THE REMBRANDT DECISIONS by Anne V. Badgley

THE REMBRANDT DECISIONS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I'm getting mousier by the minute and I've got to get away."" So newly-widowed Catherine, from the National Collection of Graphic Arts' print department, agrees to spend the winter in an isolated New Hampshire mansion--where 92-year-old millionaire Harry Renshaw enjoys his heavily protected but utterly disorganized hoarding of thousands of priceless prints. Harry wants his collection catalogued--pronto--but without any scholarship, if you please. And even more anti-academic than old Harry is fortyish ex-barrister Duncan Forbes, his seasonal guest and resident burglar-alarm specialist. For weeks--the first half of this slow-moving first novel--nothing happens except some mutual suspicion (i.e., attraction) between Catherine and Duncan, some fussing over those alarms and over the impossible cataloguing job, and lots of cocktail/dinner talk about prints, Rembrandt (Catherine doesn't care for him), and academicism in art. Then, soon after a one-night stand between Cath and Dunc (just ""a chemical reaction,"" she thinks), the action jerks ahead: Catherine is sent to bring a museum-worthy antiquity back from Greece and meets up on trains and planes with still-suspicious Duncan and a suave smuggler; eventually she and Duncan are back in New Hampshire, very much together, fighting off an assassin. The suspense here is waxy imitation Helen MacInnes, confused and clumped, but Badgley works hard at making Catherine smart and cool--not the usual romantic-suspense ninny--and the art-world shop talk is breezily convincing.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Dodd, Mead