Publication Date: March 27, 2012 Finished: April 22, 2012 Robin's Rating: Fair / Not Bad
Book Cover Description: In Kate Wilhelm's latest crime novel, a small Oregon town is rocked by a wheels-within-wheels case of art, fraud, and murder. Silver Bay, Oregon, a small coastal resort town with nearly a thousand residents, is home to three generations of women: Marnie, the long-widowed owner of a small gift shop; Van, her granddaughter who is about to graduate medical school; and Stef, mercurial, difficult, and a brilliant artist who refuses to sell her work. When Stef discovers that Dale Oliver—the latest husband/paramour in a very long line—is trying to sell her work behind her back, she puts a stop to it and threatens to do the same to him. Shortly thereafter, Stef dies in an accident in her studio, and Dale shows up with a signed contract granting him the right to sell her work. Convinced that Stef was murdered in order to steal her artwork, Marie and Van—grandmother and granddaughter—decide to do whatever is necessary to see that Dale doesn’t get away with any of it. This includes enlisting the help of the new stranger in town, Tony, a former New York City cop, who might be the only one who can prove it was murder and bring the killer to justice.
What I Think: So what about this book? I chose it because of the outline on the flap. The story is set in Oregon, on the coast. The central characters are a family of women who appear to be creative and strong, and of course there’s the murder part. And the cop, the outsider who will pull it all together! So I guess these elements speak to me. The beginning of the book was getting to know the characters. There wasn’t that much action really and it seemed to take a while to get to the dead body. I’m not sure what the mystery of this story really is. We learn so much about the relationships that it was easy to know who did it and why. It takes until the final chapters to learn if the killer will get away with it. To me this was more of a relationship/family story than a mystery which is fine, they just shouldn’t include “A Mystery” on the cover! One thing I did like about the ending of this book was the way the author wrapped things up with all the characters. So often we’re left wondering what happened to… but not this time. When I closed the book I felt like everything was as it should be and we could all move on! In re-reading my review, I feel like I need to work on my technique. There seem to be a whole lot of words, but I’m not sure that they convey what I want them too. I need to figure out what I want my readers to take away from my review. Is it a review at all? Well there’s much to ponder as always! Bottom line, I liked the book but I don’t think I’ll seek others by this author.