We hope you enjoy this book review by Douglas R. Cobb.

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When the new owner of the Oriental rug shop Pasha’s Palace, Gwendolyn Spears, is discovered dead on a South Carolina beach, rolled up in an expensive seawater soaked rug, not long after giving a deal of a lifetime to Abigail Louise Timberlake Washburn, owner of the antique shop the Den of Antiquity, Abby believes Gwen was trying to tell her about the danger she was in. At 4'9', Abby may be horizontally challenged, but she’s nobody’s fool, and this S.O.B. (Person who lives south of Broad Street) is known as the Sherlock Holmes of Charleston because of her renowned deductive powers. Who is behind Gwen’s murder and the wide-spread appearance of counterfeit Persian rugs in the Charleston area? With fake nobility to contend with, a miniature June Cleaver-like Momma trapped in a 1950's fashion time warp, and her reputation at stake for having sold a rug that is a modern knock-off, can Abby find out who the devious Rug Lord is and protect her reputation, or has she finally met her match?

Author Tamar Myers writes, as always, with a refreshing sense of humor and wit that makes Death of a Rug Lord a great read for summer or any time of the year. It’s the fourteenth book in her Den of Antiquity series, but having read the previous novels is not a prerequisite for enjoying this one. The Rob-Bobs, Abby’s affectionate term for her gay friends Rob and Bob who operate an antique store right across the street from hers called The Finer Things, are back, adding their help and catty wit to the suspenseful blend. This is the first book in the series that I’ve read, but it won’t be the last, because I was really taken by Tamar Myer’s writing style and liked it very much, despite initially thinking that it perhaps was a novel which would only appeal to women and/or fans of Murder She Wrote.

Abby is married to her husband Greg, a shrimp fisherman; but, as he is out to sea when one of the social events of the year takes place and Kitty Bohring hosts a gala for the Duke and Duchess of Malberry, Rob Goldberg (the Rob of the Rob-Bobs) escorts her. Locating a computer in one of the rooms at the party, Abby and Rob google Malberry and the Duke and Duchess of same, and no hits are listed, confirming Abby’s suspicions that the two are scam artists. To expose them, in a very humorous scene, Abby pretends to be royalty herself, the "Princess Abigail Strugendorf of Weisbladderbadden," and claims that Rob is her bodyguard, and once saved her life by catching a "grenade with his ties" (thighs). She says in a Germanic accent: "Fortunately eet vas a dud."

After exposing the Duke and Duchess as fakes, which results in an abrupt conclusion to the party, Abby accidently spills some shrimp sauce onto a beautiful "Savonnerie carpet" and attempts to soak it up with club soda and napkins. That’s when she notices that the carpet is a modern, man-made reproduction and breaks the bad news to Kitty, who had paid two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for it many years ago. It’s just the first of several Oriental carpets and rugs that Abby and Rob figure out have been switched for reproductions.

If you like reading mysteries that are suspenseful but also provide a few laughs along the way, I’d highly recommend Death of a Rug Lord and the entire Den of Antiquity series. Abby and her widowed mother Mozella Wiggins - who loves the soap opera All My Children and calls the time it’s on television the "Holy Hour" - are unique and memorable literary creations you’ll want to invite into your homes and add to your book shelves.



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