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Friday, February 19, 2016

The Fine Art of Murder: A Katherine Sullivan Mystery By Emily Barnes

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

Until her early retirement, Katherine Sullivan was the chief of police in affluent Edina, Minnesota. It was her husband’s death in the line-of-duty that eventually led towards her decision to pursue her dream as an artist in Taos, New Mexico. It’s been six months since she last visited her hometown, but her daughter’s recent divorce has Katherine returning home to support Lizzie and her two children. A former criminal attorney, Lizzie’s recent transition to family law is rewarding but strained by suddenly becoming the single mother of a 13-year old daughter and son with Asperger’s Syndrome.

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Katherine proves to be remarkably adept at transitioning into a strict but supportive grandmother, and she’s just as capable when a local murder lands her in the midst of an investigation. A recent art graduate and employee at the Pierce Gallery has been found murdered on the Pierce estate, and resentful town sentiment towards the wealthy Pierce family quickly lands the last heir in jail. The current police chief still harbors resentment towards his predecessor, but when Randolph Pierce hires Lizzie as his attorney, she in turn enlists her mother as an investigator to prove his innocence.

While Katherine skillfully mentors and counsels her teenaged grandchildren, she finds herself settling in with the new security team of her husband’s former partner and her own best friend. Nathan Walker has gathered his own rogue team of experts with nicknames appropriate for their skills, and with their assistance Katherine will uncover the secrets hidden within the Pierce home.

Image source: Crooked Lane Books

This first in the series introduces such a completely capable and likable heroine that readers will immediately become invested in both her life and her professional pursuits. She is enviably skilled at coping with her understandably troubled grandchildren, and her detective talents are just as brilliant. Katherine does still react like a protective mother with her own daughter, and the romantic lives of both women are prickly territory for the pair. The blend of domestic fiction with a heist caper ensures that this noteworthy debut will entertain readers, while Katherine’s sharp wit and humor will have them looking forward to her future investigations.

To enter to win a copy of The Fine Art of Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “art,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 27, 2016. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Use this link to purchase the book:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).


  1. Another new-to-me author to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  2. Thanks for the chance to win. Another author and series to add to my TBR list. doward1952@yahoo.com

  3. Like reading a series from book one. New to me author and looking forward to reading.

  4. I'd love to win. Thanks for the chance! lindaherold999@gmail.com

  5. Sounds intriguing and I would love to read it...thank you for the contest...
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com