More historical fiction for the end of the year!
Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the free copy in exchange for my honest review and feature
A TRACE OF DECEIT – Karen Odden (Released December 17th, 2019)
From the author of A Dangerous Duet comes the next book in her Victorian mystery series, this time following a daring female painter and the Scotland Yard detective who is investigating her brother’s suspicious death.
A young painter digs beneath the veneer of Victorian London’s art world to learn the truth behind her brother’s murder…
Edwin is dead. That’s what Inspector Matthew Hallam of Scotland Yard tells Annabel Rowe when she discovers him searching her brother’s flat for clues. While the news is shocking, Annabel can’t say it’s wholly unexpected, given Edwin’s past as a dissolute risk-taker and art forger, although he swore he’d reformed. After years spent blaming his reckless behavior for their parents’ deaths, Annabel is now faced with the question of who murdered him—because Edwin’s death was both violent and deliberate. A valuable French painting he’d been restoring for an auction house is missing from his studio: find the painting, find the murderer. But the owner of the artwork claims it was destroyed in a warehouse fire years ago.
As a painter at the prestigious Slade School of Art and as Edwin’s closest relative, Annabel makes the case that she is crucial to Matthew’s investigation. But in their search for the painting, Matthew and Annabel trace a path of deceit and viciousness that reaches far beyond the elegant rooms of the auction house, into an underworld of politics, corruption, and secrets someone will kill to keep.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
This is book two in the Victorian Mystery series by Karen Odden. Book one was A DANGEROUS DUET (4 stars for me!) and I was looking forward to continuing the series. A TRACE OF DECEIT can be read as a standalone, so if it sounds of interest then you don’t need to worry about feeling lost if you start here.
Another solid historical fiction meets mystery read and I was completely engrossed in the era. This is what I remembered the best from book one, Odden sets the scene and period so perfectly that she transports you there. This is one thing I have always loved about historical fiction. Not only that, but the author gives us a great mystery to go along with it! An artist murdered, a missing painting that was supposedly destroyed years ago, and one woman trying to get to the bottom of it.
Book one focused more on the setting and the atmosphere, but book two gives us more character development and becomes focused on fleshing them out more. Which, again, good news for those starting the series here, because you’ll get a more in-depth look into the characters!
About the author:
KAREN ODDEN received her PhD in English literature from New York University and has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She currently serves as an assistant editor for the academic journal Victorian Literature and Culture. Her debut novel, A Lady in the Smoke, was a USA Today bestseller.
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