Synopses & Reviews
TV presenting proves dangerous, when Ada and her partner Lil become involved in a new antiques show and get sucked into a morass of lies, secrets and murder . . .
Barry Stromstein has a serious problem. If he can't come up with a concept for a new TV antiques show asap, his terrifying boss - TV sensation Lenore Parks - will fire him, and his perfect life will be over. But when he talks to antiques columnist Lil Campbell, he unexpectedly hits pay dirt. Her partner, Ada Strauss, not only suggests the perfect hook for the show, but is the perfect woman to host it.
Ada's elated, but production of The Final Reckoning seems blighted before it's even begun when, shockingly, Leonore dies. But Barry seems strangely determined to continue, and as Lenore's children - the unsettling Rachel and her beloved older brother Richard - become involved, the pilot episode becomes increasingly ghoulish in tone.
Ada's enjoying herself - really, she is - but as she and Lil are drawn deeper into the lives and affairs of the Parks, they begin to suspect that there are dark, twisted secrets at the heart of the family, and very real danger for them all . . .
"Atkins's middling third cozy featuring Lil Campbell and Ada Strauss (after 2012's Best Place to Die) finds the Grenville, Conn., couple rushing headlong into the unreal world of reality TV. Producer Barry Stromstein is facing an ultimatum from his demanding boss, talk show host and media mogul Lenore Parks, to produce new ideas. Then, he has a brainstorm: 'Antiques Roadshow meets The Hunger Games on the set of Gilmore Girls.' During a conference call with Lil in connection with her antique column, 'Cash or Trash,' he is also charmed by Ada, whom he thinks has star potential. Chaos ensues at Lenore's company after she's shot to death in her dressing room, with Barry seeing professional salvation in getting Final Reckoning, which will feature Ada hosting estate sales of the recently departed, on the air. Ada and Lil, however, are more interested in finding Lenore's killer. Atkins scores some good points off reality TV and celebrity-fueled empires in this otherwise tepid whodunit. Agent: Al Zuckerman, Writers House. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A fast-paced mystery with two unforgettable leading ladies" Booklist
"A pleasant read with likable protagonists" Library Journal
Ada Strauss is delighted to be asked to host a new TV show about antiques, produced by Lenore Parks Productions. But after Lenore is murdered, Ada and her partner Lilian get sucked into the affairs of Leonore's children, and there are twisted secrets at the heart of the Parks family that will prove dangerous for all involved.
About the Author
Charles Atkins is a practising psychiatrist, writer, professional speaker and member of the clinical faculty at Yale. He is the author of several psychological thrillers, as well as numerous short stories, articles and essays, and two non-fiction books. He is also the author of the new, well-regarded mystery series featuring elderly sleuths Lil and Ada.