From the national bestselling author of Checked Out, Helen Hawthorne must pose as a painter at Fort Lauderdale’s famous Bonnet House Museum to catch an artful killer . . .
The art world is a happening place—but a brush with death shouldn’t be in the picture. Unfortunately that’s just what happens to Helen Hawthorne and her friend Margery. While touring gorgeous Bonnet House, a mansion-turned-museum, they observe a painting class and note an up-and-coming artist. When they later see her deadly end, Helen is hired to canvas the crime scene—undercover, of course.
Sketchy suspects lurk in the victim’s bohemian past. Was the promising painter killed by her jealous husband? Her best friend? A rival using her artful wiles? With her husband Phil busy setting a trap for a gold thief, it’s up to Helen to paint this killer into a corner . . .
Viets's solid 15th Dead-End Job mystery (after 2015's Checked Out) finds Fort Lauderdale, Fla., PI Helen Hawthorne touring the Bonnet House Museum, where she meets artist Annabel Griffin. Outside the museum after the tour, Annabel collapses after drinking some odd-tasting raspberry tea and eventually dies from nicotine poisoning. A close friend of Annabel's is convinced that the dead woman's boorish ex-husband, Hugo Hythe, murdered her, and she hires Helen to investigate. Helen noticed Hugo callously step over the unconscious Annabel right after her fall and later learns that Annabel contributed to Hugo's losing his position as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Meanwhile, Helen's PI husband, Phil, has been retained to catch the so-called Gold Ghost, who has been breaking into top-floor condos and stealing gold coins. The stakes for that case rise when the burglar fatally bludgeons an elderly man who presumably interrupted another theft. Fans of light mysteries will be rewarded.