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Volume IV (current) Volume II, Nos. 1 through 10 Archives Volume I, Nos. 1 through 12 Archives
Prescott's Antiques: The Newsletter
A periodic newsletter for fans of Jane K. Cleland's
traditional mystery series featuring Josie Prescott
An Antiques Roadshow for Mystery Fans
Vol. III, No. 6
Jane's Apartment Featured in the New York Times

Check out the article!

"I think author Debby Baldwin did a wonderful job," Jane says.

Fireplace with mural
One comment Jane received from a fan named Marci Gleason said she thought it was a love letter to New York and to Jane and her husband. "That's very sweet," Jane says.

Here are two photos that show a crucial element about the apartment that wasn't covered in the article: Jane and Joe relaxing.

When you note that Louis is in both photos you learn something important about Louis!
Jane Relaxing
Jane relaxing with Louis

Joe Relaxing
Joe relaxing with Louis

For the story behind the article, see Jane's bloga snippet is in the right column.
Killer Keepsakes Excerpt Now Available

Killer Keepsakes
Killer Keepsakes, the fourth entry in the Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series, will be available in April 2009. Pre-order your copy now!

Here’s the synopsis: Josie’s cheerful and helpful assistant, Gretchen, who turned up unexpectedly just as Josie was setting up shop in New Hampshire, doesn’t show up for work one day. Surprise turns to alarm when a dead body is found in Gretchen’s home—and Gretchen is the prime suspect. Josie sets out to find the real killer, and using her knowledge of antiques, discovers long-buried secrets that help bring Gretchen safely home.

"I’m very pleased with this book," Jane said. "I hope readers enjoy it!"

An except is now available for you to read or listen to!

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Jane's Blog
Staging the Scene:
The Story behind
The NY Times Article
When my husband, Joe Stanko, and I learned that the New York Times was interested in featuring our apartment, one question came to our minds: Where in God’s name would we stash our stuff?

If you’ve never lived in New York City, you don’t know what I’m talking about. Space is always an issue in New York City apartments. When Joe first moved in here, I cleared out a drawer for him. Imagine my dismay when, like Oliver Twist, he asked for more. “More?” I repeated, certain I couldn’t possibly have heard him right. “Did I hear you say you wanted ‘More’?” For the record, over the years he has negotiated like a hard-nosed diplomat and now controls roughly 40 percent of available storage space for his own use.

Stashing the Stuff
The closet the day the Times was there

When I visit friends who live in the suburbs or in the country, people with “normal-sized” houses, I often stand in their kitchens and stare at their cupboards, experiencing what I call storage envy. This is a real and chronic condition. Joe has storage-envy, too, but manages his condition better than I do. Don’t get me wrong , I love living in Manhattan. Our apartment is beautiful. But there’s so little room to store things, it’s painful. Joe has said that if we bring in anything else, it’s.... [MORE]
Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?
Antiques and Collectibles:
Johnson's Dictionary

Johnson DictionaryPublished on April 15, 1755, Dr. Samuel Johnson's accomplishment—single-handedly writing the first English language dictionary—is astonishing, not only when you consider the scope of the project, but also the ancillary tasks associated with its achievement.

From Printing and the Mind of Man, edited by John Carter, Stanley Morison, et al: "Johnson introduced into English lexicography principles which had already been accepted in Europe but were quite novel in mid-eighteenth-century England. He codified the spelling of English words; he gave full and lucid definitions of their meanings (often entertainingly coloured by his High Church and Tory propensities); and he adduced extensive and apt illustrations from a wide range of authoritative writers... His dictionary [is the] most amazing, enduring and endearing one-man feat in the field of lexicography."

"With no real library at hand, Johnson wrote the definitions of over 40,000 words... illustrating the senses in which these words could be used by including about 114,000 quotations drawn from English writing in every field of learning during the two centuries from the middle of the Elizabethan period down to his own time," wrote W. Jackson Bate.

The first edition totaled 2,000 copies; it's estimated that more than 1,000 are extant. A copy in excellent condition would likely sell today for between $25,000 and $30,000.

Fun facts about other antiques and collectibles are available on Jane's website: www.janecleland.net

Also, want to pit your antiques appraisal skills against those of the professionals? Take the challenge, updated weekly, at What's It Worth? You Be the Judge.











Ask Jane

Here's the text of a series of e-mails
between Norwegian publisher,
Nils—Øivind Haagensen, and Jane

Q: Good afternoon, Ms. Cleland. My name is Nils-Øivind Haagensen, I'm a Norwegian publisher, I run the newly established house Flamme Forlag, and I would like to as you a simple yet seemingly impossible question: what is the good life? Besides writing murder mysteries obviously.

All the best,
Nils-Øivind Haagensen
www.flammeforlag.no

A: Hello Mr. Haagensen,   Your question sounds like it would inspire a wonderful conversation over a drink or two... but I must ask... why do you ask me? For publication? Out of intellectual curiosity? What's your answer?   With best regards,
 Jane
 
Dear Jane,

I ask mainly because I'm trying to find the answer. It's not for publication, but we do publish the answer writers and non-writers give on our homepage (www.flammeforlag.no). It's sort of a running column. So please answer. My answer? Not sure. I could make a list of things I love, sure, movies; sobriety, writing, poetry, novels, mysteries, travels, the ocean etc.

All the best,
Nils

Hi Nils,
Okay... here goes. What is the good life?

I don't think there's one universal answer. I think it's a matter of perception and self-awareness. (Although I think Hugh Heffner would argue the point; I infer that he's quite confident that he knows what makes for the good life!) For me, I'm more interested in process than content. I'm interested in why people prefer what they prefer, rather than merely learning what they prefer. For instance, why are blue and orange my favorite colors, whereas one of my best friends prefers purple and moss green and the other prefers red? This subject comes up a lot in my Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries. Personally, give me a roaring fire, my cats, my husband, a double Jack Daniels (no fruit, no ice), and the prospect of a steak dinner, and I'm a happy girl.

With best regards, Jane

Thank you so much, Jane. A superb answer. I commend you on your choice of both company and beverage. Lovely.

All the best,
Nils
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Prescott's Antiques: The Newsletter
A periodic newsletter for fans of Jane K. Cleland's
traditional mystery series featuring Josie Prescott
An Antiques Roadshow for Mystery Fans
Vol. III, No. 5
Josie's Hot

Killing Time

Here's the Russian version of Consigned to Death, the first Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery.

"I wouldn't say that this cover suggests New Hampshire, but at least Josie looks hot," Cristina Concepcion, Jane's agent, wrote.


A Nice Bouchercon Moment

Jane just attended the largest mystery conference, Bouchercon. It's an annual event attracting 1,500 to 2,000 mystery fans, authors, and publishing professionals.

This year, at a panel called, "MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: Books We Love," Crime Spree reporter and one of the organizers of Bouchercon 2010, Rae Helmsworth, selected the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries as her recommendation. "It's a real thrill!" Jane said.


Ask Jane

Q: What's the next Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery about?

A: Killer Keepsakes answers the mystery about Gretchen. Readers of the first Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, Consigned to Death, will recall that Gretchen shows up on her door eager to work. In all the books, Gretchen deftly avoids revealing her background.

In Killer Keepsakes, Gretchen doesn't return from a two week Hawaiian vacation—and when Josie goes to her apartment to check on her, she finds a dead man—a stranger—on Gretchen's couch. Using her knowledge of antiques, Josie identifies the stranger and uncovers the secrets Gretchen's kept hidden for years—and helps bring her safely home.

An excerpt will be posted soon. In the meantime, have you read (or listened to) the excerpt from Antiques to Die For.


Jane's Blog

Jane's Favorite Building in New York

When I stand on my balcony, I can see the United Nations, the East River, the famous Pepsi sign, and Egypt, Nigeria, and Kuwait's missions to the U.N. But most of the time, that's not where I look. My attention is usually fixed on one of the United Nations Plaza buildings. It's my favorite building in New York.

UN PLaza

Look at the top. Doesn't it appear to be paper thin? Isn't that astonishing? How do architects and builders do that? What kind of mind even conceives such a thing?

I like looking at all sorts of buildings from grand old courthouses where the size and grandeur of the building lends gravitas to the proceedings going on inside to.... [MORE]

Silver Light
Bonny, a reader of the Josie Prescott series, sent me this bookmark.
Isn't this gorgeous?
(Click the image above to see an enlargement.)
Here's Bonny's letter... and here's my response.
Letter from Bonny
Jane's Reply:
Thank you SO much, Bonny. WOW! What an incredibly thoughtful gift! It's beautiful.

I like the toast, too, and I wrote it as a kind of homage to Ed McBain (Evan Hunter). In his 87th precinct stories, the character, Eileen, often toasts, "Here's to golden days and purple nights." (My version is in all of the books -- and all the short stories, too! Looks like Bonny missed one!)

As to Josie's father's sayings... that's a compilation of wisdom I've garnered from my mom, my dad, and lessons I've learned myself in the school of hard knocks.

Thanks again, Bonny.

Jane

Antiques Collecting Fact: Did You Know?
Antiques and Collectibles: Barbie—the World's Most Popular Doll
Barbie DollBarbie, the first-ever mass produced teenage doll, was launched in 1959 at the American Toy Fair in New York City. She was an immediate hit and is, today, one of the nation's most recognized brands.

There are plenty of fake Barbie's on the market. Barbie's are stamped on the bottom—but the date is the patent stamp, not the date of manufacture.

Clues to early production include Barbie's hairstyle. (Barbie wore a ponytail from 1959 to 1964.)

Barbie BoxA Barbie in her original orange box with an original outfit or two, all in mint condition, would likely sell at auction for about $6,000, maybe more.

Fun facts about other antiques and collectibles are available on Jane's website: www.janecleland.net.

Also, want to pit your antiques appraisal skills against those of the professionals? Take the challenge, updated weekly, at What's It Worth? You Be the Judge.
Large Print U.K. Version of
Antiques to Die For

Antiques to Die For

"I always find it fascinating to see different artists’ visions for the book covers. I love the colors in this one," Jane says.

View my blogs, friends, comments, etc. on your favorite blogging site:

bullet Crimespace
bullet MySpace
bullet Jane on You Tube
bullet
the trailer for Antiques to Die For
bullet
Jane reading an Excerpt from Deadly Appraisal
bullet
Jane speaking about
the writing process

To make sure you receive the next issue
(so your spam blocker doesn't block it),
add this to your address book or white list:
"Jane_K._Cleland@mail.vresp.com"
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Prescott's Antiques: The Newsletter
A periodic newsletter for fans of Jane K. Cleland's
traditional mystery series featuring Josie Prescott
An Antiques Roadshow for Mystery Fans
Vol. III, No. 4
Alfred Hitchock
Mystery Magazine

to feature a Josie Short Story, Killing Time

Killing Time

Killing Time, the first Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery short story, is Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine's November cover story. The art shows the New Hampshire coastal setting. "I think it's beautiful," Jane said. "Okay, maybe they don't have starfish and pink sand in New Hampshire, but still... isn't it beautiful?"  Read or listen to Jane read an excerpt or read the entire story in the November issue of the magazine.

"One thing that's sort of fun," Jane said, "is that this is the first artist's rendering of Josie I've seen! I'd love to hear what readers think. Does this look like your image of Josie?" (Click to view the image.)

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine is one of the premier mystery publications in the world.
Good Reviews Keep Coming

Dawn Dowdle
www.mysteryloverscorner.com

Killer Keepsakes... The author does a great job of intertwining the antiques information and the mystery plot. There are plenty of twists and suspects to keep the reader guessing. I highly recommend this book....


Carine Nadel
www.fabulously40.com

...What makes the author's main character, Josie Prescott , interesting is that she's a multi-talented, strong woman who knows how to get the most out of her own personality — much like the author.... Cleland throws in some very colorful employees, a smart but sarcastic reporter, a tough female police officer and a creepy "secret admirer," who first stalked Rosalie and then attaches him/herself to Josie. All that Cleland writes and describes enhances the fun and interest in reading Antiques to Die For....


Harriet Klausner
BookCrossings.com

...The third cozy Josie Prescott amateur sleuth cozy (see CONSIGNED TO DEATH and DEADLY APPRAISAL) is a delightful New England mystery that interweaves antiquing tidbits into a fine whodunit. Josie is tough on the outside, but soft as mush inside as she cares for Paige while also seeking the culprit. The large ensemble augments the tale with depth into the world of antiques, New Hampshire, or murder....


Diana Vickery
Mystery News, June/July, 2008
Also: www.cozylibrary.com

...The quality of Ms. Cleland's writing and storytelling reminds me of Susan Wittig Albert and Katherine Hall Page, two of my all-time favorite mystery authors....

A downloadable podcast of the excerpt is available as well as a text version.

See more reviews, too!

Martini Glasses
Give-away

Antiques to Die For"To celebrate the upcoming publication of the first Josie short story, Killing Time, in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, I decided to give away some martini glasses." Jane says, "Josie is a martini girl!"

(Click the image to see an enlargement.)

Three lucky winners will each receive a pair of martini glasses! To enter, click here.
The Garden is Lush

Jane's BLOG

As many of you know, I love to garden. I'm not a master gardener like Rosemary Harris, nor am I even a weekend gardener. I put flowers in the window boxes that line my terrace and watch them grow.

Jane's Garden

I change them three or four times a year. In the summer, I try and grow them tall. My husband and I like to sit outside and have a cocktail or two as the sun goes down, and the tall grasses and thickly growing coleus plants provide an illusion of privacy.

You'll note that there's no furniture on the terrace. That's because the terrace is, at 33 inches wide, too narrow for me to walk around it to say, oh, water my plants. Each evening when we decide to go outside, we do a daisy-chain of ... [MORE]


Ask Jane

Q. What are you working on now?

A: In addition to finishing up the revision of Killer Keepsakes, I've finished a draft of a young adult mystery. I'm also thinking about the thriller that I've been wrestling with for about a year and a half. I got off track from my original idea... on the one hand, I'm thinking that maybe I should go back to the basics. On the other hand, when I started to write it, the plot evolved differently than I expected—it's tough to know. I'll keep you posted!

Q: You're the chair of the literary awards for the Wolfe Pack. What's involved in that job?

A: The Wolfe Pack, the literary society that celebrates all things Nero Wolfe and Rex Stout, gives out two awards each year, the Nero for Best Novel and the Black Orchid Novella Award (BONA), in partnership with Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

Here's an overview:

Only publishers can submit entries for the Nero—three per imprint. Authors can submit their BONA entries directly.

Detailed rules for both the Nero and the BONA are available on the Wolfe Pack's website: www.nerowolfe.org.


View my blogs, friends, comments, etc. on your favorite blogging site:

bullet Crimespace
bullet MySpace
bullet Jane on You Tube
bullet
the trailer for Antiques to Die For
bullet
Jane reading an Excerpt from Deadly Appraisal
bullet
Jane speaking about
the writing process)
Unpublished Fact
About Josie

WaitressJosie used to work as a cocktail waitress. "It was between my junior and senior years in college. I liked to go to the beach during the day, so this was a job I could do in the evenings. The worst part was the uniform."

" No," Josie says, "that’s not me. Our uniforms weren’t nearly so cute."
Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?
Antiques and Collectibles:

In Real Estate It's All About Location... in Outdoor Statues
It's All About Condition

These unusual statues show reclining lions in opposing positions. Sized at 17" high x 22" wide, they were created to welcome guests or guard a garden path. Probably they were made in England in the mid-19th century. A large part of their value derives from their condition. They're unchipped, uncracked, and they feature a lovely weathered appearance, suggesting they've had a long and productive past.

At auction, they would likely fetch between $6,500 and $7,000.

Stone Lions

Fun facts about other antiques and collectibles are available on Jane's website: www.janecleland.net.

Also, want to pit your antiques appraisal skills against those of the professionals? Take the challenge, updated weekly, at What's It Worth? You Be the Judge.


Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom

Roast Orange Chicken

This recipe, Roast Orange Chicken is medium-complicated. "It's beautiful," her mom wrote in her hand-written cookbook, "and delicious, but be careful when you ignite the liqueur!"

Roast Orange Chicken

The complex flavors come from the combination of orange, onion, and bay leaves. The sauce adds additional complexity by combining three flavors of orange—freshly squeezed juice, zest, and liqueur.

To give you an idea of what it would taste like, here's the ingredient listing:

  • 5-6 pound roasting chicken
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced thinly
  • 6 large oranges (1 unpeeled, cut into chunks; 2 peeled, white membrane removed, and sliced (reserve the peel for zesting — see the recipe); 3 for juicing — see the recipe)
  • 6 fresh bay leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 4 tabs butter
  • ½ tsp orange zest
  • ½ c. orange juice
  • ¼ c. orange flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec

Doesn't it sound yummy? Here's the recipe. Other favorite recipes from Josie's mom are available, too.

To make sure you receive the next issue
(so your spam blocker doesn't block it),
add this to your address book or white list:
"Jane_K._Cleland@mail.vresp.com"
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Prescott's Antiques: The Newsletter
A periodic newsletter for fans of Jane K. Cleland's
traditional mystery series featuring Josie Prescott
An Antiques Roadshow for Mystery Fans
Vol. III, No. 3
Killer Keepsakes Cover Art
Killer Keepsakes

"We want to elevate the look," St. Martin's Minotaur publisher, Andrew Martin, told Jane. Jane asks, "Isn't it gorgeous?"

Killer Keepsakes will be out in April 2009. Excerpts of the other Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries are available now.


Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom

Summer Salad

 
Mix together:
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 mango, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
2 beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
1 tab parsley, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
 
Set aside.
 
For the dressing:
1 tab pureed roasted shallots
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tab sparkling water
1 tab Dijon mustard
½ tab minced garlic
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mango Salad 1. Place the shallots, mustard, and garlic in a medium bowl.
2. Add half of the vinegar.
3. Add the oil in a steady stream, whisking continually, until the dressing starts to thicken.
4. Add the remaining vinegar and whisk in the rest of the oil.
5. Add the sparkling water.
6. Taste and check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired.
7. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, 1 tab at a time, then toss well, until all vegetables are well coated, but not soggy.
 
Josie's mom said the secret to salads is to, "Dress less and toss more!"

Jane on You Tube

bullet
the trailer for Antiques to Die For
bullet
Jane reading an Excerpt from Deadly Appraisal
bullet
Jane speaking about
the writing process)

To make sure you receive the next issue
(so your spam blocker doesn't block it),
add this to your address book or white list:
"Jane_K._Cleland@mail.vresp.com"
Deadly Appraisal
Wins the David:
Best Novel 2007
Antiques to Die For

"I was thrilled—so proud and happy," Jane said when Deadly Appraisal won the David, an annual award for Best Mystery Novel given by attendees at the Deadly Ink Mystery Conference.


Jane's Guest of Honor Interview:
Cool Questions

As the guest of honor at this year's Deadly Ink Mystery Conference, I was interviewed by author Cheryl Solimini. Here are Cheryl's way cool questions and my answers.

1. What is your favorite word?
I have two: haptic and purl. Haptic is a scientific term having to do with tactile sensitivity... but a friend and I have adopted it to mean touchable, as in, "Oh, baby, he's haptic." Purl is a lovely word for a lovely sound—it is the sound a bubbling brook makes.

2. What is your least favorite word?
No. Don't tell me no. If it requires work, let's roll up our sleeves and make it happen, but I hate hearing no.

3. What is your favorite word that sounds like a curse word but isn't?
I don't have one... but I do have a word that sounds vulgar and isn't. I lived in Los Angeles for awhile and was shocked to discover a major thoroughfare named Sepulveda Boulevard. Parents, don't let your children play on Sepulveda.

4. What sound or noise do you love?
Two come to mind. A kitty purring... an intimate sound of approval and affection. You can't make a cat purr, and you can only hear it if you're close by. Also, my husband .... [MORE]


Ask Your Librarian

Antiques to Die For is available in a large print edition, most commonly stocked by libraries. If you would prefer to read a larger font, ask your librarian if they have it. If not, ask them to acquire it. Thanks!

Antiques to Die For

A downloadable podcast of the excerpt is available as well as a text version.


View my blogs, friends, comments, etc. on your favorite blogging site:

bullet Crimespace
bullet MySpace
Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?
Antiques and Collectibles:
Hannah Barlow Art Pottery
Shoots Up in Value

Hannah Barlow and her sister Florence, produced Art Pottery for Royal Doulton's London factory for nearly forty years. Hannah, known for her designs featuring British flora and birds, retired in 1913.

Hannah sketched her design and then incised it into the wet clay. This process was expensive and time-consuming. She marked all her wares with a distinctive monogram.

In recent years, her objects have been selling for $4,000 and up.

Hannah Barlow Vase

Fun facts about other antiques and collectibles are available on Jane's website

Also, want to pit your antiques appraisal skills against those of the professionals? Take the challenge, updated weekly, at What's It Worth? You Be the Judge.


Ask Jane

Q: You gave two keynote speeches in the last week or so. What do you speak about?

A: I customize every speech for every audience. For instance, at this year's New Jersey Association of Library Assistants, I spoke on Killer Antiques, but integrated their theme—Staying Motivated Amidst Change.

Jane Speaking

Here's a PDF of my mystery-related keynotes.

I also deliver business communications and personal development keynotes.

If your group is looking for a keynote speaker, please contact Jane directly.


Enter the MONTHLY DRAWING!

Enter Jane's monthly drawing to win an autographed copy of a Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery. PLUS, the lucky winner will receive two Josie Prescott enscribed martini glasses.

Free Subscription monthly drawingAlready subscribed?
Enter the Monthly Drawing!
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Prescott's Antiques: The Newsletter

A periodic newsletter for fans of Jane K. Cleland's
traditional mystery series featuring Josie Prescott

An Antiques Roadshow for Mystery Fans
Vol. III, No.2

Night Stars
Jane's Trying Her Hand
at a Thriller

Jane had the opportunity to ask the multiple award winning (including being a Nero-finalist) author, Jan Burke, what it takes to write a great thriller.

Starry Night

In addition to the obvious—engaging, multi-layered characters; exotic or unusual setting; complex, action-oriented plot; pitch-perfect dialogue; and irresistible prose, Jan listed four structural components that great thrillers share. Jan's points in Jane's words:

  1. the consequences of failure must be global
  2. the consequences of failure must be personal
  3. the action has to be against a fast-ticking clock
  4. the villain must be really, really, really evil

"Every sub-genre of fiction has its own structural standards. Every time I aim for a new project, I have a boat load to learn and this is no exception. I've been working on the synopsis for more than a year, and I'm not done yet," Jane says. "I'm nothing if not persistent."


New Hampshire Public TV Auction

Last year, Jane's donation of sets of the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries sold for over estimate!

Help support their stellar programming by participating in this year's auction!


Antiques to Die For
"Fantastic and Fascinating"

Antiques to Die For"A fascinating look at the behind-the- scenes goings-on in the antique business, Cleland's novel combines the best of mystery and romance to bring her readers a charming tale that entertains as well as educates. Without a doubt, ANTIQUES TO DIE FOR is a rare find and definitely worth the bid."
Jen Vido, FreshFiction.com

" This is a fantastic and fascinating third series installment...."
Mystery Lovers Bookshop

"This is a series antiques buffs will love, and one that those who don't know a Queen Anne secretary from a majolica pitcher will appreciate." –Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch's Book Bag blog

"With great dialogue and description, a strong but insecure heroine, and enough inside info about Josie's business to satisfy an Antiques Roadshow fan—what's not to like?" —Mystery News

Compulsively readable and definitely recommended.... 
Myshelf.com


Ask Jane

Q: I believe that you're on tour right now... do you enjoy it?

A: I love it! I have always enjoyed traveling, and on a book tour you get the extra benefit of meeting booksellers, librarians, and readers—three of my favorite groups of people! What a great experience it's been!

If I'm coming to your neck of the woods, I hope you'll come by and say howdy! My tour schedule is on my website.

Wes Shines in
Antiques to Die For
Antiques to Die For

Wes Smith, the eager-beaver cub reporter for the Seacoast Star returns once again to help and irritate Josie in equal parts. Here's an excerpt from Antiques to Die For:

"I pulled into the Portsmouth Diner's parking lot just before ten and was settled in a booth near the back when Wes came in.

"You first," Wes said once as soon as he slid into the banquette.

"Hi, Wes. How are you?"

"Good, good. Whatcha got?"

"I'm fine, thanks."

"Ha, ha. So?" he asked, wiggling his fingers to speed me up.

I sighed. Wes was, as my mother always said about people who didn't adhere to the standards of common civility, "something like something I don't know."

"Can you find out if and how someone died for me?" I asked.

"Sure. Who died and why do you want to know how?"

"It's in connection—" I broke off as the waitress arrived.

I ordered coffee and a fruit salad, and shook my head as Wes ordered a double side order of bacon and a Coke.

"What kind of breakfast is that?"

"What do you mean?" Wes asked, surprised.

"Bacon and Coke?"

He shrugged. "I like bacon and coke."

"God, Wes."

"Forget what I eat. Tell me about the dead guy," he said.

I sighed, but didn't comment further. "As part of an appraisal I'm working on, I've run into... well, a situation.... I'm following a ‘something's fishy's hunch." I described the circumstances...."

Please ask your librarian for Antiques to Die For or buy your copy now.!


Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom

If food lacks flavor, many people's first thought is to add salt. Josie's mom said to consider adding acid first.

Lemon juice, onion juice, lime juice, and vinegars of various flavors, add complexity that can't be replicated with salt.

limes

In potato salad, for example, Josie's mom's secret ingredient is lime juice.

potatoe salad

Several recipes from Josie's mom are on Jane's website.

Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?

Antiques and Collectibles:
Vintage Wooden Objects
Hold Their Value

Collectors love the rich patina that comes from the daily use of essential wooden objects—especially those from the dairy.

Antique Butter Stamp

Butter paddles, butter stamps, and milking pails, for example, have enduring appeal—and are highly affordable.

The primitive-floral design in the butter stamp shown above, for instance, might sell for as little as $50.

Animal and wheat-sheaf butter stamp designs are rarer, and thus command a higher price.

Fun facts about other antiques and collectibles are available on Jane's website: www.janecleland.net

Also, want to pit your antiques appraisal skills against those of the professionals? Take the challenge, updated weekly, at What's It Worth? You Be the Judge.


What Kind of Horse Are You?

An excerpt from
Jane's latest Blog

horses

I'm not a clothes horse. I select outfits for comfort, not style. In other words, I'm a comfort horse.

When I was twelve, my father told me that he would gladly pay for any and all beauty treatments. He liked his women well-kempt. My mother was more of a comfort-first sort of gal, so this was his way of suggesting that I try a different approach. From that unspoken—and to be fair, perhaps, unintended—message, I learned an important lesson—comfort horses aren't as valued by men as beauty horses.

Be that as it may, and not to belabor a metaphor, but it didn't take me long to learn that for me at least, it's impossible to change horses midstream. A comfort horse I was, and a comfort horse I am. Sorry, Dad.

One of my nephews tells me he's a restaurant horse. If he has extra cash, he spends it on fine dining. A writer friend of my acquaintance.... [MORE]


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Prescott's Antiques: The Newsletter

A periodic newsletter for fans of Jane K. Cleland's
traditional mystery series featuring Josie Prescott

An Antiques Roadshow for Mystery Fans
Vol. III, No.1

Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?

Antiques and Collectibles:
Ten Ways to Tell if You've Been Had

In my last newsletter, I reviewed five tips to help you ensure that the seller is on the up-and-up. Here are five tips from Josie to help you assess objects.

  1. Keyhole coverLook at details. Inspecting joints (i.e., dovetails vs. nails.); styles of handles or pulls (and look inside drawers to spot extra holes, a telltale sign of replacement); and accessories (i.e., escutcheons and locks are fairly easy to date) help authenticate original pieces.
  2. meissen-Mark-Augustus-RexExamine signatures. Marks, labels, and/or numbering patterns help reveal origins. (i.e., Frederick Remington sculptures, for instance, are among the most faked objects in the world. Very often, reproductions bear a number in the "x/y format," 45/100, for example, indicating that this piece is the forty-fifth of 100 units that were produced; however, Remington sculptures weren't limited editions. As long as orders were placed, sculptures were cast. A genuine Remington would therefore only be labeled "45.")
  3. Consider condition. In most cases, you should expect to see normal wear and tear. Repairs, repainting, and other improvements reduce value. Also, look at the back- and undersides of furniture. They should appear clean and untouched. Stick a straight pin into a wormhole. If it's a fake (created to replicate an antique's look, for example), the pin will go straight down. Genuine wormholes aren't straight—they follow the winding path a worm actually takes.
  4. Evaluate materials. Starting in the late 1600s, brass was commonly used in cabinet handles; before then, most were made of iron. Thus if you're told that a piece of furniture with brass handles dates from the early 1600, in all probability, either the handles have been replaced or the object has been misdated.
  5. Know trends. Back in the 1980s, cookie jars were a popular collectible. Now, they're less fashionable. Expect to pay more for objects currently in vogue.

"And don't forget to trust your gut and use common sense," Josie adds. "If an offer sounds too good to be true, probably, it is."


Ask Your Librarian    
 
Please borrow Antiques to Die For from your local library. If they don't have it, ask them to acquire it! Tell them how much you enjoy the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries. And if you happen to find yourself in another library, not your own, as so many of us readers do, please mention how much you enjoy the series to the librarians there, too!

Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom

flowers"Sprinkle cinnamon on a toasted English muffin. Yum! You don't need butter!"


Jane on You Tube

bullet
the trailer for Antiques to Die For
bullet
Jane reading an Excerpt from Deadly Appraisal
bullet
Jane speaking about
the writing process)

Jane's Blog Tour

Jane's publisher, St. Martin's Minotaur, has invited Jane to blog on their site all week during her publication week. You're welcome to pop over and read her essays starting on Monday, April 14th. The essay titles are:

  1. The Words of Your Father (and Mother) Live On
  2. An Antique is Worth What Someone Will Pay For It—Or Is it?
  3. Lessons I Learned in a Trash Can
  4. The Origin of Ideas
  5. Libraries and Librarians
  6. The Anatomy of Persuasion
  7. A Moss Garden Grows in Manhattan

On April 15th, Jane is the guest blogger on FreshFiction.com.

On April 18th,  Jane is the guest blogger on The Stiletto Gang. You can read all about producing her book trailer.    


Antiques to Die For
More Great Reviews

Myshelf.com

"...This was a fast reading, fascinating story, full of suspense and well rounded characters you really care about. It's also nicely garnished with interesting information about the antiques business without any feeling that you're being educated rather than entertained. Compulsively readable and definitely recommended, I'm already looking forward to the next in this series."


Antiques to Die For
(click on the cover to read or hear the excerpt)

Lesa Holstine, Lesa's Book Critiques

"... As always, Cleland includes intriguing stories about antiques, as part of the story of Prescott's Antiques and Auction. There's a side story about Whistler's palette that adds interest to Josie's business. The employees of the auction house are also an enjoyable element in Cleland's books.

Josie has grown in the course of the books, and Jane K. Cleland has grown as an author. Josie's fear was palpable in Antiques to Die For. Cleland made the reader feel that fear with sentences such as, 'And always one thought, terrifying in its intensity and impossible to dispel - there was a killer on the loose.'"


Maggie Mason, Deadly Pleasures Magazine

"Always filled with antique lore, this is a nice entry of a series I find hard to believe only consists of three books.  I feel like I've learned so much about the antique business, I've surely read more than three books."


Antiques to Die For selected as a Fresh Pick at FreshFiction.com for April 13. The Fresh Pick is chosen by a group of readers, not purchased. A Fresh Pick is chosen because of its appeal to readers. Fresh Fiction says, "we like to share our diverse tastes in reading and hope other readers will give it a try."


Ask Jane:

Q: Which of the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries is your favorite?

A: The one I'm writing now! I fall in love with the stories as I work on them. I love spending time with Josie!

To make sure you receive the next issue
(so your spam blocker doesn't block it),
add this to your address book or white list:
"Jane_K._Cleland@mail.vresp.com"

You're Invited to the
Launch Party!


Guavatinis for All!

Thursday, April 17, 7pm
Partners & Crime, NYC
Click for full details!

Who Should Play Josie
in the Movies?

Movie CameraJane is challenging you to decide! Tell her who you think should play the characters and enter for a chance to win a copy of Antiques to Die For AND two Josie Prescott martini glasses? Read all about it at My Book, the Movie.


More Free Drawings

Crimespree Magazine and St. Martin's Minotaur are offering a free copy of ANTIQUES TO DIE FOR to the winner of their Monthly Drawing. To enter:

CrimeSpree Magazine drawing


THE BOOKBITCH.COM

Enter to win one of five copies of Antiques to Die For that are up for grabs in April. Hurry, contest ends 4/30/08.


Tales of the Teapot

I Shall NOt Want

Julia Spencer-Fleming has interviewed all of this year's Agatha nominees for Best Novel.

She also interviewed a few other authors—the authors who are her summer read picks. Antiques to Die For is one of her picks! You can read the interview on Jane's site on Friday, April 25!

Also, enter Jane's Monthly Drawing to win an ARC (Advance Review Copy) of Julia's new book, I Shall Not Want, along with one of Jane's books and two Josie Prescott martini glasses.


Gravitas for Cozy Gals

An excerpt from
Jane's latest Blog

At the recent mystery conference, Left Coast Crime, I moderated a panel entitled, "What's My Niche? Cozies With a Theme." As the author of the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries, that topic is right up my alley.

My panel was intended to include four authors of themed-cozy mysteries, but one fell ill, and one had a day job, business emergency, so I was left with only two authors: Rosemary Harris and Cricket McRae. Don't get me wrong—these two are fabulous—they're terrific writers, engaging speakers, and all around nice gals... but two participants does not a panel make.

Enter Edgar nominee, Reed Farrel Coleman, who writes gritty New York noir sorts of mysteries. I told him about the situation and he jumped in, offering.... [MORE]

View my blogs, friends, comments, etc. on your favorite blogging site:

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© 2005— Jane K. Cleland

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April 28, 2014 16:28
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