Synopses & Reviews
Former art forger Annie Kincaid has been operating a legitimate decorative painting business for quite a while, but memories are long in the art world. Now, with the blessing of the FBI Art Squad, Annie's using her underworld connections to boost her new art investigation business, where she's partnered with none other than ex-art thief/ love interest Michael X. Johnson. At first it's strictly business, but when she stumbles across a body in an exclusive Nob Hill men's club, and an insurance adjuster asks and an insurance adjuster asks her to find a stolen (and forged) erotic painting, and then her Uncle Anton is attacked, Annie's on the trail of more than just art. This time, she's looking for justice. Annie is a strong woman protagonist. She has reinvented herself from a checkered past as an art forger to a legitimate businesswoman/artist. She moves easily between high and low social circles. as she makes the rounds of San Francisco and Bay Area locales, including tunnels beneath the pavements of Nob Hill and Chinatown; the homes and hideouts-even a downtown sex club-of the rich and famous; and the artists' studios South of Market. The Art Lover's series has an entertaining light touch, especially when either of Annie Kincaid's two romantic interests appear. But Arsenic and Old Paint also deals with serious social issues- some history of slave trading in Chinatown, and its connection with San Francisco powers-that-were; and the male exploitation of the female and immigrant powerless, an issue that continues to this day.
"At the outset of Lind's engrossing fourth Art Lover's mystery (after 2007's Brush with Death), a scream interrupts artist and faux finisher Annie Kincaid and her team while they're doing restoration work at an exclusive men's club housed in a historic brownstone on San Francisco's Nob Hill. In a bathroom on the floor below, Annie and her two assistants find a distraught maid kneeling over the body of a man in a bathtub with a sword protruding from his chest. Insp. Annette Crawford, with whom Annie has collaborated uneasily in past homicide investigations, is soon on the scene. More trouble ensues after Annie's art mentor and honorary uncle, Anton Woznikowicz, is hospitalized with arsenic poisoning. To further complicate matters, an insurance adjuster asks Annie's help in locating a stolen erotic painting. Annie's down-to-earth sense of humor and vast knowledge of art, both genuine and forged, make her an appealing heroine. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)