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Consigned to Death (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  801 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
After a price-fixing scandal at her prestigious New York auction house, Josie Prescott moves to the New Hampshire coast to restore her reputation--and perhaps a few antiques along the way.

As an antiques dealer, Josie knows how to make an honest assessment, and she's about to land her largest account. But when the owner of the collection is found stabbed to death, Josie's
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 2006)
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A is for Alibi by Sue GraftonChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyPleating for Mercy by Melissa BourbonHer Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
First books of some good cozy series
204th out of 361 books — 495 voters
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John IrvingOur Town by Thornton WilderPoseidon’s Children by Michael  WestA Separate Peace by John KnowlesConsigned to Death by Jane K. Cleland
Books Set in New Hampshire
5th out of 110 books — 22 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,827)
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Lisa Kay
Finished this late last night/early this morning. KarenF.'s review is spot she is so right. I liked Josie, too, but there were a few too many tears for me. I'll give her another chance, though. ...more
Mar 04, 2015 Kimberly rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I liked this, I think...Josie was cool and looked like she would be great to work for. But beyond the workplace, I don't know if I could deal with all the crying. Luckily I wasn't alone regarding the crying based on feedback from others. The story dragged in spots. *yawn*With exception of Josie, Max and Chief Alvarez, I was suspicious of the rest of the characters. I really thought some of the staff were involved with the murder and theft. Even the well placed red herring with Sasha threw me fo ...more
Feb 05, 2014 KarenF rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, mystery, cozy
3.5*s I vacillated a bit on what to rate this one, between 3 & 4 stars, but in the end what I enjoyed outweighed the petty annoyances. Josie moved to New Hampshire from NYC a couple of years ago but in true New Hampshire fashion she's still a new person in town, a bit of an outsider. Her business is her bright spot and the bit and pieces about antiques were interesting to me. I never though about the research required to price things.

In general, I liked Josie but man, she cries a lot. I was
Dec 05, 2008 Dorothy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in antiques and in cozy mysteries
Recommended to Dorothy by: My mystery book club
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
This was a series and a writer that I had never heard of until I joined my local mysteries discussion group at the library. The third book in her series was the chosen book for reading in November. I joined the group late and didn't get a chance to read it before the meeting, but after hearing the discussion, I decided the series might be one that I would enjoy, so I picked up the first book, "Consigned to Death."

The material here had a lot of interest for me because I do love antiques or untiqu
Sep 02, 2008 Carrie rated it liked it
If you enjoy the world of antiques this is the mystery for you. Josie Prescott is a year into her new antiques business along the New Hampshire coastline when a major setback comes her way. She thought she was going to be the auction house for the household goods of a Mr. Grant. He has a house full of wonderful antiques. So nice they are to die for. Mr. Grant is found stabbed to death and Josie is the prime suspect. Now she will have to put all her antique sleuthing skills to work to clear her n ...more
Georgiann Hennelly
Oct 01, 2015 Georgiann Hennelly rated it really liked it
Josie Prescott is an antiques dealer, she knows how to make an honest assessement . She is about to land her largest account yet. But when the owner is found stabbed to death and Josie's finger prints are on the murder weapon. Her innocence appaears as tarnished as an old relic. Everyone has their eyes on her. Now its just a matter of time before she can find enough evidence to clear her name- or find herself consigned to death by the real killer.
Feb 08, 2016 Dana rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes mysteries, traditional mysteries, cozy mysteries, or suspense.
"Consigned to Death" by Jane K. Cleland is the first in a series starring Josie Prescott, who finally has her own antiques auction business up and running in a town along the rugged New Hampshire coast.

"Consigned" is a traditional mystery, with plenty of clues, misdirections, and the gory details of the death scene kept offstage. Josie is a likable protagonist, caring and hardworking, an honest businesswoman with a bit of scandal in her past.

I liked learning a bit about antiques and how their va
Sarah Adamson
Mar 31, 2014 Sarah Adamson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book at bedtime - and should have followed the advice given by Donna Andrews on the cover and not done that!! I only managed to resist staying up due to my husband asking me to turn out the light!
This is the first in the series about Josie Prescott, an antiques dealer and auctioneer. This book is so very easy to read and doesn't require effort even when discussing high end antiques and what to look for - the author makes the whole approach so easy to understand and have fun readi
This was one of those "nice" reads -- nothing to write home about but an enjoyable read. I tend to love antique-themed books
Melanie Guerra
Jun 20, 2015 Melanie Guerra rated it liked it
I heard this author speak about "the politics of stolen art" and purchased her book to see what her mysteries are all about. Truthfully, if I wasn't someone with formal training in art/antiques appraising ( I am), there are parts where my eyes would have glazed over. As it was, I found I was often slogging my way through excruciating details - about food, clothing, the "wit" of certain characters. Regardless, I finished and enjoyed the story. There was, however, too much crying, a strange attemp ...more
Sep 12, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love learning more about the antiques business. I love the history behind there objects. The solution to the mystery was not too difficult to figure out, but the reasoning was a bit shocking. It is good for a mystery novel to shock you a bit. Josie, her staff, Max, and even Chief Alvarez are likeable characters. A lovely little mystery novel.
My only complaint is that Josie quotes some magical piece of advice from her parents every few pages. It does get a bit annoying. Not enough to detract f
Apr 02, 2016 Eileen rated it liked it
New Hampshire
Josie has moved to New Hampshire from New York to get a fresh start. Her new business is doing well but she is lonely, depressed and more than a little tearful. I thought the phrase, 'I felt tears begin to form and my heart started to thump', or some variation of that appeared too often and Josie would have done better with fewer tears and more gumption.
The story didn't have the frenetic pace and whacky friends found in many cozies and focused more on relationships and interaction.
Jul 25, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it
I thought this was a great little mystery. The author has uncommonly good sense; I can't think of a ridiculous action or turn of story. There's still some room to grow the characters and add some additional depth, but that's the point of a series.

Sense: character contacts a lawyer when questioned by police! Unheard of! The lawyer is kept up to date as things move along. I'm really impressed. I think this is the first time something logical has ever occurred in a fictional book.
Sep 01, 2008 Diane rated it really liked it
Ms. Cleland’s first cozy mystery is a winner. The story line keeps moving from the first few pages all the way till the end.

Josie Prescott has her own antique auction business after moving from New York. However, a prospective client is murdered the morning Josie has an appointment with him. She wondered why he didn’t answer his door when she arrived for the appointment which she thought was to close the deal.

Josie seems to be the prime suspect. After all, rumor has it that the client was thin
Apr 25, 2012 Ronna rated it liked it
Cozy books are great fun when you are 'into' their subject lines, or if the author convinces you that you want to get into these things because of what they wrote in their books. Would have loved to have heard more about some great treasure finds in the antique/second hand store and less about how the business was run. Also, one of my favorite parts of cozies is meeting new friends--or enemies---through getting to know the characters. Unfortunately, for me, this story was action driven rather th ...more
Mary Miller
Sep 17, 2012 Mary Miller rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I chose this book for its New England setting. I am planning a trip to New England and wanted to read some books set there. This mystery did not have much of a New England flair to it--it could have been set anywhere.
The mystery is part of a series starring Josie Prescott, owner of an antique auction house in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Josie has moved to NH after a whistle-blowing scandal at her job in a prestigious New York auction house. The mystery concerns the estate of Nathaniel Grant, a po
Jan 19, 2015 Sandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Cleland once owned and ran a New Hampshire antiques and rare-books business. Josie Prescott has come to NH to start her own antiques business after a scandal in NY made her life there very difficult. The work involved in starting her business and making a new life for herself is very well done and Cleland shows us how much she knows about antiques and the antique business. I learned a lot about appraising and the vagaries of dealing with people who want to sell their belongings. Unfortunately, J ...more
Josie Prescott left her job at a top New York auction house after exposing her superiors in a scandal that rocked the antique world. Settling in an idyllic New Hampshire coastal town, Josie is hitting her stride as an independent antiques dealer with a loyal staff, excellent clientele and the resources to make her business a success. However, New Hampshire is not immune to the cut-throat world of antiques dealing, and when a prospective client winds up dead, not only is Josie the prime suspect, ...more
Kathy Davie
Jun 27, 2012 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
First in the Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series set in the made-up Rocky Point in New Hampshire and revolving around Josie Prescott and her auction house.

My Take
Well, I vacillated between a "3" and a "4" strictly because I was not happy with her writing style. Cleland does a great job of explaining the auction house trade and she has created an interesting cast of characters...I'm looking forward to watching Josie's romance proceed. My problem was with the coldness of her writing. It was qui
Sep 30, 2012 Jason rated it it was ok
I'm not sure what to think.

I chose the book because I wanted to read a mystery set in the NH seacoast. Ms. Cleland says this is, but I don't see it.

None of the characters seemed like they were from NH, and the seacoast region, especially right at the coastline, is a lot of little towns and villages that survive because of the massive influx of tourists during the summer. Instead of such a setting, she plopped a city the size of Manchester (the state's largest) on the coast.

As for the characte
This is a first time that I've read a book by Jane K Cleland and I was pleasantly surprised with her writing style.

The basis of the story is that Josie Prescott now owns and runs an antique business where she assesses and buys/sells the antiques. When an owner of such an antique collection is found dead there is enough evidence at the scene and her fingerprints on the murder weapon to point to Josie as the culprit.

The story is engaging as we gradually learn some of the in and outs of an antique
I enjoyed Consigned to Death, and it certainly is a promising start to a series. It will probably not appeal to everyone, but I enjoyed the antiques aspect of the story. The story was an easy read when you want something light. I enjoyed the cast of characters and look forward to getting to know them more, Gretchen in particular I think has an interesting story to tell - of course the same could be said for Eric and Sasha. Normally I don't tend to like reporters in these kinds of stories, but I ...more
Run of the mill. Good for a quick uninvolved read.

The publishers state that this book has recieved "multiple award nominations," and Library Journal named it a "core title" a cozy collection.

I didn't find anything much different from the current spat of special-interest American cozies that glut the market. Traditional cozies are based in the vagaries of human behavior. These special interest cozies, which seem to be an American phenomena, lean heavily on the gimmick of niche professions and ho
Judith Mosconi
Apr 14, 2015 Judith Mosconi rated it it was amazing
Josie Prescott left a high-powered job in NYC to start her own antiques appraisal business in rural New Hampshire. She works hard, has few real friends, but is happy to be growing a successful business. When murder happens, she is quick to follow the trail. I enjoy her point-of-view and her willingness to put her business before everything. Now that she has some success, I like seeing how her life will develop - good stories, likable people, beautiful countryside.
Feb 13, 2014 Ann rated it liked it
Josie Prescott is the owner of an antique auction business in New Hampshire. She is called to appraise a collection of antiques owned by a wealthy resident of the town but when she arrives for her appointment, she finds the man dead. Of course, Josie is the main suspect and she must clear her name and keep the business' reputation intact. This was a very good read. The characters were well written and the plot moves along nicely. I enjoyed the book very much.
Mar 28, 2011 Patty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe it took me this long to try this series. Highly recommended on the mystery listserv DorothyL I've had it on my "TBR" list for a long time.

This is a first in a series and I can't wait to read more!

Josie Prescott is an antiques dealer in a shore town in New Hampshire. When a potential client is killed Josie becomes a "person of interest". Then, when a masterpiece of art goes missing, then shows up in Josie's auction house the stakes become even higher for Josie and her business.

Nov 30, 2015 Cindy rated it liked it
Cute little book. I've read others by this author, kind of got tired of how big a role the main character's dead father played a role. At some point in time, it's like...."Ok...enough already." I still like the idea of the antiques shop/appraisal/consignment shop etc. That's why I'll read more of these. Although, if the main character keeps on in the teary vein I can see that losing appeal quickly.
Eileen Goudge
Apr 17, 2016 Eileen Goudge rated it really liked it
Introduction to a fun mystery series! Loved it! I enjoyed getting to know female sleuth Josie Prescott, who owns a successful estate auction business and solves crimes on the side. The plot is deftly handled and builds to a satisfying climax with just a hint of romance (more to come, I hope!). The characters ring true, and the writing is crisp, clean and intelligent. Highly recommended.
Jul 11, 2015 Anjula rated it liked it
Mixed feelings about this one. The main character is a hot mess. But for some reason I want to read the next one.

Crying McTeary makes smarter decisions than most of her counterparts in other cozies, but the incessant crying and seesaw emotions were so annoying. "I felt" is probably the most common phrase in the book. I can only imagine that the romantic interest finds a runny nose and red eyes to be attractive.
Mark Baker
Mar 18, 2014 Mark Baker rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2006
Josie's new antique auction house in New Hampshire is beginning to take off, but then a potential wealthy client is found murdered and Josie is a suspect. The plot and characters were good, but the ending was weaker than it should have been.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
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Jane K. Cleland’s multiple award-winning and IMBA best selling Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series [St. Martin’s Minotaur] has been reviewed as an Antiques Roadshow for mystery fans. Library Journal named Consigned to Death a "core title" for librarians looking to build a cozy collection, one of only 22 titles listed, along with books by Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. The full article i ...more
More about Jane K. Cleland...

Other Books in the Series

Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Deadly Appraisal (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, #2)
  • Antiques to Die For (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, #3)
  • Killer Keepsakes (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery #4)
  • Silent Auction (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery #5)
  • Deadly Threads (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, #6)
  • Dolled Up for Murder (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, #7)
  • Lethal Treasure (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery #8)
  • Blood Rubies (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, #9)
  • Ornaments of Death (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, #10)
  • The Glow of Death (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, #11)

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