Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book-A-Day #16: THE GAUGUIN CONNECTION, a good beach read


THE GAUGUIN CONNECTION (Genevieve Lenard Art Crimes #1)
ESTELLE RYAN

Kindle edition
FREE! what are you waiting for?!

Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Murdered artists. Masterful forgeries.
Art crime at its worst.

A straightforward murder investigation quickly turns into a quagmire of stolen Eurocorps weapons, a money-laundering charity, forged art and high-ranking EU officials abusing their power.

As an insurance investigator and world renowned expert in nonverbal communication, Dr Genevieve Lenard faces the daily challenge of living a successful, independent life. Particularly because she has to deal with her high functioning Autism. Nothing - not her studies, her high IQ or her astounding analytical skills - prepared her for the changes about to take place in her life.

It started as a favour to help her boss' acerbic friend look into the murder of a young artist, but soon it proves to be far more complex. Forced out of her predictable routines, safe environment and limited social interaction, Genevieve is thrown into exploring the meaning of friendship, expanding her social definitions, and for the first time in her life be part of a team in a race to stop more artists from being murdered.

My Review: The Doubleday UK meme, a book a day for July 2014, is the goad I'm using to get through my snit-based unwritten reviews. Today's prompt is to discuss a beach read, a novel perfect for an afternoon under a beach umbrella sipping drinks with silly names brought by hotties clad in as few clothes as local law allows.

Ahem. Well. Isn't that how everyone spends a day at the beach?

The Gauguin Connection has many sterling qualities, like a wonderful main character, and a completely beguiling cast of supporting characters. (I convinced my Gentleman Caller to read this by saying he reminded me of Vinnie. To my relief, he found that touching and endearing, "worth reading a stupid mystery novel for.")

What makes this such a good beach read is simply that: The interplay of the characters. Dr Lenard isn't consistently drawn, the art-crime plot seems very slapdash to me, and so on and so on. All those quibbles aside, I loved these characters and wanted to sit quietly in the room while they did what they do. Which is mostly sit around computers in different rooms and bicker amusingly.

I mean to tell you, though, if savoring the interplay of high-level snark with pomposity, the collision of wit with literal-mindedness, doesn't sound compelling to you, horseman, pass on. I found it deeply funny at times, and snortingly amusing all the time. So download it onto your Kindle for free, put the Kindle in a quart-sized Ziploc, seal it, and head for the sand. Tip the hottie well, and in advance, for the best drinks service. Relax into bliss with the wacky crew of Strasbourg (!)-based art crime solvers.

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