In Kate Wilhelm’s latest crime novel, a small Oregon town is rocked by a wheels-within-wheels case of art, fraud, and murder.
Silver Bay, Oregon, a small coastal resort town of under a thousand residents, is home to three generations of women: Marnie, the long-widowed owner of a small gift shop; Van, her granddaughter, who is about to graduate from medical school; and Stef, mercurial and difficult, a brilliant artist who refuses to sell her work. When Stef discovers that Dale Oliver - the latest husband/paramour in a very long line - is trying to sell her work behind her back, she puts a stop to it and threatens to do the same to him. Shortly thereafter, Stef dies in an accident in her studio, and Dale shows up with a signed contract granting him the right to sell her work. Convinced that Stef was murdered to steal her artwork, Marnie and Van, grandmother and granddaughter, decide to do whatever is necessary to see that Dale doesn’t get away with any of it. This includes enlisting the help of the new stranger in town, Tony, a former New York City cop who might be the only one who can prove it was murder and bring the killer to justice.
"Even after the satisfyingly surprising climax, the reader may be loath to leave Silver Bay and these affecting characters." (Publishers Weekly)
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A stand-alone and very good.
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.