Monday, August 31, 2015


Submitted somewhat nervously by Jordan Kelly Bingham of Victoria Abbott’s book collector mysteries

Dear Reader,

I cannot express to you how happy I was to be waving good-bye to my Uncle Kevin as he headed off for a weekend of camping. You see, we are preparing for an important meeting at the historic country home of Summerlea, traditional getaway of the wealthy Kauffman family, or rather its sole heir, Chadwick Kauffman.  At the end of our luncheon meeting, my boss, the cantankerous book collector, Vera Van Alst (coincidentally the most hated woman in Harrison Falls, N.Y.) will walk away with a pristine collection of Ngaio Marsh first editions and leave behind a satchel stuffed with cash. 

Everyone will be happy with the transaction especially me, because I have the perfect raspberry wool vintage dress, bought for the occasion.  So, as you can imagine, the whole thing will take planning.  As the first person in my family to operate on the right side of the law, I am perhaps a bit more anxious than necessary.  Back to my point: the atmosphere here at Van Alst House is far calmer and food far less scarce when Uncle Kevin Kelly is out of town.  I was brimming with glee at the idea of not having to fight for the last plate of gnocchi or have him ruin our entire Summerlea visit in some bizarre way, when I spotted a piece of white paper, left behind in the pea gravel driveway.  What I read on it did not put me at ease.

Needless to say I have not been able to relax since he left, and I may be imagining things but I swear I can smell campfire and hear the haunting hint of Lynard Skynard in the evening air.  Where's Smokey the Bear when you need him?  As we say in our family, where there’s Kev, there’s fire.  What do you think, dear readers?  Do I have anything to worry about?


Jordan Kelly Bingham

That shadowy body known as Victoria Abbott is actually artist and photographer Victoria Maffini and her mother Mary Jane.  Together they write the book collector mysteries.  They are very happy to announce that THE MARSH MADNESS, the fourth in the series, is available September 1st online or at your favorite bookstore. Or you could pre-order it now!

You can find more at or on Facebook Friend Victoria Abbott and


  1. Hmmm .... not quite the list we made when family camping in the 50's - 70's! Jordan is absolutely right to worry. But I guess as long as Uncle Kev doesn't come between the Ngiao Marsh collection and the cash exchange, it's all good.
    Nancy R

  2. Umm, Jordan, I do think you should be worried because your Uncle Kevin = mischief! I'm looking forward to waking up tomorrow morning at reading all about your story (as soon as Amazon delivers it to my Kindle, of course!). :-)

    1. Wheee! Jordan will be thrilled, Nicole. Right now, she's hiding out somewhere ...



  3. Given that he's taken 10 pounds of sugar, he's either going to go into a diabetic coma, build an explosive device with the ingredients in the lower left hand corner of the note, get really drunk - or some combination of the above.