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Killer Stuff: A Jane Wheel Mystery (Jane Wheel #1)

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  424 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
In this dynamite series debut, Sharon Fiffer has introduced an engaging and enterprising heroine in Jane Wheel. Recently laid off from her advertising job, separated from her husband Charley, and colliding head-on with a midlife crisis, Jane is trying to make ends meet as an antique "picker" foraging for killer stuff at suburban Chicago's estate sales and auctions, garage ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 868)
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Apr 18, 2010 Gail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jane is obsessed with yard sales especially vintage ceramics, linens, and postcards. Since she got laid off from her high powered advertising job and her husband has separated from her, she's trying to make her living as a "picker" foraging for stuff and reselling it.

She returns the borrowed SUV only to find her neighbor gruesomely murdered -- and she's the main suspect because all the neighbors saw her kissing the husband. She and her childhood friend go picking and solving the mysteries. More
Jun 06, 2013 Sheri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was interested to begin reading Sharon Fiffer's series of mysteries because she is from Kankakee. It was pretty awesome to read about area business's, landmarks, etc. as it brought back many memories of my childhood. Although I am not a big fan of antique collecting, it was interesting to read the process that takes place to make this more than a hobby for some. Definitely an interesting read which took some twists & turns and I am now heading into her 2nd book in the series Dead Guy's Stu ...more
Jan 19, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was published in 2001. It is the first in a series. I saw a new series addition at the library so I decided to read them in order when I found #1 on the shelves.

Jane is a "picker", collector, rummage sale, bargain hunter. New in the antique business. She has the summer alone when her son is with his dad. Murder happens and the reader has to figure out how it is all connected.

I read the book on a cold windy day when that was all I did! Can't wait to get to the rest of the series.
Mar 25, 2016 Roberta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Jane is no Tinker but I really enjoyed the small town setting and the insider information on estate sales, antiques and collectibles. Jane's relationship with her husband, however, was pretty immature and the mystery wasn't very mysterious. About 2/3 of the way through the book there was really no longer any question about who murdered Jane's neighbor.

It's funny how long ago 2001 is. It jumps out at you when a character has a brand new flip phone or runs out of film for her camera. On page 172
Aug 02, 2010 LeeAnne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one! Although the main character, Jane Wheel, suffers from "Heroine Does Stupid Stuff" cozy syndrome, there is enough interesting information on collectibles and the world of collecting to keep any "Antiques Roadshow" fan happy. This is pure fluff but it is fun and readable fluff. I'll be looking for more!
Dec 26, 2011 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finding her way as a picker the main lady of the book finds not only do her tastes in antiques lead to small returns, but befriending the neighbor lady turns deadly...for the neighbor. With an estranged husband working a dig with their only son, time is ripe for polishing her antique hunting. Borrowing her neighbors larger car brings her front and center to a dead body which she finds missing small details only a collector might notice, these little things lend to big leads and the plot twists a ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tolerable with lots of info about stuff people buy or at least look for at rummage and estate sales. But when she got to the final couple of chapters she let it unravel, making the murders and murderers so convoluted I couldn't even tell you whodunnit and I just finished it! And what's more, I don't care! She also let the relationship with the husband hang there at the end, not even addressing it, which was a huge faux pas as far as I was concerned. It was her first book, I hope she gets better.
Sep 29, 2014 Martha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
If you like garage sales, you'll love this mystery. Besides the mystery itself (which is quickly fading from memory), this book is enjoyable for its portrayal of a seriously obsessed "picker"--frequenter of estate sales and other sources of second-hand treasures. I plan to read a couple more of these....
Jennifer Coffman love
My library had a "blind date with a book". Didn't know what I checked out till I took off the wrapper in the car. I couldn't have been happier. The whole book was right up my alley. Antiques and mysteries!! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm looking forward to reading more from Sharon.
Jun 01, 2015 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love mysteries, and I’m always looking for a new author to try. Sharon Fiffer’s detective is Jane Wheel, a former advertising exec turned flea market “picker.” Killer Stuff is rich with detail about collectors and the things they collect, as Jane haunts the sales each weekend for finds to pass on to customers and dealers. MANY bodies complicate her search, as her next-door neighbor, her best friend Tim’s assistant, a fellow picker’s helper, and Tim’s lover are all found dead. Conveniently, Tim ...more
Apr 30, 2015 Michele rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Interesting to learn about the ins and outs of thrift shop/garage sale/antique store owners and their techniques. Not high end antique stores but your average flea market professional shopper. Not great literature but I might read a few more of these.
Jennifer Schneider
I read this book for my book club, and it was chosen because the author is from my hometown, which is also where the book is set. I was pleasantly surprised by the writing, (you typically don't expect much from a small town) which was pretty good. However, the subject of the book (and the sequels, I hear), antiques, isn't really my cup of tea. I found the story line uninteresting, and when the killer was revealed, I just really didn't care. (The "reveal" was pretty convoluted as well.) The main ...more
Dec 23, 2012 Ricki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great beginning to a fun series of books! Our heroine, Jane, has given up a fast paced life in advertising. While trying to decide what to do with her life and next career step, she dabbles in garage sales. While the author uses the device of common place events, such as attending auctions, tag sales, and the such, we are pulled in with the character's search for Bakelite or floral bouquet "Frogs". You will be looking at your neighbors'cast-offs in a whole new light. She has the down t ...more
Jane, a collector of lots of stuff, gets tangled up in a murder or two. Bland cozy mystery. Main character is lifeless, as are her fellow collectors. Action takes place in Evanston, Il and Kankakee, IL. The author makes mention of several antique malls I've visited. I think this might have been better if the main character focused on a specific collectible and provided good historical background on her hobby. This is the author's first book in the series. Sometimes I'm willing to try the next on ...more
Nice start to a new series. The descriptions of the killer stuff was enough to make me take another look at my stuff. Nope, it was all junk!
Ben Kruskal
Charming light mystery, first in a series that I think I will continue
Mar 24, 2014 Judym rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting little series.
Oct 20, 2008 Corky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was recommended to me by a friend who also likes mysteries. This is the first of three that feature Jane Wheel, a Chicago area "picker". A picker is someone who goes to garage sales, house sales, and auctions and buys "junk" for other people. Story line was a bit light but the Chicago scene kept me reading. It was fun to read about the local White Hen and the expressways that were a part of my daily life for so long, along with some other local flavor. I will read the second book for anothe ...more
Oct 24, 2010 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
wonderful new series. If you like to collect "stuff" or go to yard sales or antique shops - like to watch Antique Roadshow or have a soft spot for those of us who just can't get rid of our old boxes of photos and button boxes, you will enjoy this heroine. If that type of thing really gets on your nerves, well, you might want to steer clear. There are lots of loving descriptions of collectables and it all has somewhat of a part in the story. I eat it all up, so Jane Wheel and I are soul sisters!
Second of two books I read back to back that place a murder mystery in the world of antiquing. This is the better of the two (both were the first in their respective series). More like a 2.5 star, but I'm rounding up b/c the other book was so awful that this one was something of a relief. Mystery is OK (it's still summer, so a summer read after all). These books really make me glad that I collect pretty much nothing. How do people afford to support collections? So not my thing.
Dec 28, 2009 Viccy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jane Wheel has been downsized out of her advertising job. Her husband has left her because he believes she is having an affair with a neighbor. Jane decides to start a new business as an antiques picker, going to sales and finding unique things for antiques dealers near her home in central Illinois. What a great job! She has trouble finding things for other people, though, she wants to keep everything for herself. Enjoyable start to a series. I will read more.
Feb 12, 2010 Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jane Wheeler former ad exec has a new job "picker" She goes to flea markets, estate sales and the like with a wish list from antique show owners, decorater, friends to find me a 1950 bakelite red braclet

Her and her husband aer sorta separated. Charlie an college prof is out in the field and Jane stu,bles over her neighbor dead in he rkitchen.

jane has been using the neighbors Blazer.
Aug 05, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this series -- probably more than I should. I appreciate that I'm familiar with the area. I appreciate that she appreciates stuff. I really appreciate the unabashed blue collar existence of Nellie and Don. After meeting author Sharon Fiffer, I appreciate that she is super appreciative of her readers.
Nov 16, 2009 Lois rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very amiable mystery. Loved the rapport between Jane and her gay friend Tim. Really liked the detective who actually is supportive of our amateur sleuth. Fascinating stuff about collectibles. The "whodunit" part seemed a bit labored--but I'll definitely keep reading this series.
Jan 20, 2013 Becca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Sharon's first novel, a mystery to be the first of three with Evanston middle aged Jane Wheel as the heroine, collector, and sleuth. Very fun book with its Northshore setting revolving around garage sales, estate sale and the best "stuff" of today's collecting craze."
I began this series with the last book first and liked it so I decided to begin the series. I too am a collector of stuff so I figured what the heck I like a light mystery no matter how predictable the story it was a fun read and pulled me from a reading slump.
Nicole Diamond
May 03, 2016 Nicole Diamond rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If it has one star I liked it a lot
If it has two stars I liked it a lot and would recommend it
If it has three stars I really really liked it a lot
If it has four stars I insist you read it
If it has five stars it was life changing
Feb 20, 2012 Larry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this series - but realized I stopped at #4 - got distracted and I am excited to find the series continued and now I have more things to add to my "to read" shelf!

Another great thing about Good Reads ... What fun!
Jennifer A.M.
Sep 12, 2007 Jennifer A.M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chick Lit/Mystery
This is an easy read from the chick lit universe. I liked it more for the references to collectibles and antiques than for the mystery itself. I thought the characters were not very deep, but it was fun just the same.
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Other Books in the Series

Jane Wheel (8 books)
  • Dead Guy's Stuff (Jane Wheel, #2)
  • The Wrong Stuff (Jane Wheel, #3)
  • Buried Stuff (Jane Wheel, #4)
  • Hollywood Stuff (Jane Wheel, #5)
  • Scary Stuff (Jane Wheel, #6)
  • Backstage Stuff (Jane Wheel, #7)
  • Lucky Stuff (Jane Wheel #8)

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