Jordan Kelly Bingham’s Maybe Perfect Day by Victoria Abbott

The Marsh MadnessIs this the best job or what? I wake up with a warm pug and an equally warm Siamese (that’s Good Cat) on my bed. Sun streams through the window of my attic accommodation, lighting the faded cabbage rose wallpaper. If I am lucky I will manage to shower and get dressed without being decorated by the sharp claws of the other, not quite so cuddly, Siamese: Bad Cat. One of these days, I’ll learn to tell them apart.

I race down from the third floor and along the endless corridors of Van Alst House. I try not to look at Vera’s unattractive (such a mild word) relatives who glare at me from portraits on the walls. Walter the Pug will be at my heels and the Siamese will have managed to precede me to the Conservatory where we breakfast at eight. I know better than to be late. I am always properly dressed. I wouldn’t want to jeopardize the best job in the world.

My employer, Vera Van Alst—well-known as the most hated woman in Harrison Falls, New York—may look up from her New York Times crossword puzzle or she may not. I am lucky to get a grunt today. Never mind, Signora Panetone is thrilled to see me and before I take my seat she will have filled my cup with fragrant espresso and stacked my plate with goodies. Today she’s serving blueberry pancakes with maple syrup. Eat! Eat!

I need my strength because, as well as helping Vera with her magnificent collection of first editions—think secure, climate-controlled, rosewood-lined room, Aubusson carpets and rare books from floor to ceiling— there’s also Uncle Kev to consider. Uncle Kev, the world’s largest and most dangerous child, keeps me on my toes because when he’s around because you just never know when something will explode or collapse. That kind of thing. Never mind. He means well. And it appears he can eat a half-dozen pancakes this morning.

Today, Vera and I are invited to lunch at Summerlea, the grand summer home of the Kauffman family. It’s a dream come true for me and I have the perfect deep raspberry vintage dress picked out. Vera is as excited as she ever gets, although, naturally, there is no visible indication of it. But that’s Vera. Deep down, I know she must be happy because the purpose of our visit to Summerlea is for Vera to acquire a valuable and rare complete collection of first editions by the great mystery writer Ngaio Marsh. We have the money with us (quite a bundle) and we’ll get lunch in a beautiful, historic property. I predict elegance!

goodcat(painting by Victoria Maffini)

With so much turmoil (and yes, even murder) to deal with in the last couple of years, it’s wonderful when I can keep my mind on my job which is to help Vera build her magnificent collection of mystery first editions. This day will be a bit of a reward.

I’m not sure if I mentioned that I’m the first person in my family to find a legal way to make a living. I’m proud of that, even though, with my Kelly relatives, it’s not always easy going straight. . . For sure, life might be smoother if I wasn’t dating Officer Tyler “Smiley” Dekker of the Harrison Falls Police. The thing is, while I find him irresistible, my uncles are horrified. Plus I’m pretty sure I cause problems for “Smiley” at work. Oh well. The heart knows what it wants.

To get back to our scheduled trip, for some unknown reason, Uncle Kev seems to be included in the visit, but if I keep my eyes on him, well, in a place like Summerlea—steeped in old money on a gracious and secluded property, crammed with art and artefacts—what could possibly go wrong?

The answer to that, of course, can be found in The Marsh Madness. We hope that it will keep you up past your bedtime. Because we love being here at Dru’s Book Musings, we’re offering a ‘giveaway’: a copy of The Marsh Madness. We’ll mail it to Canada, the USA or wherever you are on the planet. Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on Thursday, September 24 for the chance to win.

You can read more about Jordan in The Marsh Madness, the fourth book in the “Book Collector” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first three books in the series are The Christie Curse, The Sayers Swindle, and The Wolfe Widow.

About the author
That shadowy body known as Victoria Abbott is actually a dangerous collaboration between artist and MJ and Vic and peachy scarf reversephotographer Victoria Maffini and her mother Mary Jane, author of thirteen mysteries in three other series. So far, they have managed to stay alive during the writing of their four book collector mysteries and expect that to continue during the completion of the fifth, The Hammett Hex, September 2016. When not writing, they can be found lurking mysteriously on the outskirts of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s capital. Most likely they will be surrounded by dogs, including Peachy the Pug.

You can find out more at or

53 responses to “Jordan Kelly Bingham’s Maybe Perfect Day by Victoria Abbott

  1. I would love to wake up in her room! Sounds great! Thanks for the chance!

  2. This is a great series, can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for the chance to win.

  3. This is a fun series and such interesting characters, especially her various uncles. Thanks for the giveaway. Kuzlin at

  4. Love to read this sounds like my kind of book

  5. This book sounds delightful! I think it will be an enjoyable read. Thank you for the giveaway.

  6. Would love to read this; need to catch up on the first three in the series 🙂

  7. Enjoy this series and would love to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. I loved reading the Ngaio Marsh mysteries when I started reading the Golden Age mystery writers 30 yrs ago…a great forgotten writer. Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. I love this series – so unusual with the nefarious uncles, and I want to live in her attic. Thanks for the chance to win.

  10. Sounds great , would love to read this

  11. Would love to read this. Thank you for this opportunity. 🙂

  12. Sounds like a great series. Love Siamese kitties so want to read more about these little cuties. Thanks for the chance.

  13. Barbara Hackel

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series! I laugh at the Uncles and the predicaments they can get into-and out of again! Those wacky Kellys! :o) Thank you Dru, Victoria, and MaryJane for the opportunity to win a copy of this book!!!
    I would love that-and can’t wait to read it! 🙂

  14. I can’t wait to read this one!

  15. What a truly awesome beautiful cover on this new book!!!!! I love purple and love this one!!!! I also am a huge, huge, huge fan of Victoria Abbott and all of her exciting mysteries. My favorites are the ones with doggies/and or kitties in them. Victoria’s books are ones that once I start I can’t stop and end up staying up all night to read….but oh my goodness, they are so so worth it!!!! I am so super duper excited to read this newest book in this series. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the other books in this awesome series!!!!! Thank you so very much dearest Dru and dearest Victoria and dearest MaryJane for the chance to win this new book!!!! Please please please please please pick me….lol!!!! God bless you all!!!!

  16. If it has old books I am there, and the elegant homes. Cannot wait to read this new one.

  17. sounds like a fun read. the family dynamics should be interesting.

  18. I love this series! I have read the first book, and I am currently reading the second. I love the cover. Thanks for the chance to win! 🙂

  19. Is this out already? Seems like I just read the third one. I wish I had a Signaora Panetone in my life, but I’d probably weigh over 300 lbs.

  20. elainehroberson

    Sounds like a great series to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  21. Would love to win. Great beginning to a book. Love you style.

  22. I must admit, if I see Victoria Abbott on the cover, it’s a shoe in for my shelves. I love the plots and writing style.

  23. Would love to learn more

  24. Walter must love to snuggle at night–I’d like to read this book and see what develops on the trip to buy more rare books.

  25. Sounds like a great read.

  26. MaryAnn Forbes

    Thanks for the opportunity to win The Marsh Madness; sounds

  27. This is such a fun series! It’s one of my favorites. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of The Marsh Madness.

  28. I’ll be happy to collect this title for my stash.

  29. Thanks for the chance to win. Sounds like a fun read again. Have so enjoyed the others in this series. Love Jordan and her friends and family.

  30. Thanks for this captivating giveaway.

  31. Love this series. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  32. Sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win!

  33. I enjoyed The Christie Curse, and this post is a good reminder to me to pick up book two and continue reading this great series. Thanks for the chance to win!

  34. I’d love to win. I have read the Christie Curse.

  35. This one sounds interesting.

  36. Legal is good, but something always has to go wrong.

  37. love the portrait of the Siamese! can’t wait to read this one!

  38. Connie Reynolds

    On my TBR pile (figuratively).

  39. I love this series. Always enjoy a visit with Walter.

  40. I’ve seen this book offered. As it is new to my “must read” list, I’m hoping it is a book that it can in someway stand alone. Thanks.

  41. Barbara Landrum

    Looking forward to this book!

  42. Okay! This is an entirely new series for me, and sounds absolutely intriguing. It combines my favorite things – books and old stuff, and Vera sounds like a lot of my relations. Thanks for the chance to win, and now I have to look up all of Victoria Abbott’s books!

  43. This sounds like a really good book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  44. This sounds like a really good book, thanks for the chance to win a copy!!

  45. Linda Kerestes

    I now am on my way to order the first book in this series…it sounds great! With some luck, I just might win this book! Thank you for your giveaway.

  46. One of my favorite series.

  47. This is a really enjoyable series. Thanks for the giveaway!

  48. Good opportunity to get into this series. I have been collecting Marsh but admit I have not read a one. Two birds? Perhaps one will lead to the other. Have read 60 Christies and a smidgen of Sayers. Now some Maffini???

  49. This book sounds terrific, can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  50. Looks like a great series. I’d love to win this one!

  51. I need to start this series…..
    Thank you for the giveaway….

  52. I love a mystery with cats and dogs–can’t wait to read this.

  53. Contest is closed.