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The Art of Murder
A Dead-End Job Mystery #14
Elaine Viets

May 3, 2016 / ISBN 978-0-451-47613-5
Mystery/Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


PI Helen Hawthorne and her husband Phil Sagemont run Coronado Investigations together. Phil has recently taken on a case involving gold coins being stolen by an elusive thief nicknamed The Gold Ghost. Meanwhile, Helen stumbles into a case during a tour of Bonnet House, a local museum.

After an art class held at the museum, a woman collapses and dies in a nearby parking lot. Helen and her friend Margery had observed the class and happened to be parked in the same lot and are witness to Annabel Griffin's fall and subsequent seizure. Annabel dies later, at the hospital, and one of her friends, also an artist from the class, Jenny hires Helen to prove that Annabel's ex-husband murdered her.

Or did he? There are a few other suspects with their own motives and opportunities to have poisoned Annabel, and Helen knows that with perseverance she can discover who the killer is even though Jenny is adamant that it must be Hugo.

I've read every book in this series and find them to be most enjoyable. As with previous books, having Helen and Phil each working on their own cases brings opportunities for more characters to be involved and keeps things interesting. The Art of Murder is a fast read and I didn't feel compelled to search for clues and motives to figure out whodunit. I figured who the murderer was quickly. I did not determine who the Gold Ghost was, however, until Viets revealed it. I really enjoy having two mysteries in one book!

If you've read previous books in this series, you won't be disappointed in this new one. If you are new to Viets, this is fine as a stand-alone read. Fast-paced, witty and populated with colorful characters, this is a book that will please readers everywhere.

Other Reviews in this series

Just Murdered, No 4   [review]
Murder Unleashed,
No. 5   [review]
Murder with Reservations,
No. 6   [review]
Clubbed to Death,
No 7   [review]
Pumped for Murder,
No 10   [review 1] [review 2]
Final Sail, No 11 [review]
Board Stiff,
No 12 [review]
The Art of Murder, No 14


Reviewer Note: The author also writes the Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper Series and the Francesca Vierling Mystery Series

Reviewed 2016