Meet Jordan Bingham the key figure in Victoria Abbott's book collector mysteries. We hope that after you get to know her, you’ll understand why we think she was the perfect person to do the sleuthing in our series. Jordan made her first appearance in The Christie Curse, the first book collector mystery.
Here’s a peek into Jordan’s story before the first book. At the start of the series, Jordan has just come limping back to her home town of Harrison Falls, New York, after the man in her life maxed out her credit card and cleared out her college fund. So much for grad school! Fortunately her lovable and loyal uncles, Mick and Lucky, were happy to help her pick up the pieces as they have been there for her all her life. Too bad the same lovable uncles were as crooked as the day is long. The problem was that Jordan was the first person in her large, Irish family to go straight, a grave disappointment to the all the relatives. After all, didn’t Jordan get a set of lockpicks for her Sweet Sixteen? Wasn’t she taught as a schoolchild how to deal with nosy cops and their questions? Doesn’t she know how to get around town under cover of darkness without being observed? Despite her skills and heritage, she’s chosen her own path. Not that she doesn’t adore Uncle Mick and Uncle Lucky, the scamps who brought her up: she does and she loves all the other uncles who pop up from time to time (Hey Kev – stay out of trouble!) It’s just that she sees herself having a life that revolves around books and getting back to graduate school to study Victorian literature.
Jordan was thrilled to get a dream job as the research assistant to the eccentric book collector, Vera Van Alst, the most hated woman in Harrison Falls. She figured that this would be the ticket to respectability and continuing her education. Vera may be cantankerous and nearly impossible to please, but the job is in a fascinating (if slightly crumbling) Victorian mansion, comes with three excellent meals a day thanks to Signora Panetone, the live-in cook, and a charming attic apartment, complete with faded cabbage rose wallpaper, a four-poster bed and lots of great hiding places. The climate-controlled rosewood lined library is a place of joy for Jordan. All to say, most of what she makes will go straight to the bank except for a the occasional trip to local second hand shops. Lucky she loves all the vintage stuff, because the new stuff is out of her reach. Might we add, when she brought in a rambunctious pug needing a home, there was not a ripple of objection. There would be serious objections to being late for breakfast eight am in the conservatory) or dinner (eight pm in the formal dining room), but those didn’t present a problem for Jordan, who likes being dressed for the occasion.
Things (if you don’t count Good Cat and Bad Cat, Vera’s identical and unpredictable Siamese, who seem to be able to walk through walls) were ideal. All Jordan had to do is find a manuscript for a previously unknown play that Agatha Christie may have written during her mysterious eleven-day disappearance in 1926. What a perfect situation. Until, Jordan discovered that her predecessor died trying to find the elusive manuscript. And someone’s been snooping in her room. Worse, the local cop, Tyler Dekker, seems smitten with her. That can’t end well. It’s one thing to go straight, it’s another thing altogether to consort with the enemy. Too bad Jordan felt the same attraction. Of course, the relationship was doomed, until fate put them in a position that they had to work together.
All Jordan has to cope with this unnerving situation is the collection of skills she owes to her uncles, her problem-solving nature, and the fact she knows how to use hiding places, the dark of night and masking tape to avoid getting cut on broken windows.
We have found that was enough. Through four books, she’s delivered with guts and humor and never lost her love of the mysteries of the Golden Age of Detection that she is paid to find.
We love that girl!
Now in book five, we’re giving her a break: sending her off to San Francisco on a holiday with "Smiley" to repair their relationship in the city where Dashell Hammett taught us that you can’t trust anyone.
Why don’t you join Jordan on this big adventure? She can use a friendly face and some support and we know you will enjoy the trip. Why not pre-order The Hammett Hex here?
We'd love it if you popped in and told how you feel about Jordan or about amateur sleuths in general! Do they have to be perfect?