Roberto Fratelli, proprietor of the antiques store Waited4You, is the meanest man in Marthasville, Virginia. So when he puts the business up for sale, the other merchants in town are overjoyed. And now the business has a prospective buyer: local resident and the newly elected mayor’s mom, Camille Benson, who’s thrilled at the prospect of getting into the antiques business. During a celebration in honor of Camille’s new venture, her best friend, Opal, tells her about finding a letter, purportedly from Sally Fairfax to George Washington, dated 1756, hidden under a chair in the shop. When they return to retrieve the cache, they find Roberto’s lifeless body on the floor and no letter.
Police question Ella Coleman, Roberto’s ex-wife, and discover that her current husband supplied Roberto with oh-so-faux Victorian furniture. Did the two cheat the wrong customer? Or could the murder be connected to an earlier theft of rare books from the shop—a theft Roberto never reported?
As Camille prepares to confront these questions and investigate the murder, she knows she might become the latest knock-off.
Art, murder, and a secret dating back centuries collide in Cordy Abbott’s delightful cozy mystery series debut, DEAD MEN DON’T DECORATE, and The Big Thrill caught up with her to learn more:
Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
The character–IRL one of my BFFs is the mayor’s mom. When I thought about her as the protag, it felt right. And I knew it would be fun. Plus it checks all the boxes for a cozy heroine.
I called her, and she called her son, and the rest is her-story.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
Old Town Alexandria, or Marthasville, has charm and history, but there are 10 other neighborhoods in the city. I hope I’m giving readers insight into all of them.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
I’m in a writers group called the Royal Writers Secret Society. This talented group inspires me every day, and I love them all.
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
During COVID (and other times of high stress), I truly need a book to read at night that will give me an a-h-h-h feeling. That’s what cozies do.
Proud baby boomer and dog mom Cordy Abbott is the author of the Old Town Antique Mystery series. She, her husband, and their standard schnauzer have lived in Alexandria, Virginia for over two decades. Because she enjoys everything about the city, she can’t wait to share it with readers, even a fictionalized version.
When not writing, she enjoys characteristic baby boomer pursuits: golf, traveling, and volunteering for good causes, like American Association of University Women of Alexandria and the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation.
She has a post-graduate certificate in antiquities theft and art crime.
To learn more, please visit her website and follow her @CordyAbbott.