Like an ornate Victorian house, Bentley's debut mystery is built on a solid foundation but winds up laden with gewgaws and light on practical basics. New York textile designer Avery Marie Baker inherits a run-down New England manse from a reclusive aunt who died under mysterious circumstances. Avery "is little and cunning and pouts a lot," and she's about as bright as her boy friend's crowbar. She instantly suspects dislikable people of having a hand in her aunt's death, while completely missing blatant clues pointing to the killer. Avery soon winds up in predictable anticlimactic peril, waiting for buff handyman Derek Ellis to rescue her. The characters and the town are charming, but without any real suspense--except whether Avery can convince Derek to let her mosaic tile the kitchen counter--there's no substance to the mystery. (Nov.)[Page 44]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.