From the outside, Alix London appears to have it all: a glamorous career as an art consultant, a sumptuous condo in Seattle’s toniest neighborhood, a gorgeous figure, and a presence that positively exudes Ivy League breeding and old money. Unfortunately for Alix, what you see isn’t exactly what you get. A brilliant, once-promising art student, the daughter of a prominent New York art conservator, Alix and her world were left in ruins when her father went to prison for art forgery. Now a Harvard dropout with an emptied bank account, she is languishing in a career that has produced little more than a lucky house-sitting gig.
Then she meets Christine Lemay, a novice art collector with deep pockets and a handle on a recently discovered painting by American master Georgia O’Keeffe. Chris needs the painting authenticated, and Alix’s career desperately needs the boost that will come from such a high-profile assignment. But when an attempted art theft goes horribly wrong, Alix is plunged into a tangled web of forgery, deceit - and murder. Only her connoisseur’s eye (and a little unlikely help from her roguish father) can give the FBI the expertise they need to crack the case…assuming the killer doesn’t come for her next.
Witty and surprising, A Dangerous Talent introduces a clever and enchanting new sleuth to the ranks of American detective fiction.
I went ahead and gave the performance 4 stars even though her Boston accent was horrible -- but I did enjoy the rest of it.
I like the characters and the mystery was good (although I did figure out who "done it" fairly early on). It was a good light read and I will be checking out more from this author.
26 of 26 people found this review helpful
I remember reading Aaron Elkins' Gideon Oliver books many years ago and liking them a lot. The story here is intruiging, though the question of who-done-it is fairly obvious fairly early, and there is a rather large gaff (the proof of authenticity of a certain painting should be glaringly obvious for an art expert). That said, the story was still enjoyable.
Kate Rudd is generally fine as a narrator but she makes a big mistake by not doing her homework: when a character is said to sound like a "Boston Brahmin" (i.e. Old Money Upper Crust Bostonian) Ms. Rudd gives him an accent that is 1/4 Blue Collar Boston and 3/4 Bronx tough guy. The Authors make it easy, saying he sounds like "Thurston Howell III from Gilligan's Island." That, and she mispronounces the name of the artist Ingres. Ms Rudd, I highly recommend Google.
35 of 36 people found this review helpful
Good storytelling, good pace, great characters, wonderful setting, emotive - but not too depressed/depressing (which is important to me).
Only qualm was the obviousness of the culprit.
21 of 22 people found this review helpful
Alix London is a beautiful and talented art consultant. She's also a Harvard drop-out. Born into wealth and privilege, she lost it all when her famous artist father was convicted of art forgery. Presently, she's house sitting in Seattle while she's cleaning expensive paintings for a client. Then her luck changes when she's hired by the novice art collector and newly rich, Christine Lemay, who wants Alix to authenticate a Georgia O'Keeffe painting that her art dealer friend is selling. They travel to the art scene in Santa Fe, the third largest artist area in the country, for this adventure.
The relationship between 'fallen from high society', Alix, and 'tell it like it is', Christine makes for a great caper. Though, when the art dealer friend is murdered, and the Santa Fe adobe cabin that Alix is supposed to say in explodes, they find danger chasing them too.
There's lots of interesting information about the art world and Georgia O'Keeffe that adds a real spark to this story. The underworld of art forgery creates real suspense and mystery, as humor mixes with danger in a great way throughout the story. A great start to a new mystery series!
Reader did a great job, adding a lot to my enjoyment of this story!!
26 of 30 people found this review helpful
The story was pretty good, though I had it figured out fairly early and fairly easily.
The reader, though, was not great. First and foremost she doesn't seem to have an aptitude for accents. They were not good, whatever they were supposed to be, but most of that could be overcome, even the British one, which wasn't really British at all. The Boston one, however, was so cringeworthy, I found myself hoping she would pull a Kevin Costner and just abandon it early on. No such luck. It was painful. On top of that was the all too often mechanical delivery, especially of dialogue. In many spots her cadence was so robotic it was like having Siri tell me a story. It was really distracting, taking me out of the story too often for me to enjoy it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I was taken with A Dangerous Talent right away . . . Alix London, trying to make her own way, after her notorious art forger father's fall from grace . . . Alix finally gets a job with Christine Lemay, a wealthy novice art collector looking to purchase a newly discovered work by the late Georgia O’Keeffe . . . so Alix leaves her Seattle apartment for an adventure in New Mexico . . . that turns out anything but what she expects . . . Alix narrowly escapes being killed in an "accidental" gas explosion upon their arrival . . . the artwork she is there to authenticate is stolen . . . the gallery owner killed . . . and yet Ms. Lemay keeps Alix on for more research into the origins of the painting . . . the beauty of the western landscape is exquisitely laid out . . . even as the two women drive a Lamborghini through the countryside . . . the FBI becomes involved . . . the slow revealing of Alix and Geoff's relationship through the years (her father) is gently told, making for one of the best parts of the book . . . excellent wrap up of the murders and art theft . . . and I can't wait to listen to the next book in the series! Bravo, to Charlotte and Aaron Elkins for a clean, interesting, artsy mystery series!
29 of 37 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I purchased this book because it is written by the Elkins and I have enjoyed reading the Gideon Oliver books over the years. I was slightly surprised by this book as there was, especially towards the beginning, more romance to it than I expected - more so than in the Gideon Oliver books, in my opinion. Once I mentally adjusted, I did enjoy the book and am looking forward to the next book in the series.
19 of 24 people found this review helpful
A well completed wrap up. This would make a good movie, the scenery and locations would be stunning. The narration pretty ho hum with not much delineation in voices from her own. I guess I shouldn’t always expect extraordinary narrations, one of the reasons I am an audible member.
Good descriptive action scenes, no gruesome details or foul language.
The information about the world of art forgery and Georgia O’Keefe are the gems of this story.
Some early sections seem slow paced but overall I’m glad I finished it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
ok story, very weak performance. really sappy!
somewhat improbable characters. but the voice of the presenter was grating.
28 of 39 people found this review helpful
Fun read, good characters and locations. I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next one.
11 of 15 people found this review helpful