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The Art of the Decoy


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About the Author

Trish Esden loves museums, gardens, wilderness, dogs and birds, in various order depending on the day. She lives in Northern Vermont where she deals antiques with her husband, a profession she's been involved with since her teens. Don't ask what her favorite type of antique is. She loves hunting down old bottles and rusty barn junk as much as she enjoys fine art and furnishings.


2023 Silver Falchion Award Finalist: Best Mystery Category

Praise for The Art of the Decoy:

“Captivating . . . rich historical and cultural background.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Realistic and absorbing.” 
—Midwest Book Review

“An intriguing and entertaining mystery. A sensational debut for this series.”
—Escape with Dollycas

“You’re going to love spending time with antiques dealer, Edie Brown! With characters who face real and relatable issues, from Edie's conflict with her mother and uncertainty about a romance to her Uncle Tuck's desire to focus on his gardening, not a business he doesn't want to run, this complex, twisty tale of betrayal and deception is a winner! Trish Esden is a gifted wordsmith, crafting prose that is evocative, raw, and meaningful. Sit back and prepare to lose yourself in this Northern Vermont wonderland filled with priceless folk art and people you want to know.”
—Jane K. Cleland, award-winning author of Jane Austen's Lost Letters, the 14th Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery

“All I can say is WOW! With this first novel in the Scandal Mountain Antiques Series, author Trish Esden has knocked it out of the park. With an evocative rural Vermont setting, an intriguing main character with a complicated past, an engaging cast of supporting characters, and a twisty plot that will keep you turning pages, The Art of the Decoy is as close to perfect as they get.”
—Connie Berry, award winning author of A Dream of Death

“A well-drawn Vermont setting, a satisfyingly deep dive into the art and antiques world, and an expert and tricky mystery make this a must-read debut for Esden's clever antiques dealer Edie Brown. Bring on Edie's next adventure!”
—Sarah Stewart Taylor, Vermont author of the Maggie D’arcy mystery series

“The Art of the Decoy by Trish Esden is an exciting start to a new mystery series, featuring intriguing characters, a charming New England setting, and a fascinating deep dive into the world of antiques and folk-art. Like the valuable decoys of the title, this book is both unique and authentic, offering an intelligent and intrepid heroine who’s not afraid to face danger to sleuth out the truth. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy well-developed characters, sophisticated plotting, and a bit of edginess and adventure in their mysteries.”
—Victoria Gilbert, author of the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series and the Booklovers B&B mystery series

“Welcome to the world of folk art antiques, where the competition to acquire a priceless piece is so cutthroat it might just lead to murder. With its tenacious and endearing female sleuth, a mystery that captivates, and a vibrant cast of suspects, The Art of the Decoy entices from the first page. A winning start to a new mystery series that’s as rare as the art Edie Brown has in her sights. I can’t wait to return to Scandal Mountain.”
— Tessa Wegert, author of Death in the Family and The Dead Season

“With its likable characters, high stakes mystery, and immersive setting, The Art of the Decoy is a great start to a fresh new series.”
—Elizabeth Penney, author of the Cambridge Bookshop Series

“A thrilling, fast-paced mystery with memorable characters and as many twists and turns as the back-country roads of its rural Vermont setting. Highly entertaining, with the added bonus of an in-depth introduction to the fascinating world of the antique business.”
—Hank Parker, author of CONTAINMENT: A Thriller

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