The Antique Hunters Guide to Murder – C.L. Miller | Book Review | #TheAntiqueHuntersGuideToMurder | @CLMillerAuthor @panmacmillan @RandomTTours


Freya, it’s down to you to finish what I started . . .

Freya Lockwood has avoided the quaint English village in which she grew up for the last twenty years. That is until news arrives that Arthur Crockleford, antiques dealer and Freya’s estranged mentor, has died . . . and the circumstances seem suspicious.

You will uncover a reservation, I implore you to attend . . .

But when a letter from Arthur is delivered, sent just days before his death, and an ordinary pine chest concealing Arthur’s journals, including reservations in her name, are revealed, Freya finds herself sucked back into a life she’d sworn to leave behind.

But beware, trust no one. Your life depends on it . . .

Joining forces with her eccentric Aunt Carole, Arthur’s staunch best friend, Freya follows both clues and her instincts to an old manor house for an ‘antiques enthusiasts’ weekend’. But not is all as it seems; the antiques are bad reproductions, and the other guests are menacing and secretive.

Can Freya and Carole solve the mystery surrounding the weekend before a killer strikes again?


My thanks to Anne of Random Things Tours for the invite and to the publisher for the copy to review. The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder is published by Pan Macmillan and available in ebook, audio and hardback (29 February 2024) with the paperback to follow in September 2024.

Cara Miller is the daughter of the late Judith Miller, an antiques expert. As a frequent viewer of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, this book appealed to me immediately. The author’s knowledge and interest in antiques comes through clearly and this, combined with an intriguing murder mystery, makes for an entertaining and engrossing read.

Freya Lockwood was a professional antique hunter, seeking out stolen antiquities and returning them to their rightful owners. However a traumatic experience and a falling out with her mentor, Arthur Crockleford 20 years previously had led her to cut all contact with him – that is until her surrogate mother/Aunt Carole advises that her best friend Arthur has died, seemingly in suspicious circumstances. Freya is very fond of her Aunt and it is for her that she returns to her childhood village and to Arthur’s antique shop.

It appears that Arthur had more faith in Freya than she did in herself. After a bad marriage Freya’s confidence is at rock bottom and she is rather a fragile character but a series of clues has been left and Freya needs to call upon her long put aside skills to decipher them.

With each chapter headed by a relevant hint from Arthur, the story is told mainly from Freya’s perspective. This mystery contains all the elements for an intriguing story – an old house, dubious characters, some with murderous intent and of course antiques. You don’t need to have any special interest in the subject matter to enjoy the murder mystery conundrum. I had my suspicions about various people, some I correctly guessed and with others I was way off beam. Freya and Carole work well together – elderly Aunt Carole was a gregarious and glamorous character, her former acting career being put to use well here. It becomes clear that past events must be revisited to solve the present mystery.

TAHGTM is in essence a cosy mystery but with a difference being set in the world of antiques. I very much enjoyed it – there were characters I could believe in and root for and the twists and turns kept my interest. I believe this is the first in a series and I’m certainly interested to follow future adventures of this very capable duo.

Cara Miller started working Life in publishing as an editorial assistant for her mother, Judith Miller, on the Miller’s Antique Price Guide to Europe before she went into hospitality and events. After she had children, she decided to follow her long-held dream of becoming an author and began writing full-time. She was an Undiscovered Voices winner in 2022 and was showcased in the UV 2022 anthology. She lives in a medieval cottage in Suffolk with her family.

This book was written in consultation with international antiques expert Judith Miller (1951–2023), a regular specialist on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. Judith was also the co-founder of the bestselling annual Miller’s Antiques Price Guide, which started in 1979. She went on to write more than 120 books on antiques and interiors.

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