Cover image for The wrong stuff
The wrong stuff
Fiffer, Sharon Sloan, 1951-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, [2003]

Physical Description:
275 pages ; 22 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



Jane Wheel has a lot of stuff. Vintage flowerpots, postcards, Bakelite buttons, pencil sharpeners, mismatched china, linens, even old report cards from children she never knew peek out from the deepest corners of her home, threatening to envelop her entire life. Of course, she's not just a pack rat (or so she tells herself), it's her job: Jane is an antique picker, cruising garage sales and rummage tables looking for items she can turn around and sell to dealers or collectors, picking up a tidy profit. Trouble is, she does a lot of buying and so far only a little selling.
When a school permission slip lost among the towering boxes in Jane's kitchen causes her son, Nick, to miss a field trip, Jane vows to get rid of it all, organizing her house and, in the process, she hopes, her life. Meanwhile, she's entertaining two offers of employment---as an associate with her friend Tim Lowry's antiques dealership and as a consultant in a private investigations firm with former police detective Bruce Oh. Unable to decide, Jane figures she'll take a crack at splitting her time between the two pursuits.
Immediately, and with fragile emotions swirling from her great house-cleaning project, Jane finds herself smack in the middle of a case that will draw on both her new jobs. An antiques dealer has been accused of murder, perhaps as part of covering up an extensive furniture-counterfeiting operation. Jane can hardly wait to investigate---that is, until she learns the identity of the accused: Claire Oh, wife of her new partner Bruce. Rich in the details of junk-sale ephemera that have intrigued fans of previous Jane Wheel adventures, "The Wrong Stuff" is another fascinating, meticulously crafted mystery.

Author Notes

Sharon Fiffer lives in the Chicago area with her husband, Steve. Together they edited a couple of widely acclaimed collections of literary memoirs, Home: American Writers Remember Rooms of Their Own and Family: American Writers Remember Their Own. After this, Sharon began writing mystery novels. Her series about her main character, Jane Wheel, currently contains seven books.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Antiques picker Jane Wheel has vowed to reduce the clutter in her home after losing her son's field-trip permission slip. At the same time, she must decide whether to join former police detective Bruce Oh's private detective agency. Events come to a head when Oh's wife, Claire, an antiques dealer, is accused of substituting a fake chest for an extremely rare find. When the buyer is murdered, leaving Claire the prime suspect, Jane agrees to investigate; so she and her longtime friend Tim go off to Campbell and LaSalle, the company where the chest was restored, and Jane finds a second body. The plot has a few holes--it's unrealistic to think that Jane would be able to search and remove evidence from the second victim's cabin and vehicle before the police do--but readers will respond to the likable characters and their amusing interrelationships. The details of antiques picking, dealing, and restoring, as well as clutter removal, offer added dimensions to an enjoyable series. --Sue O'Brien Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Sharon Fiffer's third winning antiques mystery (after 2002's Dead Guy's Stuff), The Wrong Stuff, series heroine Jane Wheel goes undercover to investigate a dealer accused of murder as part of a counterfeit furniture operation, but the case has a personal angle she didn't anticipate. Haunters of flea markets and yard sales are in for a collectible treat. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Series sleuth/antique picker Jane Wheel (Killer Stuff) begins work in a P.I. office with friend Bruce Oh. Her first murder case involves an antiques dealer and counterfeit furniture, so she feels right at home. Unfortunately, the dealer accused happens to be Bruce's wife. A lively diversion. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.