Morrow, Jul 2003, 24.95, 400 pp.
In California, renowned artist Susa Donavon will paint a canvas in front of an audience. Her work will be auctioned as part of raising money for the Friends of Moreno County. Additionally Susa will appraise any works brought in by patrons of the arts with the money raised also donated to the Friends of Moreno County.
Art buyer and artist Lacey Quinn brings in paintings done by her late grandfather in the 1920s for Susa to evaluate. Susa feels that the works owned by Lacey are from highly regarded plein air artist Lewis Marten. Though she doubts it, Lacey, already interested in the life of her relative, cannot resist researching the darker portrayals of murder, but soon finds evidence that the homicides occurred and that history repeats itself.
Insight into the California art scene adds a taste of reality to a suspense-laden tale. The heroine is a delight as she seeks her place feeling like the outsider in her family especially when compared to her two siblings. The murder mystery is thirty plus years old with frozen tundra trails yet Lacey relatively easily solves them, which takes credibility away from a well written fun story that readers will still value.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner