Lina Townend and Griff Tripp are definitely my favourite antique dealers, as you'll know if you met them on their first adventure Drawing The Line.
They'll keep an eye out for the spectacle cases I collect, warn me if any china I want from their stall is in any way imperfect, and offer to exchange anything I buy which didn't suit the place I had in mind for it at home. Maybe Lina's a bit prickly, but the teacher in me admires the way she's fighting to overcome the problems of her childhood.
Apart from learning her restoration skills, she's learning about music and the stage, and is constantly trying to improve her vocabulary - she even has a little notepad to record new words. She owes everything to dear camp old Griff, of course, who plucked her from the jaws of delinquency and taught her all he knows.
The trouble is, living with Griff and now keeping an eye on her weirdo father and his unsavoury visitors means she doesn't have much time to make friends of her own age and sex. She ought to have someone she can have a nice girlie gossip with about the men floating into her life.
As it is, she doesn't like talking about boys with Griff in case he worries that she'll leave him - or in case he fancies them himself. So how will she cope when a wonderfully handsome young man leaps into her life and uses the L word? Should she trust him, or the detective who gets sucked into her orbit?
I just wish she'd listen to my advice - but you can't put an old head on young shoulders. I must tell you that even after the end of Silver Guilt life doesn't get much easier for her: I've just put the last full-stop to her next adventure, working title, Ring of Guilt. More of that in a few months' time.
Severn House Publishers Ltd
8 February 2010
Keeping the mood light even when the plot turns menacing, Cutler infuses her heroine with a healthy dose of humor - just as she does with cop Kate Power in her other series. The antiques business makes an intriguing background, and the supporting characters are drawn as deftly as the lead.