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Death of an Artist by Kate Wilhelm

2012 (4) audible (1) audio (2) audiobook (2) contemporary mystery (1) crime (4) DONE (1) EW (1) fiction (6) granddaughter (1) greed (1) HC (1) husband (1) Marnie (1) mystery (15) Northwest (1) novel (1) Oregon (5) Portland Oregon (1) read (1) read in 2012 (3) romance (1) sleuth (1) small town (2) stef (1) suspense (3) to-read (3) US (1) van (1) Washington State (1)
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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Good read. The end was a little weird but it was enjoyable and done in a day. The female lead characters had overcome a lot un the past and were very strong. ( )
  krystalsbooks | May 11, 2014 |
“Death of an Artist” was a thrilling story by Kate Wilhelm. I was so taken in by the descriptive explanations of the art work that I could actually picture it in my mind. I was also caught up in the interaction among the grandmother, Marnie; the daughter, Steph and the daughter Van. What an interesting family! When Tony, the retired, disabled detective seeks to discover the murderer, the book really got interesting. I was totally absorbed in the storyline. Ms. Wilhelm paints a picture of the Oregon coast that is so vital I almost could place myself there. I was also impressed that Ms. Wilhelm did not use sexual episodes in this book, nor were they needed. I was very impressed with that. If anyone like a good old mystery “whodunit”, you will like this book. I would like to read more of Kate Wilhelm’s books. Great job! ( )
  SilverShrew | Feb 20, 2014 |
My thoughts: Despite what the title implies, this mystery-of-sorts doesn't start with a death. And with only one artist in the cast of characters, Stef, her death is a foregone conclusion. Furthermore, who kills her is also (mostly) apparent from the beginning. The why is debated, but it's the how that makes this novel shine. Thus, Death of an Artist feels off kilter until Stef dies. It's rare to discover a mystery not concerned with who did it, or even why, and much of this novel is a character-based exploration of Stef, her art, and her family.

This novel took me a little time to get into because of its unusual structure. If I didn't know the title, I would not have thought the novel was a mystery. Once Stef did die, however, all of the backstory was incredibly helpful because it made me as a reader immediately on the side of Marnie. What seemed to be more of a family drama soon morphed into a conspiracy, and I was hooked.

Audio thoughts: Carrington MacDuffie eagerly embraces her ability to create distinctive voices for each character. While I appreciated the clear voices for each character, some of the voices appeared distractingly hokey at first, particular Marnie, Stef's mother. As I got used to these voices, however, I found the voices quite illustrative of each character's quirks and whims.

The verdict: A surprisingly smart resolution and well-developed characters balance out the lack of whodunit; Death of an Artist is all about the how.

Rating: 4 out of 5 ( )
  nomadreader | Jun 14, 2013 |
“Fresh Meat” by Terrie Farley Moran for Criminal Element

Kate Wilhelm’s work covers an extraordinary range across the genres of science fiction, fantasy and mystery. In 1977, the World Science Fiction Society presented a Hugo Award for best novel to Wilhelm for her post-apocalyptic Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, and in 2003 she was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. She has long focused on mystery writing, particularly in the Constance and Charlie series and her novels featuring Barbara Holloway.

Death of an Artist is a stand-alone, but the main characters could easily return in another book. There are so many wounded people living in this novel, it’s difficult for the reader to unravel the individual problems pulling everyone together and at the same time pushing them apart. The death of tortured but brilliant artist, Stefi, leads her mother, Marni, and her daughter, Van, to Tony Mauricio, a wanderer who stops in the small Oregon town of Silver Bay and picks up a job in woodworking to keep his hands busy while he wrestles the demons he carries from his haunted past as a New York police detective.

Read more at: http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2012/03/fresh-meat-death-of-an-artist-by-ka...
  CrimeHQ | May 14, 2013 |
Artist living in her mothers house, sometimes with her 4th husband is killed by husband. Retired, disabled policeman is asked br mother and daughter to pin the blame on the money grubbing husband. Routine story line, but I really liked the authors characters and style of writing. Will read more of this author. Cozy type. ( )
  Pmaurer | Apr 24, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312658613, Hardcover)

In Kate Wilhelm's latest crime novel, a small Oregon town is rocked by a wheels-within-wheels case of art, fraud, and murder.
 
Silver Bay, Oregon, a small coastal resort town with nearly a thousand residents, is home to three generations of women: Marnie, the long-widowed owner of a small gift shop; Van, her granddaughter who is about to graduate medical school; and Stef, mercurial, difficult, and a brilliant artist who refuses to sell her work. When Stef discovers that Dale Oliver—the latest husband/paramour in a very long line—is trying to sell her work behind her back, she puts a stop to it and threatens to do the same to him. Shortly thereafter, Stef dies in an accident in her studio, and Dale shows up with a signed contract granting him the right to sell her work. Convinced that Stef was murdered in order to steal her artwork, Marie and Van—grandmother and granddaughter—decide to do whatever is necessary to see that Dale doesn’t get away with any of it. This includes enlisting the help of the new stranger in town, Tony, a former New York City cop, who might be the only one who can prove it was murder
and bring the killer to justice.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Silver Bay, Oregon, a small coastal resort town with nearly a thousand residents, is home to three generations of women: Marnie, the long-widowed owner of a small gift shop; Van, her granddaughter who is about to graduate medical school; and Stef, mercurial, difficult, and a brilliant artist who refuses to sell her work. When Stef discovers that Dale Oliver--the latest husband/paramour in a very long line--is trying to sell her work behind her back, she puts a stop to it and threatens to do the same to him. Shortly thereafter, Stef dies in an accident in her studio, and Dale shows up with a signed contract granting him the right to sell her work. Convinced that Stef was murdered in order to steal her artwork, Marie and Van--grandmother and granddaughter--decide to do whatever is necessary to see that Dale doesn't get away with any of it. This includes enlisting the help of the new stranger in town, Tony, a former New York City cop, who might be the only one who can prove it was murder and bring the killer to justice"--… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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