Young, rich widow Diana Porteous has inherited a vast collection of paintings, but she feels without purpose again. Then her beloved stepgrandson comes up with the idea for an exhibition of portraits with the title A Question of Guilt.
It starts as a joke, but soon they are preparing the huge wine cellar of the old schoolhouse by the sea, in spite of those with misgivings as to its suitability. Soon Di has plenty to occupy her: a mysterious woman encourages Di and her friend, Sarah Fortune, both natural thieves, to steal from a public collection. And then there's the life-drawing class, where an artist dies and someone steals from him, placing his finds in the cellar.
A novel of conundrums, paintings, moral uncertainties and family relationships, A Painted Smile continues the adventures of two of Frances Fyfield's most beloved characters and will win over many more fans of quality fiction.
Reviews for Gold Digger: "This excellent mystery, complete with crimes, clues and red herrings, is also a novel of character and a very good one too." (Literary Review)
"Fyfield specialises in sympathetic portraits of social misfits and the misunderstood.... This is a subtle but razor-sharp dissection of a family at war." (Guardian)
"A novel of character in which fully realised protagonists are developed with a skill approaching that of such writers as Iris Murdoch.... Her understanding of the way human beings behave when jealousy and resentment power their actions remains as insightful as ever." (Independent)
"This humane and beautifully written novel is full of almost sensuous detail not just about art but about living itself. Classic Fyfield, in other words, and highly recommended." (Spectator)
"Frances Fyfield is an original...[she] writes with such persuasive beauty and emotional subtlety." (The Times)
"Frances Fyfield is a veteran crime writer, and it shows here, with her novel well constructed and fittingly suspenseful." (Sunday Business Post Ireland)
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