Tuesday, February 5

Review: Brush with Death by Hailey Lind

This is the third book in the Art Lover's Mystery Series by Hailey Lind.  This book opens with Annie Kincaid working on a restoration project at the Chapel of the Chimes Columbarium, which is adjacent to the Bayview Cemetery.  She is working at night, as to not disturb the mourners who come during the day.  On this particular night, she meets a young grad student by the name of Cindy Tanaka who is working on her dissertation of the phenomenon of public grieving.  While they are talking at the crypt of a little boy who died in 1937, a masked man comes running out of the crypt.  Cindy gives chase and manages to tackle the intruder, but he gets away leaving a small box that he had stolen from the crypt behind.  Once Cindy finds out that Annie is an art restorer, she asks her a question about a copy of Raphael's La Fornarina that is hanging in the columbarium and if it might actually be genuine.  Annie becomes intrigued and promises to take a look.  

This small request leads Annie on quite the adventure.  Annie once again finds a dead body, is attacked by 2 masked men, rescues Mary from kidnappers, tries to re-establish her friendship with Detective Annette Crawford, kisses Frank DeBenton, is rescued by Michael X. Johnson and generally leaves mayhem in here wake as she stumbles from one clue to another trying to make sense of what is going on.

The amount of history and detail that is expressed to us about the San Francisco area and art in general is very interesting and adds to the story.  The twists and turns were very well thought out and kept me guessing almost to the very end.  Each chapter of this book begins with a quote by a famous artist and an reply from Annie's infamous art forger grandfather, George LeFleur. They continue to subtly set the tone for each chapter and foreshadow what will be happening within it. 

I really enjoyed this mystery and the tension between Annie, Frank and Michael keeps this potential love triangle exciting.  I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.


Working nights to restore murals in a building full of cremated remains is strange enough, but chasing a crypt-robbing ghoul through a graveyard is downright creepy. 

In Brush with Death, San Francisco artist Annie Kincaid finds herself drawn into a decades-old mystery involving some illustrious graveyard residents and Raphael's most intimate portrait, dubbed La Fornarina, or "the little baker girl". 

Could the Raphael "copy" hanging amidst funerary urns actually be the priceless original? Is the masked crypt-robber somehow connected to the Raphael? Or is the painting part of a larger puzzle involving Annie's unrepentant grandfather, master art forger Georges LeFleur, and an Italian "fakebuster" out to ruin him? Annie's under pressure to figure things out...before she finds her permanent home amongst the ashes.

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