Monday, July 16, 2018

Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert Great Escapes Tour-Review/Character Interview

Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018)
Hardcover: 300 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315957
Digital: ASIN: B075QJHPR9

About the book 
Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.
October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.
The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.
That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder.
And I thought 
So Taylorsford isn't so quiet after all.  Just when everyone thought things were settling down after the last drama another dead body turns up.  
As the townsfolk plan a Heritage Festival Amy the Library director and her employees, family and friends are collecting donations to sell at the fair.  Seems besides a few books the Library just might need some cameras and security system what with all the crime that seems to be hitting the quiet sleepy town. 
In book 2 Amy, her boyfriend Richard and Sonny her friend and co-worker stumble onto the body of the local artist.  
As the 3 tell their stories of what they saw to the local law the daughter and husband of the victim are hiding secrets along with some paintings that are in a hidden closet at the crime scene. 
When Amy is asked to begin doing research on the paintings and is actually deputized she discovers the paintings are forgeries.
And the door is open to all kinds of intrigue when it's discovered a gang of art thieves has been working in the midst of the quiet town for years. 
Everyone ends being surprised especially Amy's aunt Lydia when more paintings are found in their home. It appears Lydia's dead husband was into forgeries too. 
There are few suspects including the husband of the victim, the towns young drug dealer and then maybe an 'art collector/who knows what'.  The art collector Kurt Kendrick seems to have either some skeletons or shady business going on making him a suspect too.  
Some great characters make Shelved Under Murder a really 
good read that kept me turning the pages.
When the smoke clears (and there is a smoking gun in the end) the mysteries are solved and everything returns to normal in the 
quiet town of Taylorsford.  
One thing I thought that was refreshing was that Richard Amy's boyfriend doesn't get all protective and overbearing about Amy's sleuthing.  I like that.  The romantic part of the story was just smoothly fit in woven into their everyday lives.   This is a clean cozy read with no bedroom scenes.  
Alot of murder and crime keeps the reader guessing and turning the pages. 

A character that stood out to me was Kurt Kendrick the art collector.  I suspect there is much more to Mr. Kendrick.  Just a sneak peek he didn't do the murder(s) but what else is he up to? 
(My interview with Kurt Kendrick follows)

Shelved Under Murder is book  in the series.  Each book is written as a stand alone.  You'll enjoy jumping into the series.  

I enjoyed reading Shelved Under Murder and I am looking forward to many more visits to Taylorsford. 

I received a complimentary copy
My review will appear on retail sites Net Galley and Good Reads

Interview with a character
Kurt Kendrick-Character Interview

*Note: changed the one question (about the protective custody) because it’s a spoiler for the book. Hope you don’t mind! – Victoria

Hello Mr. Kendrick thank you for allowing us to visit.  Your home is

Thank you. It dates from the late eighteenth century and I consider its restoration and maintenance as essential to my art business as the paintings and other pieces I house within its walls.

I am sure the lure of a quiet small town must be pleasant. Have you lived in Taylorsford long? 

I’ve owned my estate outside of town for some time, but I only stayed there over one or two weekends a month until about a year or so ago. To be honest, before that I primarily used it to house part of my extensive art collection and to host parties for major art dealers, buyers, and critics. Until recently, I never mingled with the people in town much.

Now, just between us, I did live in Taylorsford before, when I was around twelve to eighteen. First, in an orphanage that is long gone, and then with my foster father, the author Paul Dassin. But that was under another name. Few are currently aware of that connection.

I heard you have a big city gallery.  Where is it located? 
Isn’t it where you hosted the fundraiser for Richard Muirs dance

Yes, I have a gallery in New York City that I use for special exhibitions. It’s located on the top floor of a rather non-descript office building. I prefer that, as it means the gallery is only visited by appointment by serious buyers or critics. As a patron of the arts, I did recently donate use of the space for a party held by the Ad Astra Dance Company. It was for a fundraising gala connected to their performances of Richard Muir’s dance piece, Return. I know Richard and his former dance instructor, Adele Tourneau, so I was happy to contribute to this effort.

I also own a gallery and townhouse in the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C. That is actually my primary gallery for retail sales, and I typically stay at the townhouse during the week, only residing at my Taylorsford residence over the weekend. But I must admit I’ve been spending more time in Taylorsford recently.

If you don’t mind my asking what is your connection to Richard or
are you just a fan?

As I mentioned, I was the foster son of Paul Dassin, who’s actually Richard’s great-uncle. Paul, who never married and had no children, left his estate to his niece, Richard’s mother. That’s how Richard came to inherit Paul’s 1923 farmhouse, which once belonged to a farmer named Daniel Cooper and his wife, Eleanora. There’s a very interesting murder mystery connected to the Coopers, but I’ll just refer you to A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS by Victoria Gilbert for that story.

You may wonder why Paul left nothing to me. Well, I must confess that after I left his house at age eighteen I changed my name and never contacted him again. Not because Paul had ever done anything wrong—he was one of the kindest and most moral men I’ve ever known. But that was the problem. Let’s just say that I was not so morally upright for quite some time, especially in my business dealings. I didn’t want any of that to blow back on Paul so I just cut ties.

It was only within the last year that I contacted Richard and informed him of my connection to Paul. I like to think we’ve become friends since that initial encounter, but I admit that I haven’t yet told Richard that I’ve been following his dance career since he was a teen. So yes, I am also a fan.

I know you’re an art collector and I noticed the lovely piece at the top
of the stairs would you mind telling us a little about it.  

I have several pieces hanging on the walls of that upper hallway. I’m not quite sure which one you mean—the large Jasper Johns or the slightly smaller Giorgio de Chirico? Both are quite spectacular, I admit. There’s also the little Degas sketch of the dancer. I have a few of those scattered about the house. If you mean the small piece that looks like a Van Gogh, I’m afraid that’s probably a forgery. I just happen to like it despite its shaky provenance, so I still display it.

Do you have any other special pieces you might share with us?

You may think it odd, but my favorite painting in my collection is by a little-known artist named Andrew Talbot. He was Lydia Talbot’s late husband and Amy Webber’s great-uncle. He was also my best friend. Sadly, he died far too young in a tragic accident. I didn’t own any of his works so I treasure the little still-life I was able to “acquire” recently (ahem, we won’t go into how).

That’s one painting you won’t have seen yet, as it’s hanging in my bedroom. (Although, if you wish, a private viewing could be arranged <wink>).

I have to ask it was rumored that you helped someone get into protective custody.  I was just wondering how you managed that one?   You must have some friends in important places.   

I confess I’ve helped the powers-that-be from various countries from time to time and have established a few significant connections over the years, but you know—if I told you…

As a connoisseur of Cognac, I was wondering if you might have any interest
in wine making since the owners of the winery are otherwise ‘engaged’?

No, I don’t think I can take on another time-intensive trade like that at my age. My art business keeps me busy enough. I also have to consider my priorities—since I’ve recently expanded my social circle in Taylorsford I want to be sure I reserve some of my free time for my new friends.

Speaking of Cognac, I know you needed to keep our little visit short because
You have dinner plans with Amy and Lydia.  Will you be taking a bottle
to go along with some of Lydia’s desserts?  I am free tonight do you think
you could sneak me along for dinner?

Yes, I plan to take along a little something to complement Lydia’s excellent cooking and baking. And as for as you joining us—please do! I’m sure neither Amy nor Lydia would mind and I always enjoy intelligent and charming company. I can already tell that you would prove to be both, so if you don’t mind being an old man’s date for the evening, we can take the Jag and make a night of it. 

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for participating in the blog tour, hosting the interview, and the review!