Review: Shooting Gallery by Hailey Lind

Title: Shooting Gallery (the 2nd Art Lovers mystery)

Author: Hailey Lind

Publisher: Signet [2006]

ISBN: 0-451-21973-2

Length: 336pages

I love art galleries. Always have. I find them somehow restful and invigorating at the same time and and there are always surprises to be found in them. So I’m a sucker for books with any kind of art-related theme and when I needed something a bit lighter than usual to read this week I selected Shooting Gallery from the TBR shelves.

Annie Kincaid is the granddaughter of a world famous art forger but she is determined to have a legitimate career as a faux finisher. When she notices a body hanging from a tree at a gallery opening her carefully constructed life starts to unravel and when her friend Bryan is thought guilty of stealing a painting from an art museum she has to get involved. She enlists the help of an art thief whose name she’s not sure of but who sounds sexy (in a Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief kind of way).

Annie’s a good character for an amateur sleuth as she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She has a load of funny one liners and her rag tag group of friends and colleagues round out the slightly madcap nature of the book. I don’t quite know how but art forgery, although clearly a crime, always manages to be a less horrid crime than almost any other when depicted in any kind of fiction and this probably helps maintain the sense of fun in this book (even though the dead bodies do start to pile up). That sense of fun is helped along by the hints of self-deprecation of the genre and these are handled well: amusing but not hurtful to people who love these kind of books.

The plot is unnecessarily complex with one or two too many threads. The resolution reminded me of the scene in What’s Up Doc where all the characters are explaining their stories to the judge in the courtroom: it had the same kind of screwball comedic feel. I rather enjoyed that element but I suspect it’s not to everyone’s taste. For those who don’t like the humorous element there are loads of informative snippets about the art world and the story gallops along at quite a rapid pace so it’s not one that would bore too many.

I know cosy mysteries aren’t for everyone but if you do dabble in the genre you could do much (much) worse than this amusing contribution. I’ll be looking for the others in this series.

My rating 3.5/5

Other stuff

Reviewed by CA Reviews

This is yet another series penned by a team, this time two sisters (an artist and historian). I am always intrigued by this notion as I can’t imagine writing with my brother (whom I adore but we would strangle each other long before the final chapter was written).

There are currently three books in the Art Lovers Mystery series.

This entry was posted in book review, Hailey Lind, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Review: Shooting Gallery by Hailey Lind

  1. Beth F says:

    I love cozies. Sometimes I have trouble with slap-stick, but I’ll likely give this series a try.


Comments are closed.