Murder & The Monkey Band: High Desert Cozy Mystery Series

Murder & The Monkey Band: High Desert Cozy Mystery Series by Dianne Harman Read Free Book Online

Book: Murder & The Monkey Band: High Desert Cozy Mystery Series by Dianne Harman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dianne Harman
to
flow off into the desert. Marty spent several minutes opening cabinets and
looking in drawers.
    “There are quite a few
things in here which definitely are of value. Your mother evidently collected
Quimper pottery. It looks like the pieces are from the 18 th century
and are highly desirable as well as expensive. The fifteen plates on this wall
will all need to be individually appraised. There are some other pieces in the
cabinets which definitely have value as does the sterling silver and chinaware.
Those I will be appraising. As far as the run-of-the-mill kitchen items and
appliances, I think it would be fine to lump them together as miscellaneous
kitchen items, and I’ll assign a value to the lot. Not appraising them piece by
piece will save you quite a bit of money on the appraisal. If the Will is going
to be contested, I’ll have to do it piece by piece, but if not, there shouldn’t
be any problem in doing them in bulk.”
    “No, I don’t think there
will be a Will contest, but you never know. Just appraise those items in bulk.
Go ahead and walk through the rest of the house. I’m going to spend a little
time in my mother’s study, and see if I can decipher some of the things in her
desk.”
    For the next half hour
Marty and Laura walked through each room of the house. Clearly, Pam Jensen had
been very knowledgeable about antiques. There were collections of antique
perfume bottles in the master bathroom, fine art on the walls throughout the
house, antique furniture in all of the bedrooms and the dining room, a
breakfront filled with cut glass, and a library with antique books spilling out
of the floor to ceiling bookcases. Everywhere they looked it was a feast for
the eyes.
    “Laura, remember how I
told you sometimes I needed to bring in an appraiser in a certain area when it
wasn’t within my scope of expertise. Well, you’re looking at one of the areas
now. There’s a man in Palm Springs who specializes in antique books. I’m going
to ask him to appraise these for me. What I do in a case like this is pay him directly
and then attach his appraisal to mine.”
    The one room left was the
living room. When they walked into it Marty caught her breath and stopped.
“What’s wrong?” Laura asked.
    “The Meissen collection in
this display case is quite simply the finest I’ve ever seen. Look at this room.
It should be in a museum. Everything in here is worth a fortune from the
mirrors with the rococo frames to the Aubusson tapestry on the wall to say
nothing of the antique Oriental rugs casually scattered around on the floor. Not
only did Pam Jensen have an excellent eye for antiques, she also had an ability
few collectors possess – being able to blend different types of antiques in a
pleasing way, so nothing jumps out, it just all becomes one cohesive unit. Wow!
I’ve done a lot of appraisals over the years, but I’ve never seen this many
fabulous items in one place.”
    Jim joined them in the
living room. “Have you had a chance to get the lay of the land?” he asked.
    “Yes. Your mother was
obviously one of the most astute collectors I’ve ever encountered. Not only is
her collection one of the finest I’ve ever seen, she had an ability to combine
everything in a warm, welcoming way. As far as timing, I’m estimating three
days to conduct the on-site appraisal, then additional time for research and
preparation of the report. Antique books are not my forte, so I’ll need to
bring in another appraiser for them. Is there anything else I should know
before I get started?”
    “Yes. My mother had a lot
of jewelry. Let me get it out of her safe and show you. Let’s go into her
bedroom.” After the three of them walked to the bedroom, Jim knelt down,
pulling the rug back which revealed a floor safe. He opened it and removed
handfuls of jewelry.
    Marty looked at the
jewelry for a moment and said, “I’m going to have to call a friend of mine
who’s an expert in jewelry. I would be doing a

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