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Ruby Red Herring: An Avery Ayers Antique Mystery

di Tracy Gardner

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542,470,832 (4.5)4
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Ruby Red Herring by Tracy Gardner is the debut of An Avery Ayers Antique Mystery series. I enjoyed this stimulating new cozy mystery. Avery Ayers and her sister, Tilly lost their parents in an auto accident a year ago. Their eccentric Aunt Midge moved in with them along with her dog, Halston. Avery began working at her parent’s business, Antiquities & Artifacts Appraised. Their latest assignment has the company appraising a rare ruby that could link to a dragon medallion currently on display at the museum. Before Avery can delve into the job, she receives a threatening note. This is just the beginning of strange incidents and threats. Avery has no intention of backing off the case. She is going to get answers and resolve this matter once and for all. I thought Ruby Red Herring was well-written with developed characters. The author takes the time to introduce our main characters and set the stage for the series. I like Avery, Tilly, and Aunt Midge. They are a close-knit unit. We get to spend time in their home as they go about their lives. Aunt Midge and Tilly provide humor and lightness. There is also Micah, Sir Robert, Art Smith, and Halston, Aunt Midge’s Afghan hound. I am glad the author gave us the characters backstory. The mystery was fascinating and complex. It involves lies, intrigue, threats, a large ruby, and murder. There was plenty of action that kept propelling the story forward toward the conclusion. I had a good time solving this whodunit (I love a challenging mystery). I like how everything tied together along with the satisfying conclusion. It was interesting learning about the appraisal process. It is explained in an easy-to-understand manner. I like how the author addressed Avery’s mental health issues after the death of her parents. She was grief stricken and felt their death was her fault. Avery also has anger management issues. She visits a therapist who gives her coping techniques. I could certainly understand her pain over her parents’ death and the feelings of guilt. Ruby Red Herring is an intriguing cozy mystery with a stimulating stone, terrifying threats, cryptic clues, a cherished canine, an energetic teen, an affectionate aunt, and a murdered man. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Jun 17, 2021 |
Twenty-five-year-old Avery Ayres has taken over the family's Antiquities & Artifacts Appraised after her parents' death in a car accident the previous year. She is dividing her time between the family home in Lilac Grove with her younger sister Tilly and her Aunt Midge who lives with them and the shop in Manhattan. Luckily, she still has her parents' partners Sir Robert and Micah.

They are hired by the Museum of Antiquities for analyze and authenticate a ruby turned up by a mysterious collector. It is hoped that the ruby is the missing eye of the Emperor's Twins, the most prized possession of the museum, and the last artifact vetted by her parents before their death. They are cautiously optimistic that the ruby is the missing piece of the Emperor's Twins which would be quite a coup for the museum.

But there are questions... The collector's story is a little hard to believe and his reclusiveness raises a lot of questions too. A note supposedly from her deceased father tells her to back off from the assignment which only brings the grief Avery, Tilly and Aunt Midge are still feeling back to the forefront of their minds. Tilly really wants to believe her father is still alive despite the surgeon telling them that he didn't survive his injuries.

Their house is broken into and some documentation about the Emperor's Twins is almost the only thing missing. When a similar break-in occurs at the museum wherein their copy of the documentation also goes missing, Avery is led to Security Guard/local cop Art Smith by another anonymous note who is supposed to be an ally. Then Micah is shot and his house is searched with the documentation on the Emperor's Twins stolen.

The story was well-written. The characters were interesting. I especially liked Avery who was still dealing with anger issues and seeing a therapist after her parents' deaths. It looks like Art Smith could be a love interest in later books that are forecast for this series though Avery isn't ready for any new relationship yet. There were a number of suspects and all were realistic and nicely shady. ( )
  kmartin802 | May 7, 2021 |
This was an absolutely sensational start to a new series!

I usually expect new series to be a bit slow at the beginning because of the need to introduce the characters and their relationships to each other, and there could have been a bit more background at the start, but by the time you are thoroughly involved in the multiple mysteries, the background has been peppered throughout and you have no problems connecting the dots if you are paying attention.

Avery Ayers parents were killed in an auto accident the previous year and now she is not only her sister's guardian but also in charge at the family business, Antiquities & Artifacts Appraised. Avery is starting a new appraisal project which is very high profile, and with it has comes threats, mysterious notes, break-ins, and murder. What does the Xiang Dynasty bejeweled dragon medallion have to do with this appraisal and possibly her parents death?

ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL! I couldn't put it down! ( )
  cyderry | Mar 29, 2021 |
historical-research, antiques, mysteries, museum, family-dynamics, friendship****

This one is definitely character driven and has several mysterious aspects. The dominant one is regarding the provenance and veracity of a large antique ruby, followed by its possible dangerous aspects. Another is the possibility that Avery's parents were not actually killed in an accident a year ago. And of course there's a murder. The research seemed very good, and the characters are first-rate. I enjoyed looking into the window of antique gemology.
I requested and received a free temporary ebook copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Jan 27, 2021 |
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