Publication Order of Trash ‘N’ Treasures Mysteries Books
|Antiques Roadkill||(2006)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Antiques Maul||(2007)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Antiques Flee Market||(2008)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Antiques Bizarre||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Antiques Knock-Off||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Antiques Disposal||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Antiques Chop||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Antiques Slay Ride||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Antiques Con||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Antiques Fruitcake||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Antiques Swap||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Antiques St. Nicked||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
You might be surprised to learn that Barbara Allan, author of over a dozen books, doesn’t exist. You are probably wondering how that is even possible.
Instead, Barbara Allan is the pen name of authors Barbara Collins and Max Allan Collins. Pretty amazing, right?
Max Allan Collins is the better-known author among the husband-wife combination with more than a dozen series of books under his belt. His best-known work is the Road to Perdition, a book that was turned into a movie in 2002 starring Tom Hanks.
In addition to Perdition, Collins has a variety other characters and series for his readers to enjoy. His Quarry series was written about a former U.S. Marine sniper who turns assassin after returning from war. In his longest-running series, Collins pens books about a Chicago private investigator that becomes entangled in famous crimes from the 1930’s and 1940’s. Further, Heller meets several famous individuals from the period. Other series include the Mallory series about a mystery writer from Iowa and a Disaster Series about mysteries surrounding many of the well-known incidents in the 20th century.
His work extends beyond the written word. Collins has also directed and written four movies, all filmed on location in his hometown of Muscatine, Iowa. He has also completed numerous novelizations of hit films over the past 20 years, including award-winning movies such as American Gangster (2003) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). He also has written and performed music in a rock band.
Barbara Collins penned her own book prior to joining creative forces with her husband. In Too Many Tomcats, Collins creates and solves several feline mysteries in this book of cat-centered adventures first published in 1999. Since the collaboration with her husband, Collins has continued to write books on her own. Her works include Of Pike and Men and a Water Baby series containing the books Water Baby Learns to Ski and Water Baby Goes Boarding.
Additionally, Barbara is well-known for writing short mystery pieces. Collins has crafted numerous novellas for compilations about other cat crimes, including Cat Crimes Through Time and Cat Crimes for the Holidays. Beyond her extensive work with feline mysteries, she has also penned short stories for other compilations, including Trailer Trashed and Lethal Ladies.
The duo is best known for co-authoring the popular Trash ‘n’ Treasures series. The books center around a sleuth shih tzu named Sushi and her owner, Brandy Borne. The series includes some award-winning work with Antique Flee Market garnering the 2008 Romantic Times Toby Bromberg Award for Most Humorous Mystery.
In a 2015 newspaper article, Max described the compilation between husband and wife as an important aspect to their current series. The “innovation,” as he stated, helped the characters in their series to grow and change throughout the series, an unusual feature in mystery series. With respect to the Trash ‘n’ Treasures series, Max claims Barbara is more like the independent Brandy Borne while he the mind behind the unconventional mother, Vivian.
In addition to the popular series, the duo has penned several stand-alone mysteries, including Bombshell and Murder: His & Her. Outside of the book world, the couple also has another creation: a son. The family lives in Iowa.
Antiques Roadkill is the book that launched the series. In this first installment, the readers are introduced to Brandy Borne and her indelible and quirky sidekick Sushi, a Shih Tzu with a sixth sense for solving mysteries. In the book, Borne returns to her hometown to live with her mother, the odd, audacious Vivian Borne. Brandy Borne’s older sister, Peggy Sue, also lives at home, set in the town of Serenity near the Mississippi River.
The plot thickens when Brandy finds out a small-town antiques dealer named Clint Carson has conned her family out of their heirlooms. Brandy confronts Carson publicly and her outburst could cost her dearly when Carson is found dead shortly thereafter after being hit by a vehicle near his home. This leads to Brandy and Vivian to being named the top suspect for the murder.
While the Borne’s may be the top suspects, there’s no shortage of other individuals who had reasons to kill the unscrupulous Carson. Deeper investigation uncovers several other individuals that Carson had swindled out of their family fortunes. The investigation isn’t without risks, however, as the charming chief of police and his young deputy warn of future troubles if they persist.
The mystery becomes even more entangled with the mother-daughter duo begin separating the trash from the treasures at garage sales across town. In doing so, the Borne women unearth several secrets and even become the target of the real murderer.
Fellow author Laurien Berenson notes the book is a humorous book from the on-set. “With its small-town setting and quirky characters, Antiques Roadkill is fun from start to finish. Dive in and enjoy.” This book is of course a top seller, evidenced by the number of fans it commands.
This book is set in September 1959 during the Cold War with tensions high between the United States of America and Russia. To ease that tension, Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev visits America to allay fears. His proposed visits include stops at Disneyland and an introduction to mega-icon Marilyn Monroe.
With security issues proving difficult for the Russian leader to overcome, Disneyland is put on hold while he meets with Monroe. During their encounter, Marilyn uncovers an assassination plot designed to throw the two countries deep into a nuclear war neither country wants. Marilyn attempts to convey this information to American agencies tasked with keep Khrushchev safe, but her pleas fall on deaf ears.
To save the Premier, Marilyn risks both of their lives by taking him to Disneyland. With both countries’ top government officials in hot pursuit, Marilyn and Nikita take in the excitement the amusement park has to offer while staying out of the assassin’s line of fire to stave off war.
Booklist Online writes that this book takes “… an event based in history—Khruschev’s U.S. visit—and shaped it with wonderful characterizations (Nikki and Marilyn have never been more interesting) to re-create an era within the context of a delightful comic adventure…”Book Series In Order » Authors » Barbara Allan