Jane K. Cleland used to own a New Hampshire-based antiques. Now, she’s writing mystery novels and, with the Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery book series, she’s combining antiquing and sleuthing.
The series is about Josie Prescott who left behind her life in New York to make a new start on the New Hampshire coast. She launched her own antique business, but she also stumbles into a murder mystery. And it’s just the start, as Josie became quite the Crime-solving antiques dealer.
Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery Series in Order?
Every novel in the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one book to the other.
- Consigned to Death (2006) – When Josie Prescott moved to the scenic coast of New Hampshire from her high-paying career at a New York auction house and boyfriend, her friends thought she was crazy. Josie had some doubts herself, even if the prospect of a fresh start was quite alluring due to her little role in a well-reported price-fixing scandal. But now that she’s launched her own auction company and achieved some success in her new life, things are looking good. That is, until she becomes involved in a murder case, at which point the incredibly attractive but cold-blooded local police chief appears to believe she’s the main suspect.
- Deadly Appraisal (2007) – Josie is sponsoring the Portsmouth Women’s Guild Annual Black and Gold Gala and is looking forward to receiving a kindly worded thank-you for her efforts. Instead, the Guild representative, Maisy Gaylor, dies a horrible death in the midst of the banquet. Who could have wanted to kill earnest, drab little Maisy? “Funny, isn’t it,” muses the hostile Detective Rowcliff, “how a lot of people end up dead when no one has any enemies.”
- Antiques to Die for (2008) – Since Josie Prescott left a high-paying job in New York, her life has not gone exactly according to plan. In many ways, it’s gone better, but dead bodies do seem to keep crossing her path. And now her friend Rosalie has been killed just hours after confiding a secret to Josie, leaving a bereaved twelve-year-old sister, Paige, who reminds Josie of herself when her mother died. It turns out that Rosalie had other secrets too: a mysterious treasure she told her sister she was leaving behind—and a secret admirer who now seems to be turning his creepy attention to Josie!
- Killer Keepsakes (2009) – Gretchen, the amiable and supportive assistant, has been a constant fixture at Prescott’s Antiques and Appraisals since she showed up unannounced when Josie was preparing her New Hampshire store. It seems strange that one day Gretchen doesn’t show up for work because she has always been so trustworthy. When a corpse is discovered in Gretchen’s home, shock quickly gives way to fear, and Gretchen becomes the main suspect.
- Silent Auction (2010) – When Josie Prescott arrives at the restored lighthouse in the town to appraise antiques, she is shocked to find her neighbor Zoë’s adored nephew Frankie dead from a blow to the head. The lighthouse’s owners are passionate antiquities dealers, and Josie soon starts to believe that one of their scrimshaw teeth might hold the secret to uncovering the crime that has rocked Rocky Point and crushed her close friend’s heart.
- Deadly Threads (2011) – In her antiques and appraisals store, located in the quaint tiny seaside village of Rocky Point, New Hampshire, Josie Prescott has started to conduct lessons. The topic of the upcoming lesson is creating an amazing collection of vintage apparel. Josie starts class by grabbing a stunning pair of Chanel heels from under a display table, but Riley Jordan, the guest lecturer, is running late. Rather than the heels, she discovers Riley dead. Josie hooks up with the chief of police in the area to investigate, one clue and one amazing vintage item at a time, as it appears that one of her employees could be connected to the murder.
- Dolled Up for Murder (2012) – An exquisite springtime day in the charming seaside village of Rocky Point, New Hampshire, with the wisteria trailing low and the lilacs in full bloom, finds antique dealer Josie Prescott showcasing a remarkable doll collection she recently bought to Alice Michaels, the leading figure in the town’s investing society. Josie is horrified to witness Alice being shot and dying a short while later. Eric, one of Josie’s workers, is abducted in a matter of hours. The basic demand for ransom from the abductor is the doll collection. Josie finds out that the dolls contain information that might save Eric and reveal the truth about Alice’s murder while racing against time with the local police chief.
- Lethal Treasure (2013) – In Rocky Point, New Hampshire, the sun is shining on freshly fallen snow, and with Valentine’s Day just a week away, Josie Prescott, an antiques dealer, decides to explore her newest source of unexpected treasures: the contents of abandoned storage units up for sale. A large group of people congregate at the storage facility, among them Henri Dubois, the owner of a nearby interior design company, who is bidding against a newcomer to the local auction scene. Josie is ecstatic with her victory. Henri wins the unit and joyfully gives Josie the hand-painted silent movie posters for evaluation. Henri’s wife calls Josie frantically the following morning to inform her that he never made it home.
- Blood Rubies (2014) – Chef Ana Yartsin is about to become a household name. Her unique Fabergé egg-shaped cakes and the narrative behind them have garnered her widespread recognition. When Ana gets ready to shoot a reality TV program about the opening of her bakery in Rocky Point, New Hampshire, she brings in antiquities expert Josie Prescott to evaluate the priceless snow globe and egg. In the first episode of the show, Ana will be shown organizing the desserts for her friend Heather’s impending nuptials to financial wizard Jason. However, Josie discovers Jason dead and the expensive snow globe irreparably broken when she gets to Ana’s house. Josie is left with just fragments to analyze, and to her surprise, they show that the Spring Egg was a fake.
- Ornaments of Death (2015) – Rocky Point, New Hampshire, is a charming seaside hamlet with plenty of twinkling Christmas lights. This year, Josie is extra happy because Ian Bennington, a distant relative she recently found, will be joining in on the festivities. Having family brings Josie unexpected joy, but when he disappears, she has unexpected fear. Ian breaks both his lunch and supper dates with Lavinia, Josie’s close friend. If he could have, he undoubtedly would have. Two precious tiny watercolor pictures from the 17th century that Ian gave his daughter—one of Arabella and the other of her lover, King James II—have also vanished. Josie can’t help but think whether her friend is responsible for the theft and Ian’s absence since she knows that Lavinia is in danger of becoming bankrupt following her acrimonious divorce.
- The Glow of Death (2016) – Josie Prescott pays a visit to Edwin and Ava Belcher, a prosperous neighborhood couple. They’ve invited her in to evaluate their Tiffany lamp, which everyone is happy to discover is authentic. Ellis Hunter, the police chief and Josie’s close friend, is assisting her in getting ready for her yearly Fourth of July barbecue when he receives a call about Ava’s murder. When Ellis can’t get through to Edwin, he asks Josie to identify the body. When Josie realizes that the deceased lady on the Belcher kitchen floor is not the Ava she knew, she is shocked. When Josie learns that what she had been taught about the Belchers and the Tiffany lamp was false, her initial surprise had given way to shock.
- Antique Blues (2018) – When Josie Prescott gets called in to evaluate an antique guitar and a Japanese woodblock painting for her friend Mo, she is overjoyed—that is until Mo gets killed. She doesn’t need much time to identify her top suspect: the cunning boyfriend of Mo’s sister, who sold her the print but has since neatly vanished. With the help of her investigative abilities and expertise in antiques, Josie quickly finds herself on a trail that is riddled with underhanded deals, adulterous affairs, and gamblers.
- Hidden Treasure (2020) – As Josie and Ty joyfully begin renovations on the Gingerbread House, the nieces report that Maudie, the previous owner, may have left behind an old trunk, which she’s desperate to get back. Sure enough, Josie finds the trunk inside a hidden compartment, and within it a jewel-encrusted box holding a sculpture of a cat. Josie can understand the sense of urgency about getting the objects back—they look valuable, and not just in the sentimental sense. But when Josie goes to return the box to Maudie, the woman has vanished. And on the floor of her empty apartment lies a corpse, a woman bludgeoned to death.
- Jane Austen’s Lost Letters (2021) – Veronica Sutton introduces herself as an old friend of Josie Prescott’s father, who had died twenty years earlier. Veronica seems fidgety, and after only a few minutes, hands Josie a brown paper-wrapped package, about the size of a shoebox, and leaves. Mystified, Josie opens the package, and gasps when she sees what’s inside: a notecard bearing her name—in her father’s handwriting—and a green leather box. Inside the box are two letters in transparent plastic sleeves. Both are signed “Jane Austen.” Could her father have really accidentally found two previously unknown letters by one of the world’s most beloved authors—Jane Austen? Reeling, Josie tries to track down Veronica, but the woman has vanished without a trace.