Artistic License to Kill by Paula Darnell
A Fine Art Mystery
About Artistic License to Kill
Artist Amanda Trent, accompanied by her beloved golden retriever Laddie and her persnickety calico cat Mona Lisa, is determined to start a new life after her husband divorces her to marry a younger woman, but it isn't easy.
After a disastrous interview at the prestigious Roadrunner Gallery in Lonesome Valley, Arizona, far away from her previous home in Kansas City, Amanda's afraid that she'll fail at her new career. But her prospects begin to improve when she's accepted as the newest member of the cooperative gallery.
Then, on her very first day, she discovers Janice, the stern director, has been murdered right in the art gallery, and the Roadrunner's members, including Amanda herself, become suspects. Which gallery member murdered the unpopular director? Or was the killer an outsider with an ax to grind?
About Paula Darnell
Award-winning author Paula Darnell is a former college instructor who has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in English and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in English with a Writing Emphasis. Artistic License to Kill is the first book in her Fine Art Mystery series. She's also the author of the DIY Diva Mystery series and The Six-Week Solution, a historical mystery set in Nevada. She resides in Las Vegas with her husband Gary and their Pyrador Rocky.
Artistic License to Kill by Paula Darnell has Amanda Trent, a painter, getting accepted into the Roadrunner Gallery, a cooperative gallery, in Lonesome Valley, Arizona. Janice Warren, the director, is a bit intense and intimidating to Amanda, but she likes her mentor, Susan. On her first day of working in the gallery, Amanda joins Susan outside to find the building locked. After Susan gets them entry, the pair find Janice dead after being hit in the dead by one of her own sculptures. The daunting detective assigned the case focuses on Susan as the guilty party. Amanda feels that Susan is being railroaded and decides to do investigating with assistance from her neighbor, Belle. Artistic License to Kill is the debut of A Fine Art Mystery series. I found this new cozy to be easy to read with steady pacing. I thought it contained good writing and some interesting characters. I liked Amanda Trent along with her two cute fur babies as well as Betty, Susan, Pamela, and even the local lothario (Chip). I was not a fan of Lieutenant Belmont, the gruff detective. He was an overly nasty man who focused on one person and pursued this suspect with dogged determination. The mystery was clever and fun to solve. There are good clues to help readers resolve the whodunit (if you pay close attention). I liked that Amanda is a full-time artist. We get to see what life is like for artists, how a cooperative gallery works, the problem with shipping finished creations, and more. I enjoyed this behind the scenes look at the art world. I am looking forward to reading Vanished in Plein Air when it comes out this spring. Artistic License to Kill is a creative new cozy mystery with a cunning killer, a daunting detective, cavorting canines, an intimidated mentor, and a probing painter.
The Avid Reader