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Flies in the Punch Bowl by Erika Simms
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Flies in the Punch Bowl

by Erika Simms

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621,887,155 (4.75)None
Seattle's elite are reeling from a spree of unsolved art thefts, and Annabel Riley, an adventurous art aficionado eager to rebuild her career after a wily art forger derailed it, has just entered the scene. After witnessing a bizarre chain of events at a resurrected prohibition speakeasy that seem linked to the thefts, Annabel sees an opportunity to restore her reputation, but only if she can identify the culprit. With promises of glory and absinthe martinis, she convinces close friends Evan Neruda, a struggling journalist with Latin charm, and Lyla Finch, a corporate worker bee with an irreverent streak, to help her investigate the thefts. Humorous interactions abound as their paths collide with a zany ensemble of characters. But as the friends dig deeper into the crimes, the facts become murky, the list of suspects grows, and in a startling crescendo, Annabel finds herself face-to-face with the perils of pursuing the truth.… (more)

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I received Flies in the Punch Bowl from a Library Thing giveaway and was thoroughly entertained. The writer depicted the locations in such lovely, imaginative detail that I could imagine myself in the scenes. The characters were fun and well-developed -- sometimes quirky, sometimes nefarious, often full of ironic humor. The motives were unexpected and believable as well. Some fresh imagination went into this story!

There were many laugh out loud moments in the story, but they were balanced with suspenseful moments, particularly when a twist I didn’t see coming occurred. Overall, it was an entertaining read that I’d recommend to anyone with a sense of humor and taste for mysteries or capers. ( )
  Truffles38 | Jul 24, 2019 |
I received this copy as a Library Thing Member give away for review. I loved this book, it is smart and sassy, lively and funny. Twenty somethings living in Seattle, enjoying the nightlife with lots of specialty beers and cocktails, and then gatecrashing art exhibitions. We have a former art fraud investigator now working in a museum, a employee of an advertising agency and a reporter who sniff out a mystery in the exclusive art world and set off to solve it. The author clearly has a finger or maybe a whole hand on the pulse of the modern art world and is able to write satirically on this subject in several chapters. For example:

'"Before we go, I must visit the contemporary rendition of Edvard Munch's The Scream hanging across the gallery" said Evan motioning toward the far wall. "The piece appears to be reproduced with construction paper and finger paints." "We don't have time for this," I said, following him to the painting, where carmine reds and burning yellows were draped across a sinuous sky while shadowy swirls of ochre green and navy blue accented a road and a river in the distance. A blurry figure stood alone in the foreground, gripping its hollow cheeks, its mouth open wide in a scream. Trumpeted from the mouth in a cartoon bubble were the words Laundry Room Renegade, because even in satire, the image was cliched.'

So there you have it, art, art theft, cocktails, and witty conversation, a twenty-something book thoroughly enjoyed by this 60year old reviewer who has 20 something children and friends and still has hope that the world is not going to heck in a handbasket. Keep on writing Erika. ( )
  nadineeg | Jun 14, 2019 |
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