Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Death of an Artist by Kate Wilhelm

 The publisher's blurb:
Silver Bay, Oregon, a small coastal resort town with nearly a thousand residents, is home to three generations of women: Marnie, the long-widowed owner of a small gift shop; Van, her granddaughter who is about to graduate medical school; and Stef, mercurial, difficult, and a brilliant artist who refuses to sell her work. When Stef discovers that Dale Oliver—the latest husband/paramour in a very long line—is trying to sell her work behind her back, she puts a stop to it and threatens to do the same to him. Shortly thereafter, Stef dies in an accident in her studio, and Dale shows up with a signed contract granting him the right to sell her work. Convinced that Stef was murdered in order to steal her artwork, Marnie and Van—grandmother and granddaughter—decide to do whatever is necessary to see that Dale doesn’t get away with any of it. This includes enlisting the help of the new stranger in town, Tony, a former New York City cop, who might be the only one who can prove it was murder  and bring the killer to justice.

My thoughts: 
I'm normally a big fan of Kate Wilhelm, and grabbed this latest one thinking it was another Barbara Holloway mystery.    It wasn't.  And I must say that I was horribly disappointed.  Wilhelm's latest is a wide departure from her normal tightly plotted, exquisitely page turning mysteries with many suspects, twists, red herrings, etc.  This one was a few steps past chick-lit.  There is a mystery, but the mystery is much more about whether the budding romance between the mysterious Tony and Stef will blossom.  My attention was held just enough to finish it, but I can't say it will be on my favorites list.  It's not badly written, and if I were not familiar with her earlier works, I probably would have been satisfied.  It's just not what we've come to expect from this talented writer.

Author: Kate Wilhelm
Publisher-Format: Minotaur Books (2012), Hardcover, 288 pages 
Subject:  Murder, art theft
Setting: Oregon
Genre: fiction - private investigator mystery
Source:  public library

1 comment:

  1. darn, I was hopeful at "small coastal resort town" but then they were dashed. Think I will skip this one..and maybe check out the Barbara Holloway ones.


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