Former art forger Annie Kincaid has reinvented her life and now operates a legitimate decorative painting business, but memories are long in the art world. Here, with the blessing of the FBI Art Squad, Annie uses her underworld connections to boost her new art investigation business, where she’s partnered with her ex-art thief/love interest Michael X. Johnson. At first it’s strictly business, but she stumbles across a body in an exclusive Nob Hill men’s club. Then an insurance adjuster asks her to find a stolen -- and forged -- erotic painting. Then her Uncle Anton is attacked and Annie’s on the trail of more than just art. Moving easily between high and low circles, she makes the rounds of Nob Hill and Chinatown, a sex club, and the artists’ studios to find justice.
At the outset of Lind's engrossing fourth Art Lover's mystery (after 2007's Brush with Death), a scream interrupts artist and faux finisher Annie Kincaid and her team while they're doing restoration work at an exclusive men's club housed in a historic brownstone on San Francisco's Nob Hill. In a bathroom on the floor below, Annie and her two assistants find a distraught maid kneeling over the body of a man in a bathtub with a sword protruding from his chest. Insp. Annette Crawford, with whom Annie has collaborated uneasily in past homicide investigations, is soon on the scene. More trouble ensues after Annie's art mentor and honorary uncle, Anton Woznikowicz, is hospitalized with arsenic poisoning. To further complicate matters, an insurance adjuster asks Annie's help in locating a stolen erotic painting. Annie's down-to-earth sense of humor and vast knowledge of art, both genuine and forged, make her an appealing heroine.