A Portrait to Die For By Radine Trees Nehring

by Sandra Murphy

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

Carrie and Henry married late in life. Since then, family concerns and crime have taken up far too much of their time as far as Henry is concerned. Carrie sees a need and helps, without thought for herself or her safety, and that’s got Henry worried.

Carrie volunteers at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. They have a new display coming, and it will bring visitors by the droves. In the upstairs, there’s a reproduction of a portrait of twins—a boy and a girl—both in dresses as was the tradition years ago. Each is holding a small bouquet of daisies. Carrie can’t wait to see the original.

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While at the museum, she’s tapped as one of several volunteers to speak to a reporter about why they volunteer and why at the museum. What starts out as a nice, friendly interview, turns into questions with more bite, making Carrie uncomfortable. The article itself is no better when it spells out that Carrie inherited money when her first husband died, surely not anything readers needed to know. It seems the reporter did the same thing to the other volunteers, too.

Carrie noticed that the poster of the twins differed a bit from the painting. In the painting, the boy held seven daisies. On the poster, it was eight. When she goes back to check, there are eight on the painting too. Now most people would think she just miscounted, but she knows better.

Before she can figure out that puzzle, the reporter who had interviewed her goes missing. It’s not unusual that she would take off in pursuit of a story, but her car is still at her apartment. Was she kidnapped, or did she leave with someone or worse?

Image source: Oak Tree Books

Carrie’s son Rob is friends with the reporter since college. He thinks Carrie should ask a few questions and find out what happened — that is, until Henry explains the danger Carrie had been in the last time she snooped. Henry is against any investigating, and Rob now agrees. Rob’s girlfriend, Catherine, is of a different mind.

Following the path the reporter might have taken, Catherine finds clues of her own and that brings Rob, Henry, and Carrie into the picture. There’s a small bomb, shots fired, two men following them, a third who is unknown, and more. The more they ask questions, the more questions they have.

It looks like no matter what Henry and Carrie decide, murder will find them. It’s a lucky thing for readers because they are a captivating couple, older than most characters, fun to be around, and lead interesting lives. They’ll even share a few recipes with readers.

To enter to win a copy of A Portrait to Die For, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “portrait,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 14, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her newest, "Arthur", included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now.


  1. This is a new author to me. The book sounds interesting with a museum of American Art in the storyline and a murder. Adding to my TBR list.

  2. This is a new author to me. The book sounds interesting with a museum of American Art in the storyline and a murder. Adding to my TBR list.

  3. Seems Carried and pals have a bit on their plate. Enjoyed the post and appreciate the heads up on a new author and series. Definitely on my TBR. But am hoping for an early start. Della at deepotter@peoplepc.com

  4. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win. doward1952@yahoo.com

  5. Is this part of her Something to Die For Series? Thanks.

  6. Sounds good. Great book cover! I'd love to read it!

  7. I like anything to do with Museums as I worked in three for numerous years. The plot sounds good. Please enter me.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  8. Linda, this is number eight in the "To Die For" series, but also works as a stand alone. Marilyn, I have worked in one art museum, and loved visiting any available when I traveled. Now you can add this to your list!


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