SOMEBODY KILLED THE MESSENGER by Clarissa Watson

SOMEBODY KILLED THE MESSENGER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another breezy, cosmopolitan adventure for art-gallery manager Persis Willum (The Last Stage of Gainsborough Brown, etc.)--slighter and sketchier than previous outings, with a bit less sophisticated charm and a bit more Had-I-But-Known silliness. Persis' gallery--a posh establishment on Long Island's North Shore, owned by bon vivant Gregor Olitsky--is presenting a charity exhibition of paintings from private collections. And aging party-girl Stephanie Braceley--estranged expatriate wife of famous North Shore artist Sandy Corsini--insists on donating something from her collection: a scandalous nude Stephanie, painted years ago by Corsini, when Stephanie was the wife of a North Shore millionaire! The painting is still an embarrassment; worse yet, the police get involved when the man who brought the canvas over from Europe vanishes under ominous circumstances. So, to clear matters up, narrator Persis tries to contact the elusive Stephanie, searches for her in Holland, but eventually gets the news that Stephanie's body has been found in France. Whodunit? To find out, Persis looks into Corsini's legendary love-life (past and present), teams up again with FBI-man Ed Simms, avoids assorted car-bombs--and finds all the answers, along with a crucial stash of paintings, in a remote French village. Mighty implausible, only mildly amusing--but agreeable enough (especially for un-serious gallery-goers) on its own neo-gothic, rather flighty terms.

Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 1988
Publisher: Atheneum