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Publisher's Summary

At 10, painting a perfect Mona Lisa made Annie Kincaid a prodigy. A similar copy at 17 made her a crook. Lesson learned: genuine art is priceless, and forgery gets you arrested. Now Annie puts her artistic talents to honest use as a faux finisher in San Francisco. But her past may not be painted over as well as she thought....

Annie's got bad news for her ex-boyfriend, curator Ernst Pettigrew: the snooty Brock Museum's new 15-million-dollar Caravaggio painting is as fake as a three-dollar bill. And the same night Annie makes her shattering appraisal, the janitor on duty is killed - and Ernst disappears. To top it all off, a well-known art dealer has absconded with multiple Old Master drawings, leaving yet more forgeries in their places. Finding the originals - and pocketing the reward money - will get Annie's new landlord off her back. But it could also draw her into the underworld of fakes and forgers she swore she'd left behind, starting with a close encounter with a changeable but charming art thief....

©2006 Julie Goodson-Lawes and Carolyn Lawes (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The art world is murder in this witty and entertaining mystery!" (Cleo Coyle, New York Times best-selling author of the Coffeehouse mystery series)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    95
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    50
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    16
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    3

Performance

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    108
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    30
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    9
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Huge Juliet Blackwell / Xe Sands Fan

Very fun - listening to J & X my favorite way to wind down. A little different style than others series and I enjoyed the change up.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this audiobook

I really enjoyed this audiobook. Hailey Lind, Juliet Blackwell crafted very likable characters. This mystery was quite enjoyable. Xe Sands, as usual, gave a wonder performance bringing it all to life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun story- laugh out loud.

Interesting characters, description of people & places in the Bay Area makes me nostalgic. Our heroine doesn’t take herself too seriously.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WONDERFUL NEW SERIES

Fun and exciting.I actually heard myself laughing out loud often.
As usual, Juliet Blackwell, aka, Hailey Lind, does not disappoint. The narration was amazing. Thank you to XE Sands. Can't wait to get into the next book of the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

ENTERTAINING

LOVED THIS BOOK. LIGHT, FUNNY, CLEAN BUT NOT BORING. ANNIE, THE X MAN, FRANK - VERY PROMISING IN SO MANY WAYS. I AM BUYING THE NEXT ONE NOW.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a great lil find

This is one was just a fun read. Enough humor to keep the book lite but you still can enjoy all the characters in the book and the murder mystery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Light and Entertaining

The characters are entertaining, but not well-developed -- not even the protagonist. I was looking for company in the car during a period when I was doing a lot more driving than usual, and this provided that. It made me laugh at times and I even wondered briefly how it would all come out. I am listening to thrillers and mysteries right now and may be ready for a break -- in which case I may try another by this team.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Mushmouthed narrator makes story incomprehensible.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Well, let's see. A narrator who was able to separate one word from another, for a start. Phrases that carry information are often slush, while inconsequential bits that only serve to connect scenes are given heavy emphasis. I also found the narrator's habit of varying her pitch from a near squeak or squawk to her lowest chest voice in a sort of series of waves that seldom match the story irritating.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Certainly not anything by this author or this narrator! The story is probably okay for those who aren't familiar with the works it imitates; I found it dull and derivative. Much of it seems a pastiche of the Elkinses' Alix London stories, almost to the point of plagiarism -- the forger papa, the skilled but honest copyist daughter... with echoes of other books I know well.

Would you be willing to try another one of Xe Sands’s performances?

NEVER!

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom. And ire every time a sentence slipped by as "shhhconnslush I SIPPED MY COFFEE and shhhconnslush ..."

Any additional comments?

I listened to the entire sample (on the same equipment) -- I would NEVER have bought this book if the sample had not been cherrypicked to what may possibly have been the one tolerably listenable 5 minutes in the entire series. I've had to return three books of the last several for the same reason -- the sample was entirely unrepresentative.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Monotone narration

While the plot was fair, the narration provided little variance between characters. It was like the narrator was simply reading the book outloud.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful