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Although this story takes place in Oregon, it is not part of the Barbara Holloway series. In this novel, three generations of a family live in a coastal town. Marnie, a widow, has a shop where she sells art and crafts made by artisans in the local area. Her daughter, Stef, is a mercurial and artistic genius whose art is just becoming known. Stef’s daughter, Van, is in medical school and is just turning 30, and Van has a son, Josh, in kindergarten. These four generations all live together in a house which has been divided into two houses for the two families. Stef has had three husbands before her current one. Marnie and Van and Josh greatly dislike her current husband, and when Stef finds out that he is trying to sell her work behind her back, she puts a stop to it and plans revenge against her husband. But, before she can wreak this revenge, she falls downstairs and dies. Her husband then shows up with a signed contract saying that he now owns all of her art. Marnie and Van are convinced that Stef was murdered, and they convince a newcomer to town, a mysterious man who was a detective in New York City until he retired due to disability-he was shot-to help them. With his detective skills and their unflagging commitment to find and kill Stef’s husband if they can’t get him convicted for murder, they start the process of building a case against the guy. The interesting thing in this book is that all three of the adults have to face the fact that they hate this man so much that they would kill him if the law doesn’t put him away. Each of them has to deal with this hatred in their own way. MacDuffie is a perfect narrator for this book. She does all of the various voices very well. I was especially impressed with her voice for Josh, the kindergartener.
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What disappointed you about Death of an Artist?
I feel like the plots are forced, the characters not very deep ane predictable, and the quality of the writing is somewhat pedestrian. I have enjoyed Kate Wilhelm books for many years, but they start sounding redundant (everyone constantly drinks coffee...) and I think I've had it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful