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

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  348 ratings  ·  35 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 sa ...more
Paperback, 338 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2001)
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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
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
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.
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!
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
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 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
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
Ben Kruskal
Charming light mystery, first in a series that I think I will continue
This is an interesting little series.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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 3 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Love this series - finally just posted my review on this book (and sort of generally on the next two):
Fun, escapist mystery, though the drawback to reading this series is the renewed urge to go to yard sales... The ending was a bit too Midsomer Murders melodramatic.
I liked this a lot, and I'm always happy to find another mystery series to read because they make great interludes between heavier books.
This was an ok read. I'm not sure if read the other books in the series, because I wasn't all crazy about the main chaacters.
All Fiffer books: she works as a picker for antique dealers. Got tired of them. Read 1-4, skipped 5 & 6, and read 7.
Fun romp, mainly because I love estate sales and am from Illinois. Light mystery stuff, kinda fluffy, but enjoyable.
A good mystery. I can't claim that I related to the character, but it was a well done plot.
Cozy mystery about a picker - very trendy right now. I enjoyed it. Will read more in the series.
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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)
Dead Guy's Stuff (Jane Wheel, #2) The Wrong Stuff (Jane Wheel, #3) Scary Stuff (Jane Wheel, #6) Buried Stuff (Jane Wheel, #4) Lucky Stuff (Jane Wheel #8)

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