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A Dangerous Talent

(Alix London #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,324 ratings  ·  256 reviews
Alix London has a promising career as an art consultant, a sumptuous condo in Seattle’s toniest neighborhood, a gorgeous figure, and a presence that exudes Ivy League breeding and old money. She has it all…or does she? Only Alix knows that the image she presents to the world is a carefully constructed mirage that veils an embarrassing truth. A brilliant, once-promising art ...more
Kindle Edition, 271 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Thomas & Mercer (first published January 12th 2012)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  2,324 ratings  ·  256 reviews

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Matt Bradley
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a pretty good book. My main problem with it was the stilted writing. It felt amateurish. I had a hard time imagining a person saying things the way these people said things. And everything was explained in detail. If there was ever innuendo in the dialogue, the person would have to explain it out in detail - I guess to make sure the reader understood exactly what they meant?

While the story kept me interested, it really didn't have a lot of surprises and there wasn't a lot of tension.

Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Dangerous Talent by Charlotte and Aaron Elkins is the first book in the Alix London Mystery series. Alix London is trying to overcome the stigma of her fathers art forgery conviction and sets herself up as an art restorer and consultant. She is hired by a wealthy novice art collector to authenticate a recently discovered painting by American master Georgia O'Keeffe, only to find the gallery owner murdered and her own life in jeopardy. I enjoyed this book very much. Alix is a capable, intellige ...more
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This is the first book in the Alix London series, and the first Charlotte and Aaron Elkins book that I have read. I enjoyed this, but there were a lot of things going on at the end and I was a little confused as to who did what. Still, it was good and I'll probably read more in this series and maybe try some other Elkins' series.
A Dangerous Talent byAaron Elkins is a pleasant read. Alex London, Seattle-based art expert is still reeling from that her adored father, famous and successful art expert Geoffrey London is a criminal. His art crimes unveiled by the FBI, Geoffrey is now released from jail but Alix is not ready to see him. Meanwhile, she's busy creating a career as an art "consultant." Her first job brings her to New Mexico and the art capitol of Santa Fe. but when the murders begin, starting with the nearly succ ...more
Julia DeBarrioz
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, new-mexico
This was great fun, I really enjoyed it. I have to admit I went into this expecting not to like Alix. Poor little rich girl who lost everything boo hoo and all that. Almost immediately I was proved wrong, and by the end I really adored her, her father, and her friend Chris.

Also add in that it deals with painting, O'Keefe, and the Sante Fe art scene, and that's basically three of my favorite things thrown into one fun murder mystery.

I have to say that I appreciated the author really seems to und
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
A good little mystery--quick and entertaining. I liked the setting of Santa Fe and the art scene and the emphasis on Georgia O'Keeffe's work. The main character Alix London is an art restorer and consultant as well as escaping the pain and notoriety of being the daughter of an infamous art forger and I like the father-daughter dynamics. I'd give the next one in the series a try when it comes out.
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good first in series. The characters are likeable, and the background of art restoration and forged paintings is slightly different.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Dangerous Talent by Charlotte & Aaron Elkins
Alix London Series Book #1
4 stars

Alix London has a promising career as an art consultant, a sumptuous condo in Seattle’s toniest neighborhood, a gorgeous figure, and a presence that exudes Ivy League breeding and old money. She has it all…or does she? Only Alix knows that the image she presents to the world is a carefully constructed mirage that veils an embarrassing truth. A brilliant, once-promising art student, the daughter of a prominent New York
Lis Carey
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alix London is trying to build a career as an art restorer and as an art consultant, nine years after her father, Jeffrey London, once a noted art restorer, was convicted of art forgery. She's on the coolest of terms with her father, now out and in the art importing business, who nevertheless persists in trying to maintain contact with her.

Then one day she's approached for a job that could be the true start of her consulting career. A woman just beginning in collecting art wants Alix to evaluate
Lindsay Nixon
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars // I agree with other reviewers that this book often has too much detail and overexplaining. I caught myself doing the hand rolling "get on with it" motion more than once.

The story itself wasn't bad. It wasn't great, and it won't even crack a top 100 list, but it was fine and kept me captivated all the way to the end.

Briefly, "art expert" Alix London lands her first client, who needs London to authenticate a painting. There isn't enough time to go through the usual authentication pro
Jane Cairns
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A low-slung Lamborghini, a semi on the wrong side of the curvy, narrow New Mexican mountain road—will Alix London and Christine LeMay avoid being forced off the road and down a cliff? What has this to do with a possible art forgery?

The story moved along at a good pace and kept me guessing. But, I found the mastermind behind the mystery to be a let-down. Overall, I enjoyed this read and will move on to A Cruise to Die For, the next installment in the series.

See my full review,
Jennifer S. Alderson
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Excellent art mystery! I really like Alix London and her notorious, yet lovable, family. This is a well-built mystery set in a gorgeous location about an artist I admire - what is not to love?
Kristina Rasmussen
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this! Good mystery, even if at times somewhat predictable. I loved the characters too. I am excited to jump into a new series.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, kindle, series, own
Your basic good murder mystery. Not too gory. A good, absorbing escape. Likable characters, interesting setting, plausible plot.
Donna LaValley
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-read
This is number 1 of a series starring Alix London, a skilled restorer of old paintings who is breaking into the better-paid role of “art consultant” to wealthy patrons. She has what’s known as a “connoisseur’s eye” meaning she can spot a fake with something like intuition, and only later can innumerate the reasons why she knows. (this is a real thing called “rapid cognition” –see Blink by Malcolm Gladwell- we do it with people all the time, don’t we?)

Anyway, Alix’s father was a renown, respected
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fluff
Mystery isn't usually my genre, but art history is. Alix's art restoration profession and the plot centering around a forgery is what sold me on giving this mystery book a try. I'm glad I did because the coverage of the art world, and the black market world behind it, was very well presented. Elkins clearly did her research and I loved the twist around Alix's legitimacy being overshadowed by her father's illegal past. Especially once she starts to understand what led him down that path.

The myst
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Spunky female art historian solving a mystery? Part Indiana Jones, part The Librarians? Count me in!

I thoroughly enjoyed A Dangerous Talent, and Alix was a great protagonist. I could've lived without the contrived romance with FBI agent Ted, but overall the art history focus and Alix's intelligence has made me a fan. I'm all for the next adventure.
A Dangerous Talent: Alix London
Chronological order recommended.

In A Nutshell: Alix London is an art consultant standing in the shadows of her art forger father. Her career looks to be taking off when she meets the very wealthy Christine Lemay. But their journey to Santa Fe ends in murder and mayhem and a threat to Alix's life. If Alix is to understand the chaos around her, she needs her father's help, and that could muddy her clean waters. A genuinely interesting easy to read story that captures
Apr 28, 2018 rated it liked it
A Dangerous Talent was a really fun read. I won't vouch for the accuracy of the artistic facts, I'm not an expert in that area. However, the main character, Alix London, is. Alix has an interesting history in the art world, and it's a history that doesn't really help her reputation. With a father convicted for forgery, she's had a hard time finding clients that will trust her.

But she does have a few, and the newest one, Christine Lemay, has decided she just must have a Georgia O'Keefe. And so be
Emma Maher
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mystery and crime lovers
Excellent story. Liked It and was drawn to the book immediately. A lot of reviews said that people guessed who the murderer or the culperat was very early in the book, but I certainly wasn't sure till the end. It could of been a number of people but as 2 people died, one of the people I thought It could of been wasn't the main culperat in the murder. I had liked Alex London, the woman who played the part of the art connoisseur for Chris LeMay, and that is how Alex gets wrapped up in this whole m ...more
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This novel was a pleasant read and it was clear that the authors had done their "homework" in writing it. The repair of the painting in the opening and the geography and details of Santa Fe, Taos, and the Ghost Ranch seemed plausible.

The book reminded me of a bit of Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon character in that he comes from a family with a strong painter/art background and he's an art restorer but then the two novel series depart. While Gabriel is a member of the Israeli Intelligence agency, A
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Santa Fe, Art Forgery, Romance -- A Winner

I needed a light-hearted mystery to fill the time spent at the hospital while my husband was undergoing a cardiac cath (seven hours). This book was just right. Alix London is an art consultant hired to authenticate a Georgia O'Keefe painting. Her employer, a delightfully eccentric woman whose recent wealth came from a tech company sale, flies the two of them to Santa Fe to view the work. Once there, she and Chris encounter attempted murder, plus a theft,
Pat Friedlander
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Meh. There is a good book in here but it is obscured by one dimensional characters and their relationships. The smart but poor girl who takes an instant dislike to the guy you know she will end up with; the rich girl who didn't give her guy a chance to explain. The charming but criminal father with a heart of gold. The alcoholic friend turned crook and cougar.

Now the underbelly of the art world has fascinated me ever since I read Thomas Hoving's "King of the Confessors" decades ago--and the exis
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Suffice it to say, I won't bother following any more of Alix Lundin's adventures. While the backdrop and plot outline for the book were very appealing -- set in Georgia O'Keefe's New Mexico, with art forgery, murder, and romance -- the execution left a LOT to be desired. Perhaps it wouldn't have been quite as annoying in print, but since I listened to it on Audible, I was very annoyed by the narrator who mispronounced many words and butchered the "accents" she was supposed to be doing. I listene ...more
Lynn Manley
May 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Mediocre hybrid. A fast OK read but ultimately disappointing. I couldn't tell whether this series is supposed to be a cozy one or not, and I didn't find Alix London a strong enough character to support a series. The secondary characters had potential but were not well developed. Despite people being forced off the road over cliffs and a building blowing up, the plot held little suspense and the denouement was underwhelming. I may give the 2nd in the series a quick scan to see if the characters c ...more
1.5 stars. Amateurish, cheesey and boring. Rounded down because of the phrase "washed down" - I loathe this term so much! Why why why use it especially when referring to wine or coffee. Also, I get it, Chris is a "big girl" especially in comparison to Alix. I got it the first time. The narrator did no favors, either: San-Ta-Fay drove me batshit crazy. Almost, but not quite, actively bad.

I got tired of Alix's wo-mansplaining, she was way too pedantic and condescending for such a stupid character.
Meg Morden
I read the third of this series first and so it was great to go back and see the start. I loved this book even more than the third probably because it is set in Santa Fe where I had just been. The Elkins evoke the atmosphere of this wonderful part of the world well. I particularly like all the inside information about the art world, art conservation and art forgery. These books are a painless way to learn more about art and artists.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Light little mystery, somewhat enlivened by setting in Santa Fe area. But if you know the area well, prepare to be annoyed by random inaccuracies for the sake of plot: pictures that don't exist at Mable's house, walking distances expanded and contracted, etc. Also, plot is build around a twist that is is glaringly obvious to anyone who knows anything abt O'Keeffe. Wd have like heroine if she had done her research at all properly.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Odd dialogue from characters -- most of the time it seemed that the dialogue was not natural nor organic -- just an odd stiff way of speaking. The characters were also prone to a lot of exposition and provide a lot of background information upon a first meeting. Other than that, it was a pretty straight forward murder mystery with a standard sum up at the end. Nothing all that exciting which would lead me to continue to read the series.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading novels about art crimes. This one was an interesting and easy read. I liked learning about the techniques used to restore and authenticate paintings. The beautiful descriptions of the New Mexico scenery from an artist's perspective was an added bonus.
I'm hoping in the next book in the series there will be a little more development of the characters introduced in this first book.
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Charlotte Elkins (born July 4, 1948) is an American author who teamed with her husband, writer Aaron Elkins, to write a series of mystery novels about Lee Ofsted, a struggling female professional golfer.

* Lee Ofsted (with Aaron Elkins)

Series contributed to:
* Malice Domestic

Other books in the series

Alix London (4 books)
  • A Cruise to Die for (Alix London, #2)
  • The Art Whisperer (Alix London, #3)
  • The Trouble with Mirrors (Alix London #4)

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“ABOUT THE AUTHORS Photograph by Bob Lampert Charlotte Elkins wrote her first novel while working at the MH de Young Museum in San Francisco. Published under the pseudonym Emily Spenser, it was the first of her five romance novels that have sold in twenty countries. She switched to writing mysteries when she realized how much fun it was to collaborate with her husband, Aaron. Their first novel, A Wicked Slice, was published in 1989; since then, they have co-written four more novels starring a golf-pro-turned-sleuth and several short stories, one of which, “Nice Gorilla,” won the Agatha Award for Best Short Story of the year.   Aaron” 0 likes
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