Marfita's Reviews > The Lost Van Gogh

The Lost Van Gogh by A.J. Zerries
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Oct 04, 12

bookshelves: cozies
Read from September 04 to October 01, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Oh, I remember now. I wrote some huge, rambling review and then the interwebs or something ate it. Perhaps this will be more cogent.

Things I liked: NYC, art, Metropolitan Museum of Art (where my fingerprints are on file), reminders of my old neighborhood (2nd Ave. Deli and the MMA) and work (Sotheby's and the MMA) and a touch of humor.
Things I don't like in general, so I'm not going to like in fiction: torture and stories about Nazis because a) they give me nightmares and b) my family is German.

So, I guess the things I like that appear in the book outweigh the things I don't like. This is not my typical reading. I'm a cozy person for the most part, but I'll go for the occasional thriller as long as they aren't putting children or defenseless animals in jeopardy. Full grown and capable adults are fair game. I liked Clay Ryder, even despite the slew of loner policeman tropes that I checked off as I was reading. He has the makings of a good series in him. The writing was good insofar as verb here, adjective there goes, and they did a good job of juggling the many plot threads.
Niggling things got to me: the Chekovian breath control that I was waiting to be used in the next act, falling in love with the woman (which, while predictable, showing that actual moment in a visual metaphor is a deft piece of writing), the obviousness of the culpability of the husband (it was easy to see through his over-attentiveness, the convenient absences), and an unnecessarily complicated (and violent) scam. I mean, you start killing people years ahead to narrow the family down to one heir so that your grandson can marry her and inherit the painting you stole from her grandfather so you can then kill her off and sell the painting with a "clean" provenance. And that's only half of it. Don't forget eliminating maids and boyfriends and OMG ...

The "Cozies" designation only refers to this book being included in a particular discussion series.
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Reading Progress

09/04/2012 page 12
2.0% "OMGosh! Like, this is my old neighborhood in NYC! Small amount of humor so far."
09/10/2012 page 98
22.0% "Oh nooo, not Nazis! Surely they're all dead now. I mean, the originals, not these fake newbie Nazis we have these days.
Ooo, I worked for Sotheby's for a week. Actually, all I did was take credit card ## of people who wanted catalogs - they don't give 'em out free to just anyone (really good customers might get them free). Even back issues. That was my whole job. That & answering the phone."
09/11/2012 page 126
29.0% "Grieving & guilt over dead wife - Check!
Bad reputation in dept. - Check!
Hostile supervisor - Check!
Continuing investigation against orders - Check!"
09/11/2012 page 147
34.0% "Who falls in love with absolutely the wrong woman - check."
09/27/2012 page 264
61.0% "Are we past the torture now?"

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