Stealing With Style

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In Stealing With Style, this first novel featuring Sterling Glass, an antiques appraiser in a small Virginia town, readers encounter a feisty woman who had married money and then kept the family name when she divorced, which accounts for the sobriquet that seems like it must have been fabricated for her job. She has a thriving business evaluating antiques for insurance purposes or for possible resale, and she has just started writing a newspaper column answering questions about them. An unexpected finding of a valuable silver tea urn in a modest estate, along with a costly antique brooch hidden in an oven mitt donated to the Salvation Army, catapults Sterling into an investigation of a wealthy family's missing possessions and the discovery of who is involved in the thievery ring.

At the same time, Sterling finds herself dealing with an elderly client who wants to sell his family's molds that were used to fashion Art Deco ivory and bronze sculptures, and she learns the heirloom figures made from these molds are being stolen by thugs intimidating the old man. He thinks only the molds have value, so it is up to Sterling to convince him otherwise, at great peril to herself.

Emyl Jenkins's cast of shady characters is wide and the hint of romantic possibilities is strong, leaving the reader looking forward to this likeable heroine having future adventures.