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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. II, No. 10

Antiques to Die For
Great Reviews

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

Publisher's Weekly, 2008-02-04
"Aided by a large support group of well-drawn characters headed by her police chief boyfriend, Josie follows such clues as an old diary, an artist's palette and a misplaced tote bag. Among other antique lore, readers will learn the difference between a highboy and a tallboy in this cleverly crafted cozy."

Kirkus Reviews, 2008-02
"The third in the series (Deadly Appraisal, 2007, etc.) contains all the usual antiques lore along with romance and a fine set of suspects." 

Booklist, 2008-03
"Anyone who collects antiques will enjoy this satisfying cozy."


Ask Jane:

Q: Your Website is great—how much time does it take you?

A: A lot. I create the content—or most of it—and Carol Novak, my web Queen, and her team, do the rest.

I try to create a deep relationship with my readers—in my books, my protagonist, Josie Prescott, often quotes her father and mentions her mother's recipes. I have web pages that list the quotes and share the recipes. I have good book club questions, photos of Josie's world, and a fun, interactive challenge called "What's It Worth? You Be the Judge!" in which readers can pit their antiques appraisal skills against those of the experts—Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

I have book excerpts, including audio versions posted as downloadable podcasts. I have a press kit, reviews, and a greetings page. I have my appearance listing, a blog, and a newsletter. I consider website development to be a process of continuous improvement. We're constantly looking for ways to enhance the visitor's experience by adding fun, meaningful, and/or interactive elements.

Any other thoughts about content that Jane should include on her website? E-mail her directly.


Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom

flowers"My mom loved style," Josie says. "She thought food tasted better when it was presented with flair."

 

Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?

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

"It's easy to lose your shirt when buying antiques and collectibles," Jane says. She reports that there's a growing problem with fake antiques and collectibles being available in the marketplace.

"With the increased popularity of on-line auctions and flea markets comes increased trouble. More selling opportunities demand more inventory, yet the availability of quality antiques and collectibles stays constant. On-line buying is even more problematic than buying from transient dealers—you lose the ability to look in someone's eyes and gauge their honesty."

Antiques & Collectibles

To make certain the purchase is on the up-and-up, Jane recommends that you consider factors related to both your interactions with the seller and your observations about the object. "Most dealers operate their businesses with integrity, but some don't. Use these ten tips as a checklist to help ensure that you're buying what you think you are, not what some charlatan wants you to believe."

In this issue of the newsletter, Jane discusses five factors about the seller buyers should consider. Next month, she'll review five factors about the objects that buyers should consider.

About the seller:

  1. price tagBeware of pressure to buy "now." (i.e., The seller says the object is the only one, so you'd better "get it now." Remember, by definition, all antiques are unique.)

  2. Ensure it's properly labeled. (By generally accepted standards, an object is only considered to be an antique if it's more than 50 years old. Otherwise, it's called a collectible. If an object is mislabeled, that's a red flag: Is the dealer ignorant? Or is the dealer trying to overstate the object's value?)

  3. Confirm you understand what the seller is saying. For instance, if a dealer uses jargon, it's reasonable to ask for explanations. Keep asking for clarification until you're comfortable that you understand.

  4. Check the facts. Statements such as these are false: "A little repair doesn't matter," and "All they did was give it a fresh coat of paint—it doesn't affect the price."

  5. Research prices. Some sellers price the customer, not the object. (i.e., How much will this person pay for it?) If objects aren't priced and/or the seller can't explain the rationale of a price, that's a warning sign that you should be concerned.

"Ask questions, do research, and remember—caveat emptor—let the buyer beware."

Antiques to Die For
Book Trailer Now Available

Antiques to Die For Book Trailer
(click on the title frame to view the trailer)


Jane's on TV  

Last year, Jane was interviewed on several television shows as part of her book tour. This year, she's doing it again! She'll be on Good Morning, Arizona and several cable shows including the well-respected Boston-based show THE LITERATI SCENE with Smoki Bacon and Dick Concannon. 

For Jane's full schedule, check the appearance page.


Finding My Way:
Thoughts on Plotting

An excerpt from
Jane's latest Blog

In Antiques to Die For, the third Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, I wrote without an outline. Boy, was that a mistake. Without an outline, I found myself succumbing to the allure of the moment. I fell in love with minor subplots, unnecessary characters, and intriguing, but irrelevant descriptions. I lost my rhythm.

Luckily, my brilliant.... [MORE}


Unpublished Fact About Josie

Josie wants to buy a sports car. "But a convertible just isn't practical in New Hampshire. Someday maybe I'll get one—when I have a garage to keep it in, and as a second car. But for now, it's not smart."
1959 Alfa Romeo Veloce Spider

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

bullet Crimespace
bullet MySpace
bullet Google Blogger
bullet Yahoo 360

View my videos on You Tube
(See the trailer for Antiques to Die For
plus Jane reading an Excerpt from
Deadly Appraisal and 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"

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. II, No. 9

Jane's Tour Is Coming Together
Come on down!

The official launch of Antiques to Die For , the third Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, is on April 17, 2008 at the wonderful Greenwich Village mystery bookstore, Partners & Crime at 7:00 p.m.

In addition to several New York events, Jane plans on visiting her friends in the mystery community in California, Texas, Arizona, Indiana, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. She'll be signing at various stores, attending several conferences, and speaking at many library events. She'd love to say hello!

See Jane's Schedule


Ask Jane:
Lisa C. asks: What do you read?

Jane Cleland & Jula Spencer-Fleming
Jane with Julia Spencer-Fleming
at the 2007 Black Orchid Banquet

"Mostly, I read mysteries, and my favorites are Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe stories," Jane replies.

"I'm a long-term member of the Nero Wolfe literary society, The Wolfe Pack.

"I'm honored to be the chair of the Wolfe Pack's literary awards—we're the folks that give out the Nero. Last year's winner was Julia Spencer Fleming for All Mortal Flesh.

"We also award the Black Orchid Novella Award in partnership with Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

"I've inserted fun Nero Wolfe trivia in all of the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries, and I love hearing from readers who discover it!"

Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom
Baked Chicken Marinade

"Lemon juice is the secret! Marinade chicken before you bake it to add complexity to the flavors. Just be certain to use fresh, juicy lemons!"

lemon

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, about two lemons
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Rinse and pat dry chicken pieces and place in plastic bag or covered dish.
  2. Whisk together all ingredients.
  3. Add the marinade to the chicken and seal the bag or cover the dish.
  4. Place chicken in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, turning at least once.
  5. Discard marinade before baking.
  6. Coat chicken with whatever sauce or spices you choose. Josie's mom often used full-grain mustard or barbeque sauce, for instance, and bake at 350◦ until done.

Serves 2-4 people.

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

Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?

Half Doll

Half-dolls, usually made of porcelain and bisque, are dainty figurines of female upper bodies, heads, and arms. They were enormously popular from the early 20th century until the 1940s when they all but disappeared. Sometimes the dolls were kept as is; other times, people added voluminous knitted, crocheted, or hand-stitched skirts and used them to cover everyday items like rolls of toilet paper or powder boxes.

Half Doll

If they were adorned with skirts, they were known as pincushion, dresser, or tea cozy dolls. Adding skirts was quite the craze for awhile, but no matter how lovingly the skirt was created, nor how beautiful it was, the enhancement didn't add anything to the doll's value. 

If a half-doll's arms were tucked against her body, the figurine could be produced cheaply, as one molded unit. Because they are easy to find and tend to lack desirable embellishments like flowered ribbons or baskets, they aren't much sought by serious collectors. 

Half Doll

Open-armed dolls are worth more. There are several reasons to account for their higher valuation. They are more vulnerable to breakage, which reduces the supply. And their more expressive faces and meticulously rendered details add to their popularity.

Finely crafted open-armed dolls would be likely to sell at auction for upwards of $500 each if they are in excellent condition. The commonly available molded examples generally available for between $15 and $20 each, depending on coloration and decorative details.

To pit your antiques appraisal skills against those of the world renowned antiques auction house, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, take the free, interactive challenge: What's It Worth? You Be the Judge.

Antiques to Die For

Antiques to Die For

An excerpt from the book is now
available to listen to or read.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be a 12-year old orphan whose sister is murdered? Can you imagine what it would be like if your sister told you that you owned a treasure—a priceless antique—but you don't know what it is or where it is?

The murdered woman is Josie's friend—and her young sister consults Josie, asking her for help in finding the treasure. Set on the beautiful New Hampshire coastline, Antiques to Die For is filled with antiques lore and complex plot twists. In the end, using her knowledge of antiques, Josie finds the valuable antique—and solves the crime. And in doing so, she gives a young girl hope.

Place your advance order now.


Anatomy of Persuasion
An excerpt from
Jane's latest Blog

I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about the nature of persuasive arguments. Why is one person good at it, and not another?

Certainly, one needs well-framed and well-developed content and a delivery style people find pleasant to listen to or read—after all, people aren't stupid and they won't pay attention unless they want to. But that's all theory... in order to become more persuasive in person or in print, I needed to understand more about the structure of persuasion. I developed the Matrix of Persuasion to help me persuade others to my points of view.

Matrix of Persuasion

You'll notice that across the top I'm contrasting two variables: are people "on your side"? Or not? On the left, I'm considering whether people have the resources they need to do as I ask. Are they constrained? Or not?

As an aside, I'll mention that .... [MORE}


Unpublished Fact About Josie

Josie wants to buy a sports car. "But a convertible just isn't practical in New Hampshire. Someday maybe I'll get one—when I have a garage to keep it in, and as a second car. But for now, it's not smart."


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

bullet Crimespace
bullet MySpace
bullet Google Blogger
bullet Yahoo 360

View my videos on You Tube
(Jane reads an Excerpt from
Deadly Appraisal and Speaks About Writing)

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

FREE Subscription Archives printer friendly Vol. II, No. 8

Book Plates Available

If you're unable to attend one of Jane's events to get an in-person autograph in your copy of one or more of the Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series, you can still have a signed book by inserting an autographed book plate.

Book Plate

Jane's glad to send them for free if you send her a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE). Send your request, and the SASE (first class postage is required) to:

Jane K. Cleland
P.O. Box 3233
New York, NY 10163-3233


Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom
Josie's Mom's Mashed Potatoes

Add cream to mashed potatoes to get the perfect consistency.

mashed potatoes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large Idaho poatoes
  • 2 tabs butter
  • 1 tab heavy cream
  • ½ tsp. salt

PREPARATION:

  1. Peel potatoes, then slice them into 1" cubes.
  2. Add potato pieces to 1 quart boiling water.
  3. Cook uncovered for 10-15 min, or until fork pierces the potato, but it still holds its shape.
  4. While potatoes are cooking, melt the butter.
  5. Whisk the salt and cream into the melted butter.
  6. Drain the potatoes.
  7. Mash the potatoes until all lumps are gone. Don't over-mash.
  8. Add in the butter mixture. stirring evenly.

Serves 2-3 people.

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

Write Big and Bold, Says
Cosmo Editor-in-Chief and
Best Selling Mystery Author,
Kate White

An excerpt from
Jane's latest Blog

The idea of writing big and bold appeals to me in every way. I like the words themselves—big and bold—and I like the image those words conjure up for me. If I write big and bold, it's possible that my words will impact people, will make them think, encourage them to do their best, or inspire them to take courageous action.

But it's far easier said than done because what speaks to one reader's heart and mind doesn't necessarily touch another at all. You know that old adage, One man's meat is another man's poison. Certainly that's true in mysteries. To paraphrase, One reader's "big and bold" isn't another reader's "big and bold." The trick, I think, is knowing what's big and bold to your target readers. Here are some big and bold statements that will occur in Josie #4, Killer Keepsakes .... [MORE}


Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?

"Prior sale catalogues can serve as an important resource, but only if the catalogue writer did a good job," Josie says. 

 casket

"For instance, this casket is purported to have been made for St. Thomas Becket in about 1200," Josie explains.

"The most reliable guide is a catalogue prepared by Emile Molinier in 1903. The dimensions given by Molinier are within half a centimeter of those of the Drey casket and the subject matter is the same. However, the positioning of the apostles appears to be different, raising the question of whether this casket is the one referenced in the catalogue. It's complicated, especially since, if it's real, the value is close to incalculable — certainly in the many, many millions."

For other Prescott's appraisals, see the archives.

To pit your antiques appraisal skills against those of the world renowned antiques auction house, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, take the free, interactive challenge: What's It Worth? You Be the Judge.

Jane's Keynoting February 2, 2008
for the Friends of the Library
Rockville Centre, NY

Jane will be delivering a keynote speech on KILLER ANTIQUES: A Detective's Knowledge of Antiques Helps Solve Crimes.

The speech discusses the three ways that antiques can figure into mysteries: stolen antiques, fraudulent antiques, and faked association.

Remington Sculpture

"I use lots of examples, like a Remington sculture," Jane says, "and paint pictures of how a crime might be committed—and how the antiques expert as detective, might solve it."

For further information about bringing Jane into your organization to speak, please contact her directly.

Unpublished Fact About Josie

Josie likes word games. "Upwards is my favorite," she says. "But I like Boggle, as well. I'm better at them than Ty, so I win a lot, and that's fun, 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"

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

bullet Crimespace
bullet MySpace
bullet Google Blogger
bullet Yahoo 360

View my videos on You Tube
(Jane reads an Excerpt from
Deadly Appraisal and Speaks About Writing)

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

FREE Subscription Archives printer friendly Vol. II, No. 7

Julia Spencer-Fleming:
"Antiques to Die For
sets the gold standard..."

Best-selling author, Julia Spencer-Fleming, the Edgar-finalist author of All Mortal Flesh, read an advanced copy of the fourth Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery (April 2008). She wrote:

"Antiques to Die For sets the gold standard for the classic contemporary cozy.  Agatha-finalist Jane K. Cleland’s writing is top-notch; her plotting and pace smooth and assured. This antiquing series is in mint condition!"

When asked for her reaction, Jane said, "Oh, wow. I’m completely awed."

The quote will appear on the book’s cover.

Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom

"My mom loved to cook with onions," Josie says. "She invented this recipe and it became a staple in our home. Yum!"

onion

Sweet and Sour Onions

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large Vidalia onions
  • 1/8 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup melted butter
  • 1/8 cup boiling water
  • 1/8 cup sugar

PREPARATION:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 300°
  2. Thinly slice the onions
  3. Arrange them in a shallow baking dish
  4. Whisk together the remaining ingredients
  5. Pour the mixture over the onions.
  6. Bake at for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until the onions are tender

Serves 2-4 people.

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

Unpublished Fact About Josie

Josie doesn’t like stuffed grape leaves. "I don’t know why. I just don’t enjoy the flavor."

See photos of Josie's world.


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"

Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?

"To determine the authenticity of old maps, in addition to all of the standard antiques appraisal procedures," Josie says, "there are four additional factors that should be considered."

antique map

"For instance, this map was purported to be a 1792 Jan Barent Elwe’s re-issue of the 1694 Jaillot copperplate, with updates to California and the Great Lakes; entitled Amerique Septentrionale. Amsterdam. It looks right, but you need to be careful. Since collecting maps has gained in popularity, a lot of fakes have shown up in the market."

The four factors to consider are:

  1. Is there a dot matrix pattern? Use an 8X-power magnifying lens, a loupe, to see whether there are tell-tale signs of photo-reproduction: You should NOT see a matrix of little dots in the image.
  2. There should be a fold mark running down the center of the map. Most of the antique maps that have survived until today were produced for atlases. Any map bigger than a standard sheet of paper would probably have straddled two pages; thus it would have a fold down the middle so as to fit into the atlas when closed. Maps manufactured in the 20th century were meant primarily to be mounted on a wall as decoration, and lack these folds.
  3. Most maps produced before the middle of the 19th century were copper engravings. This process creates a little ridge, called a plate mark, around the edge of the map—the result of the plate pressing against the paper. While wood cuts and lithographs do not have plate marks, the absence of a plate mark on a pre-1840 map should raise a red flag, because of the prevalence of copper engraving during that period.
  4. Almost all maps made before 1800 used hand-laid paper. This kind of paper was made by pouring paper pulp into a wooden frame. The frame bottom was made of wire mesh in a cross-hatched pattern, which left a mark in the paper.

"We determined this map was genuine," Josie says.

The official Prescott’s auction catalogue lists the estimated value as $2,200 to $2,500.

For other Prescott’s appraisals, see the archives.

To pit your antiques appraisal skills against those of the world renowned antiques auction house, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, take the free, interactive challenge: What’s It Worth? You Be the Judge.

New Cover Art Style to be
Used for Antiques to Die For

St. Martin’s Minotaur has decided to change the style of art for the third Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery.

Antiques to Die For

"The murder weapon is part of the mystery in Antiques to Die For," Jane explains, so the concept of ‘large murder weapon, small antique’ didn’t work. I love the new look! Once Julia Spencer-Fleming’s quote is added to the cover, I think it will be just perfect!"


Managing Time Wisely:
It’s All in Your Head

An excerpt from
Jane’s new Blog

For many years, I was the official "cookie baker" for my family’s holiday get-togethers. Chocolate chip cookies were my specialty, but I dabbled in sugar, chocolate, apple, creamy fillings, and other gourmet styles, too.

cookiesAs the years passed, and I became busier at work, I grew less entranced with the prospect of baking dozens of cookies under enormous time constraints. In fact, to me, baking cookies for the holidays became a duty, not a pleasure. Then came the year when I was up past midnight completing the task. I was irritated and snappy. The next day, I grumbled to my husband that this had to stop. "I’m too busy to bake all these cookies!" I complained. And, cleverly, I thought, I asked him to call my mother and tell her that I was no longer going to bake cookies. He declined.

The next year, as cookie-baking time approached, I girded myself, picked up the phone and said...  [MORE]

View my blogs, friends,
comments, etc. on your
favorite blogging site:
bullet Crimespace
bullet MySpace
bullet Google Blogger
bullet Yahoo 360

View my videos on You Tube
(Jane reads an Excerpt from
Deadly Appraisal and Speaks About Writing)

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

FREE Subscription Archives printer friendly Vol. II, No. 6

Jane's Going to Alaska

This year's Bouchercon Conference is being held in Anchorage, so Jane's going to Alaska.

"I've never been," Jane says. "I'm psyched!"

Jane will be on a panel called "Odd Jobs," including authors whose protagonists aren't private detectives or police officers. She's also been allocated a "do whatever you want" slot. "I plan on discussing the antiques appraisal process, the writing  process, doing a short reading about the characters of Deadly Appraisal, and answering questions," Jane says. "I look forward to meeting readers!"

Jane's first novel, Consigned to Death, has been nominated for a Macavity Award for Best First Novel by  Mystery Readers International.

The Macavity Award will be presented at the Thursday evening opening ceremony.

When asked what she's most looking forward to, Jane replied, " I want to see a glacier!"

Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom

Spare Ribs

"One of my mom's closest friends was a woman named Antoinette Chan, a Chinese American who lived two doors down from us in Newton, where I grew up. I was really good friends with her daughter Brooke all through elementary school," Josie explains.

"Mrs. Chan was a fabulous cook, but her seasonings were exotic and hard to find and her preparation methods were time-consuming and complex. When my mother complained that she'd love to be able to duplicate her spare ribs recipe, but couldn't because it was too hard, Mrs. Chan invented an Americanized version."

"Mrs. Chan's American Spare Ribs recipe is not as tasty as the original," Josie says, "But it's pretty darn good! I spoke to Brooke the other day and she said her mom's ribs were just as yummy as I remembered."

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

Unpublished Fact About Josie

Josie loves to read poetry, and sometimes she writes it. She doesn't talk about it much because she considers it a private pleasure.

Woman Writing

Here's a verse Josie recently wrote. She calls the poem:

Love Perceptions

Gold fields, or dry and dying?
I met his eyes; I'm trying.
Talk to me.

"I've only written one verse so far, but I have no deadline," Josie explains. "It's a hobby."

Do you like Josie's verse? She'd love your feedback.

Living by the United Nations

I live on the block that ends at the United Nations. The General Assembly is about to sit for its annual assembly. Many countries' leaders are in town. Security is high.

United Nations Plaza

Security has always been high, but since 9/11, it's been astonishing. Last year, for the first time ever, I was stopped from entering my own block. The president of Pakistan was stepping out from his hotel into a limo as I stood watching, a block away. I wonder if anything similar will occur this year.

During this two-week period, routine security precautions include... [MORE]

Visit Jane's MySpace site to find out more about Jane and Josie, and to become one of their "friends!"

Jane Will Speak on
Art in Mysteries
at Sotheby's Institute

In mid-October, Jane will conduct a two-hour seminar at the prestigious, New York City Sotheby's Institute.

"I plan on discussing stolen art, fake art, and enhanced associations in art. I'm hoping the students will have lots of ideas on how to commit fascinating art-related crimes!" Jane says.

Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?

Marks identify more than the maker. Many objects bear maker marks — furniture, silver, and porcelain, for instance. But some convey extra meaning. For instance, this mark, symbolizing "Augustus Rex," is from the prestigious porcelain factory, Meissen.

The monogram was used for objects found in the court of Elector August the Strong, founder of the Meissen factory, who later reigned over Poland as King August II.   

Meisen Mark Augusta II

It was also used to mark objects selected for the court of his son, August III, who succeeded him in 1733. This mark was always applied by hand in underglaze blue. Because all of the marks were applied by hand, there's great variance in individual appearance. Further, several objects marked with the royal monogram were given as gift to royal or favored visitors.

In the fourth Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, fiction mixes with fact. In the still untitled novel, Jane has King Augustus giving a vase to England's King George who in turn bestows it on his mistress, Henrietta Howard.

Henrietta Howard

Jane swears she's not revealing another word about the plot.

The third Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, Antiques to Die For, will be released in April 2008.

 

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

FREE Subscription Archives printer friendly Vol. II, No. 5

Dear Reader Features
Deadly Appraisal

Deadly AppraisalDear Reader.com operates in a nifty way — they send page samples to their subscriber list. Here is how founder Suzanne Beecher describes their offering:

"Sign up for any of my email book clubs and every day I'll send you a 5-minute sample from a book. By the end of the week, you'll have read 2-3 chapters. If it's a book you've just gotta finish, and I hope it is, visit your local library or your favorite bookstore and pick up a copy."

Deadly Appraisal is currently the mystery feature for Dear Reader. In 2006, Consigned to Death was featured. Twenty copies of Deadly Appraisal will be given away on the Dear Reader site.

And look at the BIG ideas they're suggesting to help libraries grab their members' attention and increase interest in their online Book Club!

For more information, or to sign up for one or more of their online book samplers, visit www.DearReader.com


Mr. & Mrs. Gary and Pat

Gary Schulze and Pat Frovarp, the owners of the beautiful, friendly, independent mystery bookstore, Once Upon a Crime, in Minneapolis, just got married!

Once Upon a Crime Wedding

Once Upon a Crime is among my favorite bookstores!" Jane says. "Gary and Pat are knowledgeable and welcoming. I think it’s just great that they got married—and that they did so in the store and on the fifth anniversary of the day they purchased the shop."


Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom

toaster"On rainy days" Josie’s mom said, "sprinkle a mixture of sugar and cinnamon on lightly buttered toast."

"It’s instant comfort food," Josie adds. "As soon as I see it I remember how warm and safe I always felt in my mom’s kitchen — even on a cold, rainy day."

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

Consigned to Death in
Airport Borders

Jane reports feeling nearly faint with delight on discovering her books at Newark’s Liberty airport bookstores.

Another recent spotting has Consigned to Death in a hospital gift shop in Denver.


Visit Jane's MySpace site to find out more about Jane and Josie, and to become one of their "friends!"


Unpublished Fact About Josie

Josie says, "I love Hong Kong. I used to travel there when I worked for Frisco’s. I miss it."

Hong Kong

Click here to see photos of Josie's world.


Writing Fear: Jane's Current Blog

Duct Tape

Anticipation, writers agree, is more fearful than the act.

At tonight's New York Public Library panel entitled, "WOMEN OF MYSTERY: PEEK UNDER THE WRITER’S VEIL," which I moderated, New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark described a scene in one of her books that takes place at the Home Depot.

Picture this—a character cruising the store’s aisles. Into the cart goes an ax. Then rope. Then plastic bags. I don’t know about you, but that’s scary. You know what’s happening, and maybe you even know why. And you’re powerless to stop... continued on Jane's Blog,,, or listen to Jane's Blogcast.


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"

Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?

Nostalgia Drives
the Collectibles Market

poster

Popular brands from past generations are likely to retain their value in the collectibles market. A wide range of promotional items are produced by marketers--from lunch boxes, cups, and pencil cases to tote bags, coin holders, and wallets and from cardboard pop-up displays, posters, and brochures to banks, umbrellas, and key chains.

thimbleSome people collect items for the objects itself, sometimes narrowing the field by the era. For example, a person might collect branded tape measures manufactured in the 1960s. Others elect an industry category such as soft drinks and look for objects produced by manufacturers within that industry. For instance, you could seek out trays, banks, glasses, posters, buttons, or point-of-sale displays from Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and Coca Cola. Other people collect any item within a brand. For example, a person might decide to collect every promotional item produced by Coca Cola, KFC, or Campbell's soup.

lunchbox

Prices are determined by many of the same factors as any collectible or antique: rarity, scarcity, trends, condition, association, and provenance. One additional factor is the artwork. Some of the illustrations used on promotional items are spectacular--refined, elegant, bold, and colorful. Usually objects that feature artwork of this caliber are more popular--and as such, fetch higher prices.
 
One universal warning--be alert for fakes.

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

FREE Subscription Archives printer friendly Vol. II, No. 4

Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?

Murano glass is considered by collectors to be among the finest in the world. Murano GlassMany of the most valuable objects were produced in the post War boom from the late 1940s to the 1960s. One of the top studios is Venini & C, known for their dramatic color palettes and designs, such as this patchwork design. Signed examples in excellent condition sell for $4,000 or more.


Jane’s Interview
"Behind the Black Mask"
Posts July 15th

In an in-depth, hour-long interview with the website’s creators, Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards, Jane discussed her work from a philosophical perspective. You’re welcome to give it a listen at www.noircast.net.


Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom

"Chicken and avocado makes a delicious combination in a sandwich," Josie’s mom says. "Cut the crust off of toast, spread a little mayonnaise, add thin slices of cold roasted chicken and avocado."

avocado

Josie adds, "I like this sandwich best as a wrap."

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


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

Jane’s the Guest of Honor:
Deadly Ink Conference 2008

"I was so pleased to be recognized in this way," Jane said. "It’s really an honor." The Deadly Ink Conference program hasn’t been announced yet—but the dates are set—June 21-23, 2008 in Parsippany, NJ. Stay tuned!


Visit Jane's MySpace site to find out more about Jane and Josie, and to become one of their "friends"!


Unpublished Fact About Josie

Josie says, “One of my favorite summer drinks is my regular Bombay Sapphire martini, with the glass filled with blueberries. Yum.”

blueberries

Click here for more information about Josie's world.


Join Jane as She Moderates a
Stellar Line-up at the
New York Public Library:
"Women of Mystery:
Peek Under the Writer's Veil"

Midtown Branch
41st & Fifth Avenue
August 7 ▪ 6:30 p.m.

"I'm so thrilled that these accomplished and articulate women are on the panel," Jane says. The panelists include Mary Jane Clark, Mary Anne Kelly, Robin Hathaway, and Elizabeth Zevlin.

"I haven't settled on all of my questions," Jane says. "But I know I want to ask if the authors—and any of their characters—are feminists, and what that term means to them. I'll also ask them for details on their writing process. If anyone has questions they'd like to know the answers to, please e-mail me! I'll include them."

For details, please see Jane's website or the NYPL flyer.

Page 69—Does It Reflect the Book?

When Marshal asked Jane to participate in this unusual exercise, she happily agreed.  You can read Jane's essay on the topic at www.AmericaRead.com.

Jane got curious and asked Marshal, "Why did you start the Page 69 project?" Here's his reply:

"My books blog was plodding happily along when I ran across mention of Marshall McLuhan's "page 69 test in John Sutherland's How to Read a Novel. I'm skeptical about the test -- read page 69 and, if you like it, go ahead and read the book -- but it's not much stranger than picking one's reading material via back-cover blurbs or advertisements. Initially I tried the test on a few books at hand -- the first post was about Richard Dawkins's The Ancestor's Tale and it went online August 31, 2006 -- then began asking writers to apply it to their own books.

"I really had no plans to make the Page 69 Test anything more than an occasional item on the blog, but now there are well over 200 books in the series and I've had to spin off the Test to its own blog .

‘Then in March, 2007 Friend of the Blog Cary Federman alerted me to an observation once made by Ford Madox Ford: 'Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.' It's essentially the same test as McLuhan's, and I couldn't resist starting another blog: the Page 99 Test, which has about 70 entries so far. [Deadly Appraisal is featured in the June posting for the Page 69 Test.]

"It's very gratifying when I hear from readers that they've bought books which they read about on the blogs.

"I'm a fan of that cartoon of a dog at the keyboard with the caption, "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog," but since I've asked so many writers to share their views it seemed only fair to let them know who was writing.  So I've posted some reader-relevant info at an About the blogger post (written in the tense known as third-person ridiculous)."

What do you think? Does Page 69 of Deadly Appraisal reflect the book? Jane would love to hear your thoughts.

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

FREE Subscription Archives printer friendly Vol. II, No. 3

Barnes & Noble and Borders Booksellers Support
Deadly Appraisal
 
and Consigned to Death

Deadly Appraisal

"Josie was true to life and a pleasure to read. I will be recommending it to others."
Teresa Quintanar
(bookseller, Barnes & Noble)

"Loved it, loved it, loved it! I can't wait to share Deadly Appraisal with my customers."
Marisa Oldston (bookseller, Borders)

"Deadly Appraisal is wonderful. I have it at my cash register." 
Norman Goldman (Barnes & Noble)

"Booksellers at chain stores are exposed
to tens of thousands of books. To stand out and be noticed is just tremendous,"
Jane says.

What do you thi just tremendous? Send us your comments for our Greetings Page.

Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom

Sweet Bay plant"Bay leaves make a pot roast," Josie's mom wrote in the cook book she left Josie as part of her legacy. "Use three or four whole leaves. Crumple them into the pot as you add them. They'll disintegrate as the pot roast cooks adding savory flavor."

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

Whoopie! More Nominations for
Consigned to Death

Macavity Award Nomination
The Macavity is awarded each year by Mystery Readers International (MRI), the largest mystery fan/reader organization in the world. Started by Janet A. Rudolph, MRI has members in all 50 states and 18 foreign countries. Members vote each year to nominate and select the winners. The Macavity Award is named for the "mystery cat" of T.S. Eliot fame: Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. This year's Macavity winner will be announced at the Bouchercon conference in Anchorage in September.

David Award Nomination
Deadly Ink, a regional mystery conference, has initiated a new award, the David, celebrating the best mystery novel of the year. Jane's honored that Consigned to Death has been selected as a nominee. The award will be granted at the Deadly Ink banquet on June 30, 2007 in Parsippany, NJ.

"I'm thrilled and honored at these nominations," Jane says. "It's enormously gratifying to know that readers liked Consigned to Death well enough to nominate it!"

Consigned to Death was a finalist for the Agatha Award.

Jane's Library Events

Jane will be speaking at several libraries over the coming months. She's been booked from New York City to Los Angeles and from Portland, Maine to Rockland County, New York for both "traditional" book discussions & readings to her more formal presentation on Finding Stolen Art: Two Detectives Take on the Nazis.

Calling all librarians! Jane would love to come to your venue! Contact her directly to schedule an event. For details about Jane's schedule, check out her appearance page.


Unpublished Fact About Josie

Kitten CharmJosie says, "My dad used to call me Kitten. I don't talk about it a lot, but I loved it!"

Click here for more information about Josie's world.

Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?

Snow globes and domes are charming—and affordable—collectibles. Subject matter varies from touristy (i.e., local-themed souvenirs) to kitsch (i.e., flamingos) and from the historical (i.e., French originals dating from the late 19th century) to the religious (i.e., angels and Christmas-themed objects).

Christmas Snow Globe

Value derives from a snow globe's age, rarity, condition, and subject matter, as well as whether it contains moving parts and/or houses elements in both the foreground and background. Prices for snow globes more than fifty years old range from $30 to $150 or more.

Finding Stolen Art:
Two Detectives Take on the Nazis

Art stolen by the Nazis is returned to Jewish owners and heirs—sometimes. Want to hear more?

Do you belong to a group that brings in speakers? Jane would be honored to speak to your group. She's developed a 45-minute presentation that details how governments and organizations have conspired to keep the pilfered art in their possession and how persistent, dedicated detectives have worked to track it down and get it back.

See the flyer the Mid-Manhattan Library used to promote the program or listen to a podcast excerpt from Jane's talk.

Any questions?

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

FREE Subscription Archives printer friendly Vol. II, No. 2

Deadly Appraisal
Receiving Great Reviews

Deadly Appraisal

"I stayed up all night with Deadly Appraisal and loved it. Josie is a smart sleuth: a cool and realistic portrayal, and the neighbor is a rich minefield, as well as funny."
Mary Alice Gorman, Mystery Lovers Bookstore, Oakmont, PA

"It's especially gratifying when booksellers as knowledgeable as Mary Alice like the book!" Jane says.

What do you think? Send us your comments for our Greetings Page.

Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom

"Don't baste too often," Josie's mom says. "Every time you open the oven, you lose heat. Plus, when you baste too often, you don't get a nice, finishing glaze."

Glazed roast

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


Charity Auctions:
Name a Character & Have His or Her
Antique Appraised

Music Cabinet

Jane is always glad to donate the right to name a character, a not uncommon donation at mystery conference charity auctions. Elizabeth Franzino, a recent winner, selected her great grandmother's music cabinet. You can read about it in Antiques to Die For, coming from St. Martin's Minotaur in April 2008.

Josie # 3: New Title

Antiques to Die For has been selected as the next title in the Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series. Originally titled Lethal Legacy, the publisher felt that title was too generic and not antiques-specific.

The third entry in the series will be available in April 2008.


Enter Josie's World

Ocean Ave, Rye Beach, NH

Josie lives in and around Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She spends a lot of time at the beach. New Hampshire's coastline is rugged and spectacularly beautiful.

"One of my goals," Jane explains, "is to celebrate New Hampshire's beauty in my descriptions in the book and in the art we post on the site. Have you noticed the new banner on the website? Go to the homepage and roll your mouse over it—and see what happens!"

Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?

"The more complex the design, the more valuable to object," Josie says.

Bundt Mold

This lovely mold dates from the late nineteenth-century, and would sell for around $200 to $250.

Bundt Mold

This mold is noticeably more complex, probably a bit older, and is likely to sell for more than $300.


Unpublished Fact About Josie

Josie's dad introduced her to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books, and she's a huge fan. She's a member of the Wolfe Pack and always submits poems to their contests. One she's most proud of is a hiaku Jane submitted under her name.

Alone with his plants
  Treasured concubines ignite
  Erotic pleasures

More Good News

Consigned to Death: Best Seller
on IMBA

Consigned to DeathThe Independent Mystery Booksellers Association's Paperback No. 2 slot now belongs to Consigned to Death! What a thrill -- and immediately following it's nomination as the Agatha's Best First Novel!


Deadly Appraisal: Makes California's Top Five Recommended List

Ed Kaufman, owner of the wonderful
M is for Mystery appeared on "Good Day California" on Monday, May 21, to announce their annual recommendations for the five top books in a number of mystery sub-genres. Deadly Apraisal is on the "traditional" list!

In addition, Deadly Appraisal is the featured Hard Cover for May in M is for Mystery's Books by the Month Gift Program.

Consigned to Death: On Poisoned Pen's Top 10 Paperback picks for April

Poisoned Pen , the Independent Bookstore in Scottsdale, not only has Consigned to Death on their April Top 10 Paperback Picks (Recommended Reading/Monthly Paperback Picks), but Deadly Appraisal appears on two of their "Staff Picks" Lists (Recommended Reading/Staff Picks).

DeadlyInk Nominee for Best Novel

Deadly Ink has nominated Consigned to Death for Best Novel. Jane is one of the panelists at the June 29-July 1 Conference in New Jersey.


Independent Booksellers are helping keep the genre fresh and alive. Please support your local store or one of the online independent book stores!


Book Trailers Are Not Just
for Books Anymore

We invite you attend the upcoming ThrillerFest conference and meet all your favorite Suspense writers. Click the following to watch the Trailer or sign up for the ThrillerFest.

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

FREE Subscription Archives printer friendly Vol. II, No. 1

Consigned to Death Selected as a
NH State Library Book of the Week
& Featured on NH Public TV

Consigned to Death

Set on the rugged coast of New Hampshire, the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries are winning increasing favor within the state. The first book in the traditional series, Consigned to Death, was a recent selection by the State Library. Also, at the Public Television’s request Jane has donated two sets of books—Consigned to Death and Deadly Appraisal—for their annual auction. Want to bid? The auction runs from May 4-13, 2007. For details, visit their website at http://www.nhptv.org/auction.

Unpublished Fact About Josie

NH beach rose

Josie likes sitting on a rock at the beach. “I do some of my best thinking listening to the ocean. It’s almost hypnotic to me.”


Finding Stolen Art:
A Detective Takes on the Nazis

On April 23, 2007, Jane will speak at the Midtown Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library. Art stolen by the Nazis is a theme in Consigned to Death. For details, check out the library’s flyer.  


Deadly Appraisal
Available April 17, 2007!

Deadly AppraisalIn the second Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, Josie is hosting a charity gala. Midway through the event, the executive director of the charity drops dead. The police don't know if maybe the poison was intended for Josie. She uses her knowledge of antiques to solve the crime. Read or listen to Jane read an excerpt!

"Josie is a multifaceted, vulnerable character... the story is framed with details of the antiques business, and numerous well-developed secondary characters populate the book." Booklist

Pre-order your copy today or attend one of Jane's events.

Jane’s Good Friend, Karen Quinn

Jane credits her good friend, Karen Quinn, with both professional support and personal inspiration in a recent BLOG entry. Read or listen to it now.

Karen’s new book, Wife in the Fast Lane, is the story of Christy Hayes, a case study in successful living. She’s won two Olympic gold medals, built a multimillion-dollar business, and landed a gorgeous and powerful CEO husband. But Christy’s dream life begins to unravel when she inherits custody of an eleven-year-old girl named Renata. Suddenly she finds herself battling three formidable opponents: a treacherous business partner bent on ousting her from the company she founded, a ruthless stay-at-home mom who’ll stop at nothing to maintain her PTA power base, and a stunning single woman scheming to steal her husband. Throw in the demands of one high-maintenance spouse and it’s clear: something’s got to give. But what? Her marriage? Her career? Her sanity?

Wife in the Fast Lane by Karen Quinn

Doesn’t that sound wonderful? It does to
me, too! I’ve bought the book, and I encourage you to do so, too. Read an excerpt at Karen’s website.


Cooking Tip from Josie’s Mom

“Sauté onions first in butter. Then add any other vegetables you’re using.” Josie mom said that softening the onions before adding other vegetables adds a subtle essence to the entire dish that you simply can't get in any other way. “And the flavor of butter can’t be reproduced.”

ratatouille

Josie’s mom used sautéed onions in ratatouille, for instance. To the onions, she added tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Sometimes, she scooped the mixture into hollowed out tomatoes. Yum.

Other recipes from Josie’s mom are on Jane’s website.

Mystery Lovers Festival Mystery Lovers Festival

The wonderful and innovative mystery bookstore, Mystery Lovers, in Oakmont, PA is sponsoring its 12th annual Mystery Lovers Festival on Monday, May 7, 2007. Fans get to meet more than fifty authors in one intensive evening event. "I went last year and it was great," Jane said. "“Richard, one of the owners, interviews each author."

Mary Alice, the other owner, said, "I stayed up all night with Deadly Appraisal. Loved it. I think your protagonist is very smart. A cool and realistic portrayal, and the neighbor is a rich minefield, as well as funny."


Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?

“Hutches evolved from sideboards,” Josie says. “By the end of the seventeenth century, craftsman had begun to produce hutches with drawers for storage.”

Josie explains that you can often date pieces by the front legs. (The rear legs are usually plain.) The baluster leg (rounded and straight) was common in the early- to mid- eighteenth century.

[baluster leg

In the late eighteenth century and the nineteenth century, the cabriole leg became popular.

cabriole leg


Have You Tried
the Appraisal Challenge?

Babe Ruth Baseball

Take the challenge—pit your appraisal skills against those of the professional appraisal company,  Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. It’s fun—and challenging! Want to give this week's quiz a whirl now?
© 2005— Jane K. Cleland

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