Tuesday, January 29

Review: Faint of Art by Hailey Lind

In the first book of the Art Lover's Mystery series by Hailey Lind we are introduced to Annie Kincaid.  Annie is the granddaughter of the infamous art forger George LeFleur.  We find that she spent her young formative years growing up learning how to forge some of the greatest masterpieces of the Renaissance era until she ended up caught and spent her 17th birthday in a Parisian jail.  Since that time she has tried to lead a  life on the straight and narrow, earning a degree in art restoration and doing her best to overcome her grandfather's reputation.  While working at the Brock Museum, her arrest history and background is made known and she is unceremoniously dismissed and basically black balled in the legitimate art world of San Francisco.  But Annie finds her niche and opens True/Faux Studios where she specializes in Faux finishes.  At the age of 31 she has a fairly successful career and works hard to keep it that way.  

The book opens with Annie authenticating a Caravaggio for Ernest Pettigrew, her ex boyfriend and current curator of the Brock Museum. Ernest knows that Annie has an eye for forgeries and asks her opinion on the painting one night, well after closing of the museum.  When Ernest doesn't show up at the coffee shop for the meeting he requested with Annie later that night, followed by all the emergency vehicles headed to the Brock, Annie becomes worried and goes to see what is going on.  When she finds out that the security guard who had let her in and out of the museum is dead, Annie grows worried about Ernest and begins to look for him.  

The secondary characters in this book are quite vivid and engaging.  At one point in the book, Annie reflects that her friends are either artists or sociologists.  The are great for parties, discussing political issues, or giving a shoulder to cry. She thinks that she doesn't have any truly practical friends, such as doctors, police officers or lawyers that could help with her investigation. Of course this means that when Annie is investigating, she doesn't really have any practical advice and watching her bumble from one incident to the next is quite entertaining.  

Each chapter of this book is led with a quote from George LeFleur's pending manuscript, Reflections on a World Class Art Forger.  Each piece gives some small foreshadowing of what will be happening in each chapter.  The mystery was well written and led us through some quirky twists and turns throughout.  I enjoyed this book and gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. 


Annie's got bad news for her ex-boyfriend, curator Ernst Pettigrew; The snooty Brock Museum's new fifteen-million-dollar Caravaggio painting is as fake as a three-dollar bill. Then, the same night Annie makes her shattering appraisal, the janitor on duty in the museum is killed—and Ernst disappears. 

To top it all off, a well-known art dealer has absconded with multiple Old Master drawings, leaving forgeries in their places. Finding the originals and pocketing the reward money will help Annie get her landlord off her back. But a close encounter with a fickle yet charming art thief could draw her into the underworld of fakes and forgers she swore she'd left behind...

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