Monday, October 02, 2006

Shooting Gallery - Hailey Lind (Review and CONTEST)



Shooting Gallery
An Art Lover’s Mystery
Hailey Lind
Signet

Annie Kincaid has packed quite a bit of living into her few decades. After studying at her Grandpapa Georges’ knee, she spent her seventeenth birthday in a Paris prison, accused of art forgery. She was exonerated only because the Parisian experts refused to believe that an American teenager, and a girl, at that, could reproduce such incredible masterworks. But all that’s behind her now, and she’s spent the last several years establishing a very legitimate faux finishing business in San Francisco. Attending an art gallery show should be a fairly routine evening. And it is, until Annie notices something decided wrong in the guest of honor’s sculpture installation.

Seamus McGraw, the sculptor in question, uses the themes of death and torture for his work. Or, as Annie terms it, he’s front the “Life is a Suppurating Cesspool school of art.” But even McGraw wouldn’t go so far as to put his own dead body in the installation. And, just as the police arrive to sort out that mess, the alarm at the Brock Museum next door begins blaring. Someone stole a (relatively minor) Chagall, and one of Annie’s friends looks like he’s the prime suspect. Since she has an alibi for both crimes, Annie’s feeling pretty lucky. Until her wayward mother shows up for an unexpected visit. And it becomes clear that Annie is going to have to use her expertise and the help of one Michael X. Johnson, art thief and fine human specimen, to get to the truth of things.

It’s clear that the writing duo, sisters, know their subject. Information about art history and restoration is sprinkled liberally throughout the novel, making it either more realistic, or more educational, depending on your level of art appreciation. Even readers who wouldn’t know a Chagall from a Picasso will enjoy this second installment of a series. And there are plenty of light-hearted moments to keep things from getting too grim. The quotes from Annie’s larcenous grandfather that begin each chapter are wonderful. My only quibble is that the last scenes tend a bit too much toward slapstick for my taste. But taste is personal, after all. The many threads of mystery are finely woven at the end, making for a satisfying mystery.

Keep reading below for contest details. Contest begins on 10/3.

Rating: 7 ½
October 2006
0-451-21973-2 (paperback)


Author/Artist Announces
Plans for Art Lover's Mystery Contest:
Winner to Receive Portrait by the Author In the
Style of an Old Master!
Details : www.haileylind.com!


SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Julie Goodson-Lawes and her sister Carolyn Lawes, who write under the pen name of Hailey Lind, have announced plans for an unusual contest for readers of their Art Lover's Mystery Series. A fine artist in addition to an author, Ms. Goodson-Lawes will paint a portrait of the winner (or loved one of the winner) of the Art Lover's Mystery Contest in the style of an Old Master - such as Da Vinci, Michaelangelo or Raphael -- from a photograph.
Most art students spend time copying from the works of established artists, and Ms. Goodson-Lawes is no exception. "In the old days, painters trained themselves by copying the Old Masters. I skipped art school in favor of learning by mimicry as well." Her abilities as a copyist led naturally to a career as a decorative painter and muralist based in Oakland, California. "If you want a Monet covering the bathroom walls or your daughter's portrait in the style of John Singer Sargent, I'm the artist to call."
Readers, booksellers, reviewers and other interested parties will be invited to enter the Art Lover's Mystery Contest beginning October 3. (Employees of Penguin Putnam and its subsidiaries will not be eligible to enter.)

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