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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

‘Paint a Murder’ by Lily Ashton

Published by Magenta Lily Publishing,
29 July 2019.  

ISBN 978-1-9161062-0-8 (PB)

Alice Haydon is working at the Gregory House Art Gallery, in a small riverside town.  On her way to work she sees the police removing a body from the river.  Shocked, she gets to work only for another shock, that the Senior Curator, Jenna, has broken her leg, giving Alice the opportunity to take charge of the forthcoming exhibition, celebrating the Gallery’s 100th birthday.  Part of her role is to assemble the pieces that will comprise the exhibition, including one from the District Council collection.  But when the painting arrives, it is not the one promised.  Her attempts to sort this out and the problems she encounters when another painting is stolen from the Gallery lead her along a mysterious and ultimately dangerous trail.  She annoys her boss, argues with her boyfriend, and has to cope with the unexpected appearance of a previous boyfriend, now a Detective Inspector.  But she is determined to solve the mysteries of the dead man and the missing artworks.  Could they be in any way connected?

The art world has great potential for criminal activity (as does the average small town) and this plot develops that potential neatly, with twists and turns that hold the interest and provide continual surprises.  Alice is a strong new character, determined, intelligent, and committed.  It will be interesting to follow the progress of this crime-fighting curator.
Reviewer: Jo Hesslewood
The second book in the series, Sculpt a Murder, will be published shortly.

Lily Ashton says that her Alice Heydon mysteries are inspired by lifer around her writing hut on the river. In ​her spare time, she likes to nose around art exhibitions and craft markets.

Jo Hesslewood.  Crime fiction has been my favourite reading material since as a teenager I first spotted Agatha Christie on the library bookshelves.  For twenty-five years the commute to and from London provided plenty of reading time.  I am fortunate to live in Cambridge, where my local crime fiction book club, Crimecrackers, meets at Heffers Bookshop .  I enjoy attending crime fiction events and currently organise events for the Margery Allingham Society.

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