A Day in the Life of Anne Hillstrom by Vicki Vass

Killer FindsOrphaned artifacts. That’s what my Great-Aunt Sybil called antiques. It was her mission to find good homes for lost treasures. She instilled that passion in me. To think that my love for antiques would lead me down such a perilous trail would seem something out of a mystery novel. Luckily for me I have a great friend and colleague to help traverse that trail.

You have to understand that CC Muller is everything I’m not. She is frugal, meticulous and practical. Her heart is as big as her knowledge of all things, and she loves to share her knowledge. As I say, she gives you a dollar’s worth when a penny’s worth would suffice. All is forgiven because that is what best friends do. They forgive each other’s flaws and nurture their talents.

CC’s always encouraged me to follow my passion. Yes, that’s right I am an antique hunter. I spend my days scouring estate sales, flea markets and secondhand stores for hidden treasures. I used to be a full-time chemist but as fortune would have it I can now pursue my passion full time. My house is a testament to my passion for shopping. My 1920s Chicago bungalow is filled with boxes of needful things, stacks of catalogs, hatboxes, tea sets and a fat white Persian named Sassy who gives me a disapproving eye when I bring something new home. All in all I find my home quite comfortable though some may say cluttered. CC constantly encourages me to stick to a budget and to my diet but I find both a challenge.

Each day is a new adventure, filled with the unexpected. You never know what you’ll find hidden in someone’s attic or in the back of their garage. I collect memories because when all is said and done that is what life is about. In collecting those memories, I keep a detailed inventory of my finds. And once found, I sometimes can find it difficult to part with them. That’s where CC inspires me to share my passion and my finds with others.

It all started with the blog. For years, CC has chronicled our adventures on her blog. Our fans as she calls them ask us to search for childhood memorabilia, collectibles or antiques. Sometimes that search leads us into trouble. We rely on the help of my friend, the very tall and very British Chicago Police Detective Nigel Towers. My first impression of Nigel was that he resembled a question mark as he slumped down to politely look me in the eye. It was a troubled time in my life after losing Great-Aunt Sybil. His cheery disposition and dry British wit kept me going as we hunted for Sybil’s killer. This was not the life I chose to live. It chose me.

And that’s when I learned antiques can be murder.


Killer Finds is the third book in the Antique Hunters mystery series, published by Cozy Cat Press, April 2016.

Antique hunter Anne Hillstrom’s whirlwind shopping tour to Paris comes to a dead stop, as dead as the man sitting next to her on the plane. And to make matters worse, her identity has been stolen, leaving her to face her worst nightmare. She must sell all her precious antiques with the help of her business partner and co-blogger, CC Muller. Together, they open a pop-up antique store in the quaint suburb of Glen Ellyn Illinois. Their blog fans flock to the store looking to find that perfect treasure and so does a killer. When the Sweet Shop lady next door is found caramelized, the success of the pop-up sale turns bittersweet. Anne and CC dust off the clues, unraveling a centuries-old mystery that leads them to one conclusion. They must find the killer before the killer finds them.

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Meet the author
With a passion for shopping and antiques, Vicki Vass turned in her reporter’s notebook to chronicle the adventures of Anne and CC, two antique hunters who use their skills to solve a murder case.

Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman’s World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief. Connect with Vicki at vickivass.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Killer Finds plus a tote bag. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end September 24, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

32 responses to “A Day in the Life of Anne Hillstrom by Vicki Vass

  1. As an estate sale affectionado, this series has just gone on my TBR list! Would love to get this.

  2. I love going to antique shops so I think I could really relate to this book. Thanks for the chance.

  3. Wow, am hunting this series down today, it looks like it is up my alley. Yes I am digging for all kinds of things as we speak. Helping a daughter plan showers for weddings and babies, parties for the girls, and other events. Oh joy, joy. Can’t wait to find this new treasure, would love to win this book while I find the first two and read. Thank you for the giveaway.

  4. I’ve come to appreciate antiques as I’ve gotten older. I’m looking forward to reading this new to me series. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  5. I used to sell antiques so this book would be right up my alley! Thanks for a chance to win.

  6. This sounds like an interesting series. I’m putting it on my list. Thanks again.

  7. Love shopping for antiques. Something that I caught from my Dad and Mom!

  8. Killer Finds sounds intriguing. Thanks.

  9. Dru, I love this story line and would love to add this book to my home library. E is complaining about all the space I’m taking for the library. She says we’ll have to toss out the beds to get more wall space for bookshelves if I keep doing this. LOL

  10. Susan Slovinsky

    Interesting story line – have to add this one to the TBR list.

  11. This sounds delightful. I’d like to “meet” these two women.

  12. I love antiques and have not read any of these books yet so I’m sure I will find them fascinating. Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway. robeader53@yahoo.com

  13. Two things I love – mysteries and “collectibles” – together. What could be better? Hope I win!

  14. elainehroberson

    Sounds like a series I would enjoy reading. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  15. Barbara Hackel

    I am so excited, Dru Ann! Thanks for the introduction to Vicki Vass! This series sounds wonderful. I grew up near Chicago and my family has always collected and sold antiques. My father was a physicist first and dealer second. Through them I came to love antiques and the hunt for special items at estate sales and other charming places. “Orphaned artifacts” grabbed my attention, and now I need to read all the series! Thanks Vicki for the chance to win a copy of Killer Finds! 🙂

  16. Thanks for the chance. I love antiques. I don’t know a lot about them, just which pieces I I like. These books sound fascinating!

  17. I missed the 1st 2. Would love to win this one!

  18. Always up for a good mystery! Thanks for offering the chance to win!

  19. Thanks Dru, this sounds like an excellent book!

  20. I liked the first two books in this series. Look forward to reading this third one.

  21. I enjoy going to estate sales and antiquing and since I live in Chicago, I can picture a Chicago bungalow full of antiques. “Killer Finds” sounds like an amazing read and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

  22. What a great sounding series. I have added the series to my TBR list. I love estates sales. I know my mom will love this series also, she is my company on my estate sales hunts.

  23. Love going to estate sales with my BFF.

  24. I’m not into antiques, yet. My mother collected good antiques, and I went with her to auctions and estate sales. “Killer Finds” sounds like a great read. Although I am in Michigan my children moved to Illinois, not far from Glen Elllyn.

  25. I have a friend who loves antique sales. She is always the early bird. I miss out because I am not!.Do love to read tho’ so we eould.both enjoy this series. Will be looking for the first two. Thanks for the contest
    Hope we win.

  26. I love antiques and anything to do with finding them. This sounds like a great read. Please enter me.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  27. My book club is always looking for a good read! Since I live in a log home filled with antiques, this is a win win for me! Wish me luck! Your books sound great.

  28. I am the Q ueen of garage and rummage sales! This is my favorite passion! Besides reading!

  29. What a great sounding series, I need to check them out. Thanks for the giveaway!

  30. I love finding new treasures at shops and estate sales—and hate parting with any of them. I think I’ll really enjoy this book so thanks for th chance to win it.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  31. Nice post. Looks like a great read from a new author. And series.

  32. I love second hand shops, antique shops, estate sales, etc…this series is a great fun read and i would love to win the newest title in the series. Thank you for the chance!