“Mystery," Manhattan, Muddlements and Murder Collide With the World of Comic Books”
(Wednesday, August 27, 2014)
Reviewer: Nancy Narma
In this 8th Trash & Treasures Mystery, (which starts with chapter 2—don’t ask, you’ll understand when you read it) we’re back in sometimes sleepy, sometimes not, Serenity, Iowa with 32yr. old divorcee, Brandy Borne, her 70 something, bi-polar, widowed Mother, Vivian, and Brandy’s sweet and blind constant companion/Shih-tzu, Sushi. When you get over laughing about the strange disappearance of Aunt Olive, you’ll accompany the dynamic duo on a trip to New York City and the Manhattan-based, Bufford-organized, comic book convention. Their mission you ask? It is to sell a rare Superman drawing they acquired through a storage unit auction. Getting to their hotel alone is no easy task—especially for Brandy and Vivian, who is taking no chances and has herself handcuffed to a briefcase containing the valuable sketch. They arrive at the convention center and are greeted by convention organizer Tommy Bufford and his Goth aficionado/assistant, Violet. It isn’t long after the meet and greet, that Brandy overhears an altercation between Tommy and the co-founder of the now-defunct Manhattan Comic Convention, Gino Moretti. Lots of warring personalities are up for the coveted “Buff Awards” which make this convention even more chaotic with blond, Danish heartthrob, Eric Johansson and veteran comic book writer Harlan Thompson vying for the best writer award. After sitting through the opening ceremony in the gold ballroom, the ladies really wanted to head to their suite and their cozy beds, but the convention center’s elevators were packed with throngs in line awaiting the next one, so, they decided to use a service elevator instead. Imagine their shock, when, the door slides open revealing the motionless body of none other than Tommy Bufford with a gold Buff award pen sticking out of his chest! Head of hotel security, Robert Sipcowski and Detective Tony Cassato’s (Brandy’s Boyfriend) Brother, Sal are called in to investigate the case. Who would want Tommy dead? Perhaps it could be the “Ready for revenge”, Gino Moretti? Or how about “I will win the writer’s award at any cost” Eric Johansson? Could it be special “Fan Guest”, Brad Webster? The list of suspects grows long and, of course, Brandy and Vivian are right in the thick of things, sleuthing caps askew and all, creating more than one headache for the investigators. You’ll love the hysterical passages about Vivian’s “Taming of the mob”, not to mention the “Don” himself, and you may join me in figuring we could do without the “Conversations” between Vivian and the Editor. Will Ashley ever be reunited with her Grandmother, Vivian? Will Brandy and Tony be able to continue their romance? Was the autographed Superman sketch finally sold? If you are new to the “Trash and Treasures Mysteries, you’ll be a bit confused about the tangled family ties roping in Vivian, Brandy, and Peggy Sue—but, not to worry, you’ll get it all unwound in time—and it won’t bother your enjoyment of the story—just make you want to read the other seven. This is a fast, easy cozy with many humorous parts that any diehard cozy lover will enjoy. Don’t miss it!