HARMONY IN FLESH AND BLACK by Nicholas Kilmer

HARMONY IN FLESH AND BLACK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Effete Beacon Hill art collector Clayton Reed didn't hire his errand boy, Fred Taylor, for his experience in covert ops in Vietnam, but Fred's expertise comes in very handy when Clay's deal for an unattributed painting being sold by pornographer Henry Smykal goes awry: Fred returns to Smykal's seedy apartment for a letter of authentication only to find the would-be dealer dead among his ``hired vaginas.'' While Clay, already preoccupied with the next canvas he plans to purchase--a Martin Johnson Heade that just might be painted over a Vermeer--skedaddles to keep himself away from the prying eyes of the police, Fred fences with an unwelcome new presence: a coyly anonymous collector who insists that he bought the painting from Smykal, and that he has the letter of authentication to prove it--as well as a hostage to strenghten his bargaining position. Fred's mission: to get the letter, free the hostage, keep the law from connecting Clay with Henry Smykal, and get back to true love Molly Riley before the sheets have cooled--maybe identifying the murderer in the process. Not much mystery about the mystery, but newcomer Kilmer--in this first of a series--can turn a phrase without breaking a sweat, and Fred's narration raises understatement to its own delicious art.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1995
ISBN: 0-8050-3663-6
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1995




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