Edie Brown, main character of THE ART OF THE DECOY, a Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery
Tell us a little bit about yourself--both something we learn from THE ART OF THE DECOY and something that readers might not guess?
I’m a very independent and determined woman in my late twenties. Okay, I’m stubborn. But that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to learn and change. In fact, learning spurred on by curiosity is a large part of how I run my life—which is perfect for someone in the antiques and art trade.
However, don’t let my confident exterior fool you. When it comes to personal relationships, I have a hard time. In fact, I haven’t had anything other than casual hook ups with guys in over three years. Most likely that’s because of the relationship I had with Shane Payton back then. At the time, he was my probation officer. Our connection was immediate, and eventually he risked his job and I chanced violating probation by spending a torrid weekend together in a rented cabin. After that, I left town for both of our sakes. But I just don’t seem to be unable to find anyone who excites me physically and intellectually like Shane.
How did you first meet your writer?
Trish tends to come up with a story idea or plot first. Then she picks a main character by mulling over who would be the most challenged by situation. Yeah, Trish likes to torture characters by making them face the one thing they want to avoid, and by taking away what they least want to lose. That’s how she found me. But I’m ready to rise to any challenge she throws at me, though honestly sometimes it feels like I might not succeed.
Want to dish about her?
Trish collects vintage trolls. You know, those doll-like creatures with funny faces and colorful hair? I can’t believe with her love of fine art and early antiques that her taste also runs to the collectable and quirky. But to each their own—and I recently learned that trolls actually can be quite valuable.
Why do you think that your life has ended up being in a book?
My life’s been full of adventure and far from mainstream right from the start. At a young age, I traveled with my grandparents when they went on antique buying trips to all manner of unusual locations. Famous artists camped out in our spare bedrooms and antique dealers came from all over the country to buy from our shop—Scandal Mountain Fine Arts and Antiques. Things took a darker turn when I was seventeen and witnessed a single-engine plane crash that killed my grandparents. Since then, my life turned upside-down. My mother and I always tended to butt heads, but it got much worse. I was arrested and put on probation for selling stolen goods, thanks to her. She eventually was arrested for art forgery—a charge that perhaps was a setup. At any rate, my grandparents didn’t raise me to be a quitter and perhaps that’s the main ingredient that makes my life perfect for a book. I’m determined to restore my family’s reputation and put things back the way they were, and perhaps solve some of our personal mysteries in the process.
Who's your favorite character? Why?
Of course, I care about Shane. And there’s our new employee, Kala Acosta, she’s fabulous. But hands down my true favorite person in the world is my uncle, Tuck. He’s always supported me with love and honest advice, though sometimes I don’t want to hear or take his suggestions. It’s also a good thing that he and I are so close. He lives in our family’s 1830s federal-style home, and I’ve now moved in as well.
Who's your least favorite character? Why?
Felix Graham—the slimy, self-satisfied, conceited jerk—and I don’t dislike him just because his personality grates on me. I have good reason to suspect he’s the one behind my mother going to prison for art forgery. Unfortunately, he’s also a local bigwig antique and art dealer. There’s no way I can avoid crossing paths with him.
What's next for you?
In spring 2023 another Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery
will be released—tentatively titled, A WEALTH OF DECEPTION. This time I get
tangled up in a mystery centered on outsider art. It’s going to be another wild
ride, and I can’t wait until I can share more about it with you.
About The Art of the Decoy
Perfect for fans of Jane K. Cleland and Connie Berry, Tricia Esden's series debut is sure to please.
After her mother is sent to prison for art forgery, Edie Brown returns to Northern Vermont to rebuild her family’s fine art and antiques business. She’s certain she can do it now that her mother is gone. After all, butting heads with her mom over bad business practices was what drove Edie away three years ago, including a screwup that landed Edie on probation for selling stolen property.
When Edie scores a job appraising a waterfowl decoy collection at a hoarder’s farmhouse, she’s determined to take advantage of the situation to rebuild the business’s tarnished reputation and dwindling coffers. In lieu of payment, Edie intends to cherry-pick an exceptional decoy carved by the client’s renowned Quebecoise folk artist ancestors. Only the tables turn when the collection vanishes.
Accused of the theft, Edie’s terrified that the fallout will destroy the business and land her in prison next to her mom. Desperate, she digs into the underbelly of the local antiques and art world. When Edie uncovers a possible link between the decoy theft and a deadly robbery at a Quebec museum, she longs to ask her ex-probation officer, and ex-lover, for help. But she suspects his recent interest in rekindling their romance may hide a darker motive.
With the help of her eccentric uncle Tuck and Kala, their enigmatic new employee, Edie must risk all she holds dear to expose the thieves and recover the decoys before the FBI’s Art Crime Team or the ruthless thieves themselves catch up with her.
About Trish Esden
Trish Esden loves museums, gardens, wilderness, dogs, and birds, in various orders 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.