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Retro Reading: Larceny and Lace by Annette Blair


It's really rare that I'll gush over a series, but I'm really gushing over this one.

At first, I was afraid that I wouldn't like it since it started off a little shaky, but by the time I had finished the first installment, I was hooked.

As the second installment begins, Madeira "Maddie" Cutler has finally quit her job as a fashion designer in New York and is on her way home to Mystick Falls, Connecticut, where she's getting ready to open up her vintage clothing store.

Since she's been busy working in New York, her father has been overseeing the remodel and on her way home, she decides to stop at the store to see how everything has progressed.

With Halloween fast approaching, she goes into the store and hears a noise upstairs so she goes to investigate. Her resident ghost, Dante Underhill, pops up and tells her that he couldn't tell who the intruder was.

A few minutes later, Maddie's best friend, Eve Meyers, comes to the shop and while a few other people come to the shop, they notice that the community playhouse is on fire across the street.

Unfortunately, Broderick Sampson doesn't survive the fire and when his body is taken away, Maddie goes back to the shop and the playhouse catches fire again threatening her building.

She decides to stay at the building along with Detective Lytton Werner.

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Due to exhaustion, Maddie falls asleep and Werner takes her home where she's not sure if she's dreaming or not.

With the playhouse destroyed, Maddie's Aunt Fiona needs a place to hold a fundraiser and they decide to hold it at Maddie's shop. She thinks it would be perfect since the shop was going to open on Halloween.

Much of the clothing that Maddie receives for the store has been through donations and with her psychometric talents emerging, she's afraid to touch them but when she does, she finds herself in yet again another murder investigation.

While this installment is really good, the characters have seemed to have found themselves right away and I don't know why, but the setting almost has a calming effect. Maddie's shop seems like it's a place that you'd want to visit (if it were real) and the town of Mystick Falls, even though fictional, is right outside the real town of Mystic.

The humor that Blair injects isn't as forced like it is in the first few chapters of the debut.

My only problem with the book(s) so far, has been the layout of it.

It does get confusing when the scenes change, especially when Maddie has a vision.

Overall, the excitement level hasn't changed and I wouldn't be surprised if you finish this in one sitting.

I wouldn't recommend that you start reading at night, because you will be up all night!

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