KILLING THE EMPERORS by Ruth Dudley Edwards


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A raucous send-up of the art world’s collectors, critics, curators and especially those postmodernists who call themselves artists.

Lady Jack Troutbeck (Murdering Americans, 2007, etc.), who has spent the past few weeks cavorting with Russian billionaire Oleg Sarkovsky aboard his yacht and at his estates, has finally decided to ditch the ruthless oligarch when she is summarily hijacked and finds herself in a locked room, sans food, sans water and guarded by an Albanian who eventually agrees to bring her vittles provided she stops her off-key singing. She’s escorted into another room decorated with artwork of dung, rotten meat, feeding maggots and so forth, which she’s railed against in the past (she calls London’s Tate Gallery, now displaying much of this sort of tripe, the Tat Gallery). Then, one by one, members of the postmodern and performance claque are led in. A loudspeaker summons her to yet another room, where a heavily accented voice tells her that there are games to be played, and she must judge who is worst at them. In the dead of night, each game’s loser is murdered in an homage to a specific postmodernist, and the corpse is displayed at London sites. While this is going on, and Lady Jack is initiating arguments about every facet of art with her co-captives, her chums on the outside are trying to find her. Scotland Yard, stymied by infighting of its own, is late to take up the homage murders. It will take the work of an Inland Revenue functionary to secure Lady Jack’s retrieval.

Imagine And Then There Were None written with wicked humor and a major grievance about money, not taste, ruling the art world.

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59058-638-9
Page count: 210pp
Publisher: Poisoned Pen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2012


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