18 August 2010

Just finished reading...

Arsenic and Old Paint by Hailey Lind.*

Annie Kincaid is back!

Last seen in 2007's Brush with Death, Annie runs the home decorating business she calls True/Faux Studios, as well as an art investigation business partnered with ex?-art-thief Michael X. Johnson.

When she stumbles across a dead body while doing a renovation in the Fleming Mansion, home of an exclusive men's club in San Francisco's Nob Hill, just before her Uncle Anton is hospitalized for arsenic poisoning, she thinks the two events might be related.

At the same time, a man claiming to be an insurance investigator asks her to find a bronze statue that's been stolen from another exclusive San Francisco men's club. Unfortunately, Michael has been incommunicado for days, and she has no choice but to accept the case in his absence.

All the old gang is back: jewelry-maker Samantha Jagger, stained-glass artist Pete Ibrahimbegovics, landlord Frank DeBenton, SFPD detective Annette Crawford, and the aforementioned Michael X. Johnson.

In the course of her investigations into the Fleming Union murder(for despite being warned off by the the FU management and the police, Annie is determined to find out who poisoned Anton), she visits several other old Nob Hill mansions, including an S&M club. She discovers that in the early 20th Century there were tunnels under the houses on the Hill, that had been used for various purposes including hiding runaway prostitutes.

She also chooses between the two incredibly magnetic men in her life: Frank and Michael, or does she? Complicating the issue are secrets that she learns about both of them.

Absorbing, fun and full of information about art and history, Arsenic and Old Paint was worth the wait!

*Many thanks to Perseverance Press for the Advance Reading Copy!

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