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A Trace of Deceit

af Karen Odden

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
6520321,641 (3.98)8
Edwin is dead. That's what Inspector Matthew Hallam of Scotland Yard tells Annabel Rowe when she discovers him searching her brother's flat for clues. While the news is shocking, Annabel can't say it's wholly unexpected, given Edwin's past as a dissolute risk-taker and art forger, although he swore he'd reformed. After years spent blaming his reckless behavior for their parents' deaths, Annabel is now faced with the question of who murdered him--because Edwin's death was both violent and deliberate. A valuable French painting he'd been restoring for an auction house is missing from his studio: find the painting, find the murderer. But the owner of the artwork claims it was destroyed in a warehouse fire years ago. As a painter at the prestigious Slade School of Art and as Edwin's closest relative, Annabel makes the case that she is crucial to Matthew's investigation. But in their search for the painting, Matthew and Annabel trace a path of deceit and viciousness that reaches far beyond the elegant rooms of the auction house, into an underworld of politics, corruption, and secrets someone will kill to keep.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 21 (næste | vis alle)
"A Trace of Deceit" is the second book I have read by Ms Odden and I thought it was far better than the first one, "A Dangerous Duet". Even though "A Trace of Deceit" is the second novel in the Victorian Mystery series, it could easily be read as a stand-alone. The only character who appears in both books is Matthew Hallam, who is the Scotland Yards detective in both and the love interest in this one.

The novel started well and continued to hold my attention until the end. I enjoyed the Victorian England setting and loved that the novel centred around the art world and its auction houses. Annabel was a great protagonist. She was intelligent, modern, compassionate and persistent, but also vulnerable and full of guilt. I liked her from the beginning, Matthew remained the sweetie he was in A Dangerous Duet and I was thrilled that he had a much bigger (better) role in this novel than he did in the first. I thought he and Annabel made a perfect couple.

The mystery in" A Trace of Deceit" was also handled more effectively than in "A Dangerous Duet" and for a while I had a number of suspects lined up regarding who killed Edwin, none of who were guilty. Edwin's murder, his painful past, the troubled relationship he and Annabel had, the missing Boucher painting and the dubious workings of the auction houses made for a compelling read.

At university I studied art history where I also dabbled in oils, so I found all the art references throughout the novel fascinating. Ms Odden had definitely done her research and I enjoyed learning new things about art and how the auction houses worked. Although the plot did dip a little in the middle, overall, I found "A Trace of Deceit" very enjoyable and satisfying. I hope there is another instalment in the making. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 18, 2021 |
Oh what people do for a work of art. They steal, they connive, and they even commit murder.

While in the hands of Edwin who was restoring a famous painting, Madame de Pompadour by Francois Boucher, was stolen and Edwin was murdered.

We follow Anabele, Edwin's sister, and Mr. Hallam the investigator as they track down clues and the reason the painting may have been stolen.

What they find is quite a bit of information about the selling and trading of paintings and the people who participate in these trades. Some folks are definitely not on the up and up and come from all walks of life.

Will they find the painting and the murderer?

Ms. Odden will have you mesmerized by the workings of the art world and what goes on in auction houses.

Her characters are authentic, and her writing keeps your interest.

There is plenty of tension and good sleuthing along with a bit of romance. 4/5

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  SilversReviews | Nov 11, 2020 |
“A Trace of Deceit” by Karen Odden is a work of art. Like a striking painting, this story is beautiful, complex and full of details. Some words I would use to describe this mystery are lush, descriptive and immersive. Those who love professionally researched mysteries with a lot of complexities will savor this story. There are a lot of period and art details. Sometimes I felt like the story was a little slow with the pacing. But it is a story to savor and linger in, much like one does at an art gallery. The author obviously has done extensive research and knows what she is talking about. Art lovers will especially love this book, although an amateur (like myself) can also enjoy it. The mystery is done so well, it kept me guessing through the whole book. I do not know how Ms. Odden was able to bring everything together at the end like she did, but it was very cleverly done. I also love that the story has a slightly Gothic feel to it.

Our heroine, Annabel Rowe, is a female painter in Victorian England. She goes to a progressive art school (one of the few that accept women). Her brother (another artist) is mysteriously murdered. Annabel basically inserts herself into the investigation and gets to know the inspector, Matthew, and they develop a friendship and later a romance. They work together to find answers. Annabel is strong, courageous, stubborn and fearless. Sometimes, I got frustrated along with Matthew that Annabel put herself in some dangerous situations. I love Matthew’s character and the relationship that develops between the two as they work together. I also think the way Annabel’s past relationship with her brother and how she processes everything is very well done. Ms. Odden gives the reader a poignant look at grief, loss and resilience.

I recommend this book to lovers of mystery, art and historical fiction!

Content: I give this book a PG-13 rating. Some examples of the content are: a character uses opium and gambles; the Lord’s name is taken in vain; a man drinks; the words “da**,” “bloody hell,” “devil,” “a**” and “bastard” are used; mention of suicide; mention of a man trying to have sex with the maids; metions that a male teacher had sex with some of his male students and made unwelcome advances; mentions that people curse, but the words aren’t actually written.

Rating: I give this book 4 stars.

I want to thank Karen Odden, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and William Morrow for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255. ( )
  Meganleigh844 | Sep 11, 2020 |
This entertaining historical mystery begins with a young art student named Annabel Rowe walking in to her brother's flat to find the police searching it. Her brother has been murdered.

Annabel had a difficult relationship with her brother which began in childhood. Her mother adored Edwin and was his constant support while her father was a much harder taskmaster who demanded Edwin live up to his impossibly high standards and used Annabel as an example to goad his son.

Though they had been close as children, things changed when his father decided to send Edwin away to a boarding school that focused on developing his artistic talent which was great. However, Edwin hated the school and ran away from it ending up living with a school friend and his mother.

Edwin used his artistic talent to clean paintings and to copy them not realizing that he was being used to forge and defraud. He also used drugs and often disappeared. He was caught for the forgery and spent a year in prison which changed his life for the better. He got out determined to put his troubled past behind him but Annabel wasn't quite ready to trust and forgive him. She blamed him for bringing home the illness that killed her parents.

However, she is determined to find out who murdered her brother and is even more determined when she learns that a valuable painting he was cleaning had disappeared. What is most strange is that the painting had been believed lost in a fire in a storage facility that acted as a warehouse for many collectors surplus art.

Annabel convinces Inspector Matthew Hallam that she is necessary to his investigation into her brother's death since she has an in-depth knowledge of the art world which he does not and since it looks like the theft of the painting was key to her brother's death. I liked the way Matthew and Annabel become close as they pursue their investigation. She quickly comes to see all of his various virtues and strengths. She also comes to realize how little she knew her brother and how much she regretted not forgiving him for his faults.

The setting and time period were intriguing. The many characters were distinct and distinctive. This was a thoroughly enjoyable mystery. ( )
  kmartin802 | Sep 5, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
**I received this book as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program**

This was a fun, quirky foray into Victorian London, and more specifically the art world.
Annabel Rowe, a painter attending the Slade School of Art, finds out that her older brother, Edwin, has been brutally murdered, apparently over a painting he was restoring for an auction house.
A delightful search for clues, a culprit, and the painting ensues, with Annabel teaming up with a charming Scotland Yard detective, Matthew Hallam.
There's a delightful little romance that develops between the two, but this book also delivers just enough suspense and action that it goes beyond a typical historical mystery/romance novel. The story did well when introducing many terms and ideas from the art world that I, for one, am not familiar with, but didn't venture into territory of being exclusively appealing to art lovers or artists.
Overall an interesting and entertaining historical mystery!

5/5 stars ( )
  bookluver_11 | May 20, 2020 |
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Edwin is dead. That's what Inspector Matthew Hallam of Scotland Yard tells Annabel Rowe when she discovers him searching her brother's flat for clues. While the news is shocking, Annabel can't say it's wholly unexpected, given Edwin's past as a dissolute risk-taker and art forger, although he swore he'd reformed. After years spent blaming his reckless behavior for their parents' deaths, Annabel is now faced with the question of who murdered him--because Edwin's death was both violent and deliberate. A valuable French painting he'd been restoring for an auction house is missing from his studio: find the painting, find the murderer. But the owner of the artwork claims it was destroyed in a warehouse fire years ago. As a painter at the prestigious Slade School of Art and as Edwin's closest relative, Annabel makes the case that she is crucial to Matthew's investigation. But in their search for the painting, Matthew and Annabel trace a path of deceit and viciousness that reaches far beyond the elegant rooms of the auction house, into an underworld of politics, corruption, and secrets someone will kill to keep.

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