Brush With Death by Hailey Lind
Brush With Death by Hailey Lind is described as an “art lover’s mystery.” I am one of those people who would definitely not bill myself as an art lover, but I know what I like and I liked this Annie Kincaid novel.
Annie Kincaid was not always on the right side of the law, in fact her lineage includes a master art forger-her grandfather. Her father took the high road and became a college professor. Between the two varying backgrounds Annie decided to go legit as a faux art restorer. She also helps her landlord out occasionally with security matters for art pieces.
What I liked about her character is that she has a sense of bravado (running after masked ghouls in a cemetery at night) as well as a sense of humor. She has the ability to laugh at her goofs and her near death experiences. Annie is far from perfect!
During this book she mentioned her “too good to be true” boyfriend Josh, that she doesn’t want to hurt and really needs to break up with, but we never actually read any real conversations with him, since he spent the entire story “out of town”. He left a couple of messages but that was it.
Annie did seem to be just about to give in to nature’s “urges” with not one but two other gentlemen and went to a family dinner of a third. That dinner she over-imbibed to the point of being put to bed in a spare room. This might have proved to be her undoing since she was so tipsy, but at 3 in the morning she was summoned to the graveyard she had been working at to save her assistant from being left for dead in crypt.
Brush With Death is about a real painting that is hanging in this local columbarium unbeknownst to most-and murders are being committed in a grand effort to keep this secret.
Annie knows that security for precious art is sometimes very inadequate, but was she crazy to think that one was hanging in a little town outside San Francisco without the slightest bit of watching? Still she wasn’t being paid to investigate. Annie meets Cindy Tanaka, a graduate student, while taking a break during a graveyard shift. They run into ghoul/thief. They make plans to work together when Annie finds Cindy dead, apparently of suicide a couple of days later.
And Cindy isn’t the only rather odd death.
Tired of being a pariah in the art world, Annie hopes to clearly identify the piece of art as real and send it back to Italy where it belongs. She also wants to find out who is trying to kill her, her assistant and has been successful at killing three people who seemed to know the truth about the painting.
Brush with Death is written by Hailey Lind who is actually two sisters; one an artist, the other a historian. Julie Goodson-Lawes is the skilled artist. She has (like the character Annie) run her own faux finishing and design business for almost 10 years. The other half of the union is Carolyn Lawes, a historian who has taught all over France and the USA. She has been published extensively on American Women’s history.