Friday, September 15, 2006

Mystery Book Review: Shooting Gallery by Hailey Lind

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of Shooting Gallery by Hailey Lind. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Shooting Gallery by Hailey Lind

Shooting Gallery by Hailey Lind
An Art Lover's Mystery with Annie Kincaid
Signet (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-451-21973-2 (0451219732)
ISBN-13: 978-0-451-21973-2 (9780451219732)
Publication Date: October 2006
List Price: $6.99

Synopsis (from the publisher): Modernism isn't Annie's thing, but even she is surprised to discover that the "sculpture" in a prestigious gallery's grisly new exhibition is an all-too-real corpse—the artist's. Meanwhile, a Chagall painting is stolen from the Brock Museum, and Annie's old friend Bryan is accused of being in on the fix. To track down the missing Chagall, she'll need the dubious assistance of a certain sexy art thief. And if Michael—or whatever his real name may be—isn't distraction enough, Annie's mother shows up in town, acting strangely. Annie's got to solve these mysteries, and fast—because art is long, but life can be very, very short.

Review: Annie Kincaid continues to balance personal and professional relationships, faux finishing and art forgeries, and murder and mayhem in Shooting Gallery, the second mystery in this engaging series by Hailey Lind.

Annie's mother, Beverly, plays a pivotal role in Shooting Gallery. Though there is no obvious connection to a dead sculptor or to a painting stolen from the Brock Museum, Beverly's unannounced trip to San Francisco and subsequent actions are a mystery to Annie. Though relatively minor, this subplot is often more affecting than the more conspicuous mysteries in the book.

Lind keeps the pace of Shooting Gallery brisk, though at times glosses over plot points that could use a bit more explanation. The minor detail of how the corpse of Seamus McGraw comes to be hanging in the gallery's garden, for example, remains unclear. There are light comedic episodes scattered throughout, but the final act incongruously degenerates into slapstick, saved only by the touching revelations by Annie's mother.

Lind maintains the practice, first used in Feint of Art, of prefacing each chapter with delightful quotes from Grandpapa Georges. An example of these insightful, provocative, and often very amusing comments: "Salvador Dali is said to have signed tens of thousands of blank pieces of paper for lithographs he had never seen, much less created. For this brilliant attempt to evade poverty he has been dubbed a forger of his own work."

While fans of art-themed mysteries will definitely enjoy Shooting Gallery, with its insider references to great art, artists, and "restorers", the book should also appeal to anyone who enjoys an entertaining story.

Special thanks to Hailey Lind for providing an ARC of Shooting Gallery for this review.

Review Copyright © 2006 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

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