while reading this
book (I know, I know, I'm a big crybaby). The scene where Maddie and
her father both smell chocolate, a paranormal indicator that her
dead mother's presence is being felt by both of them, was so sweet
and touching, I welled up and cried. And the final scene of this
book is absolutely wondrous! It was hands-down the best scene in a
book I have read in ....well, forever. So romantic, so sweet, so
embarrassed I was blubbering when my kids got home.
Annette Blair, I bow down to the greatness that is this book. Now if
there was only a way to package it in pill form, I would be all set.
I'm not sure there is a grade good enough for this baby, so I'm
bestowing my first A++!" Ready to shop till I drop,
Penelope's Romance Reviews
Larceny and Lace-Annette Blair
Berkley, Aug. 4, 2009, $7.99, ISBN:
She originally came to Mystick Falls,
Connecticut for her sister’s wedding (see A Veiled
Deception) that turned ugly with the homicide of the groom’s
ex. However she has remained in the picturesque small town
thanks to her centenarian friend Dolly Sweet giving her a
building to house her new business. Madeira “Mad” Cutler
knows the renovations from the Underhill Funeral Chapel
carriage house is almost complete and in two weeks she will
open the doors to Vintage Magic, a dress shop with
historical classics and originals.
The construction crew has just left the facility when
Maddie hears a noise; the intruder escapes and her spirited
resident Dante the ghost says the person is male, but has no
idea who he is. An arson set blaze destroys the historical
playhouse across the street from Vintage Magic. While
Maddie was there, her invader returned stealing the three
decade old bones wrapped in a quilt and hidden in a drawer.
Detective Sergeant Lytton Werner tells Maddie to stay out of
his investigation and calls her shop a crime scene. However
between Dante’s tips and her psychometric skill to see
things that occurred by touching them, she tries to piece
together what happened before the Halloween grand opening.
Aunt Fiona, chairman of the Southeast Connecticut Chapter of
the White Star Circle of Spirit arrives to help or hinder
depending on who you ask at a time someone wants her dead
with Dante, her best friend Eve, and Lytton trying to
prevent her death.
The second Vintage Magic mystery (see A VEILED DECEPTION)
is a wonderful investigative tale that will have armchair
readers spellbound trying to solve the case before Maddie
can. The inquiry enables the audience to learn more about
the heroine’s family especially her father and aunt, as well
as her BFF. With whimsy, humor and Dante to round out the
magic, fans will enjoy this entertaining paranormal amateur
sleuth while wondering if Lytton will become the latest cop
bewitched by Mad Maddie. Harriet Klausner
TITLE: Larceny & Lace (Vintage Magic
AUTHOR: Annette Blair
13 ISBN: 9780425229118
10 ISBN: 0425229114
Set in Mystick Falls (fictional town), Connecticut. Madeira "Maddie
or Mad" Cutler is a former New York fashion designer. She now owns a
huge building, compliments of her friend and centenarian Dolly
Sweet. The building used to be the Underhill Funeral Chapel carriage
house. In less than two weeks it will be reopening its doors as
Mad's new business, Vintage Magic. It will be her dress shop for
timeless classics and designer originals. Almost everything,
including the decor, will be vintage. Events begin immediately. Less
than an hour after the construction crew leaves, Maddie walks into
her shop and hears an intruder upstairs. The thief gets away. The
building's ghost, Dante, has no idea who it was except that it was
male. Maddie is one of the few people who are able to see and speak
with the handsome specter. Dante is a big help whenever Maddie finds
herself in the middle of a mystery, such as this one.
After the second arson attempt claims the old
playhouse (theater) across the street, Maddie returns to Vintage
Magic and learns that her intruder had returned during her absence.
The only things taken, though, were some old bones that had
previously been wrapped in an old quilt and hidden in a body drawer.
Detective Sergeant Lytton Werner is not pleased to find Maddie in
the thick of things again. He has no idea that much of what Maddie
learns comes from a ghost and from the visions she sometimes
receives from touching vintage items. Her psychometric ability is
one of the gifts Maddie inherited from her deceased mother. The
bones make her shop a crime scene and Maddie begins to worry about
the upcoming grand opening. Enter Aunt Fiona, the chairman of the
White Star Circle of Spirit, Southeast Connecticut Chapter. Aunt
Fiona is, as Maddie's mother was, a witch. Soon the grand opening is
due for Halloween day, with a costume ball that evening sponsored by
Maddie's days and nights become hectic as she
deals with the grand opening, a publicity hound councilman, the
councilman's trophy wife/town gossip columnist, the thirty-year-old
murder of a woman named Isobel (the bones), the recent death of the
playhouse owner, unwanted visions, a detective that hates and likes
her (both at once), and a whole bunch of suspects (at least one of
which wants her dead). It would be easier if Maddie's boyfriend, and
FBI agent, was in town more often lately. But at least he can be
reached (sometimes) via phone for research help.
It is up to a ghost, her best friend (Eve), and
an irritatingly handsome detective to keep Maddie alive this time
***** FOUR AND A HALF STARS! This is the
second Vintage Magic mystery. Though there is not as much danger
this time, the mystery will still test your wits. The backgrounds of
Maddie's friends and family members become more fleshed out as well.
It is great to learn a bit more about Mad's father, aunt, and Eve.
Looks like Maddie's FBI boyfriend may have some competition soon and
romance just may be in her dad's future too. For those wanting to
know more about Dante and Dolly, you will be pleased to see the pair
interact. (Yes, Dolly can see Dante in the shop too.) And you
simply HAVE to admit that a vintage shop owner with
psychometric ability just oozes over with possibilities! I am SO
ready for the next mystery! Brava! *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch
THE ROMANCE READERS CONNECTION
In LARCENY AND LACE, Annette Blair’s second novel in the Vintage Magic Mystery series, Madeira Cutler returns to Mystic, Connecticut, with intentions of setting up a vintage clothing shop sure to lure in collectors. With updates on the old town morgue complete, transforming it into an unusual showplace for her ever-growing collection, Madeira is ready to set up shop and draw in customers. When the quilt-wrapped bones of an unknown individual turns up in Madeira’s renovated building, she knows she'll need to use her special gifts in order to crack the case. Using her unusual talent of psychometry to “feel” fabric allows Madeira to figure out that the individual was murdered—but the person’s identity is unknown. Manipulating Werner and childhood friend and nemesis, without revealing the basis for her facts is difficult, but with the help of her friend Eve, her Aunt Fiona, and the unexpected help of her father, Madeira may be up to the task. As she gets closer to the truth, however, a set of fires, prowlers, and vandalism may close Madeira’s shop and the investigation for good.
LARCENY AND LACE delivers a follow-up tale that is every bit as satisfying as the first Vintage Magic novel, or perhaps may even be better than the original! Maddie’s knowledge of fashion is amazing and beyond this reader’s knowledge, but readers/collectors and fashion mavens will enjoy the effective employment of fashion terminology, clothing lines, designers, and more. Romance is hinted at, but never quite occurs in LARCENY AND LACE, and readers may start rooting for the “favorite” male to pair up with Maddie—my money is on Werner, who is both adorable and challenging to Maddie, instead of Nick, who appears to be comfortable with the way thing are in his on-again-off-again relationship with Maddie. Friendship and magic are essential to Maddie’s tale, and we see her slowly start to embrace the magical side of life…albeit a bit cautiously! Overall, LARCENY AND LACE is a fun whodunit that keeps readers guessing and ensnared…waiting (impatiently) for the next Vintage Magic tale. Reviewed by Angela Etheridge
Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews
Lace and Larceny: A Vintage Magic Mystery
In book two of Blair’s Vintage Magic series, our heroine Maddie is
moving home to open her new store, “Vintage Magic.”
With all the stress of renovating the old Underhill Funeral Chapel,
and stocking her new vintage clothing store, Maddie Cutler is
exhausted. But she’s determined to find the secret room that former
owner Dolly Sweet has told her about. However, a surprise awaits her
as while investigating a break-in at her new store, Maddie and her
best friend Eve discover a quilt-wrapped collection of human bones
in an old body drawer. And the bones are as vintage as Maddie's
stock, or so says resident ghost, Dante Underhill.
Maddie wonders if the break-in at her store could have something to
do with the argument she had witnessed earlier between the local
playhouse owner and a mysterious stranger. And when the theatre is
later burned, and the cranky old owner Broderick Sampson is found
dead, Maddie wonders if her intruder and the stranger could be one
in the same. Soon Maddie finds herself juggling getting her store
ready to open in time for Halloween and crime solving. Add to the
brew the local witch's costume ball, being held at her store, and
Maddie will be wishing she knew how to ride a broom right out of
Again, “Lace and Larceny” is another fast-paced novel that keeps the
reader entertained from the word go! Blair’s characters are warm and
endearing, and you feel as if you’re visiting old friends among the
pages. I love the side love story between old Mrs. Sweet and her
ghostly boyfriend, Dante. And I love that Blair includes Maddie’s
familiar, a cute little cat named Chakra, in the story. I look
forward to more stories of the Cutler family and Mystic, Connecticut
from this wonderful author.
"Warm, endearing and full of magic!"
Sharon Galligar Chance
Posted January 5, 2010
Mystery Woman Sleuth
Annette Blair's "Vintage Magic" series is one of
the most adorable, fascinating cozy mystery series I
have run across. And in her 2nd book of the series,
"LACE AND LARCENY", her heroine Maddie has decided
to move back home to fulfil her dream of opening her
store, "Vintage Magic."
With all the stress of renovating the old
Underhill Funeral Chapel, and stocking her new
vintage clothing store, Maddie Cutler is exhausted.
But she's determined to find the secret room that
former owner Dolly Sweet has told her about.
However, a surprise awaits her as while
investigating a break-in at her new store, Maddie
and her best friend Eve discover a quilt-wrapped
collection of human bones in an old body drawer. And
the bones are as vintage as Maddie's stock, or so
says resident ghost, Dante Underhill.
Maddie wonders if the break-in at her store could
have something to do with the argument she had
witnessed earlier between the local playhouse owner
and a mysterious stranger. And when the theatre is
later burned, and the cranky old owner Broderick
Sampson is found dead, Maddie wonders if her
intruder and the stranger could be one in the same.
Soon Maddie finds herself juggling getting her store
ready to open in time for Halloween and crime
solving. Add to the brew the local witch's costume
ball, being held at her store, and Maddie will be
wishing she knew how to ride a broom right out of
Again, "LARCENY AND LACE" is another fast-paced
novel that keeps the reader entertained from the
word go! Annette Blair's characters are warm and
endearing, and you feel as if you're visiting old
friends among the pages. I love the side love story
between old Mrs. Sweet and her ghostly boyfriend,
Dante. And I love that Blair includes Maddie's
familiar, a cute little cat named Chakra, in the
story. I look forward to more stories of the Cutler
family and Mystic, Connecticut from this wonderful