- this edition published by Echo publishing 2019
- ISBN 978-1-76068-577-5
- 278 pages
- #2 in the Alex Clayton series
Art dealer Alex Clayton and conservator John Porter are thrilled to be previewing the Melbourne International Museum of Art’s (MIMA) newest exhibition, until they witness a museum worker collapse and badly damage a reportedly cursed painting.
Belief in the curse is strengthened when MIMA’s senior conservator Meredith Buchanan dies less than twenty-four hours later while repairing the work. But Alex and John are convinced there is a decidedly human element at work in the museum.
The evidence sets them on the trail of a mysterious painting that could hold a key to Meredith’s death, and the stakes are raised higher when Alex is offered her dream job at MIMA. Damaging the museum’s reputation will jeopardise her professional future. The friends soon realise they are facing an adversary far more ruthless than they had anticipated, and there is much more at risk than Alex’s career.
This is the third novel by the author that I have read in recent weeks, and I'm hooked.
Once again we have a mixture of fact and fiction: the MIMA is a fictional setting, but the paintings that are part of the exhibition are not.
The author has hit on a winning combination in the form of the sleuthing pair art dealer Alex Clayton and conservator John Porter. They are onsite when a museum worker collapses onto one of the paintings to be featured in the coming exhibition. The painting is damaged and John is asked to be a consultant in its repair. However by next morning the MIMA conservator who is undertaking the repair is dead, supposedly a suicide. Alex picks up clue from the floor, one which the police have discounted, and she and John track down the killer from that point.
A well written and engaging story, with just enough detail about Alex and John and their relationship.
My rating: 4.6
I've also read
4.5, THE PORTRAIT OF MOLLY DEAN - #1
4.5, THE SHIFTING LANDSCAPE - #3