Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Still Lives” as Want to Read:
Still Lives
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Still Lives

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  18,577 ratings  ·  1,290 reviews
A young editor at a Los Angeles art museum finds herself pulled into the disturbing and dangerous world of a famous artist who goes missing on the opening night of her exhibition

Kim Lord is an avant garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as fam

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Quercus (first published June 5th 2018)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Still Lives, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Meredith What is pretentious about homemade pie and wanting to be understood? I mean, the art scene is a bit uppity, but the characters I've encountered so…moreWhat is pretentious about homemade pie and wanting to be understood? I mean, the art scene is a bit uppity, but the characters I've encountered so far, are perhaps different than me, but very relatable! (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Dani Baxter
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  18,577 ratings  ·  1,290 reviews

More filters
Sort order
May 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, botm, i-own-it
This was a pretty disappointing read. The description made it sound like a book that was right up my alley. And while everything mentioned in the blurb does in fact happen in the book, it's not told in as thrilling of a way as you might expect. In fact, for a 275 page book, the first 100-150 pages or so are fairly unexciting. Things happen and you (sort of) get to know the characters, but it's not very engaging.

Another issue I had with this book was that I never felt like I was able to understan
Jeffrey Keeten
”For the four years I’ve lived in Los Angeles, the Rocque Museum has been my workplace and my university, offering me a degree in contemporary art and the cosmopolitan life---brilliant as the blues in a Sam Francis painting, decadent as a twenty-four-karat cast of a cat testicle. Most days pass in a pleasurable blur of words and pictures. Most nights I hate to leave my little office, especially on April evenings like this, when I can look over my mess of proofs, out to the greening city, and ima ...more
Larry H
3.5 stars.

The Rocque Museum was one of Los Angeles' hidden treasures—an art museum for art lovers and collectors more than for tourists. While this set the institution apart, this also took a toll on its finances. Everyone is desperate for a hit exhibition, including the founder's daughter, who is tired of bailing out the museum and the director, who is worried about job security.

They think they've found it in Still Lives , an exhibition by artist and provocateur Kim Lord. Lord painted self-por
Diane S ☔
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The glittering world of art can be at once insightful and nasty. Set in L. A at a prestigious gallery that is having money problems, a new show featuring the avant garde, often shocking Kim Lord. Her latest installations are paintings of women who were mudered in Los Angeles, including Nicole zBrown Simpson and the Black Dahlia. Lord uses her own face and body but the manner of death is prominently and sometimes graphically displayed. Maggie, a copy editor and proof reader for the museum, has ro ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maria Hummel immerses us in the art world of Los Angeles, a corrupt city of dreams and ambitions, mythic in its glamour and legendary in its violence in this Noir thriller. Kim Lord is returning to the contemporary art scene after 1o years away, with a controversial but arresting exhibition of still lives portraits of famous murders of women such as Nicole Brown Simpson, Chandra Levy and the Black Dahlia. Kim Lord herself portrays each murder victim, some see this as beyond good taste, part of t ...more
Elyse Walters
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Not every woman fantasizes about being a sex slave or starlet or murder victim! Some of us just want to get sucked into a good novel and grow our own tomatoes one day when we have more time”.

How might you feel if your ex boyfriend
opens up an Art Gallery.... offers you a dream job ...then begins shacking up with *Kim Lord*....whose ‘every’ painting,
“is so powerful it makes your eyes bleed”.
.....who also happens to be a ‘no show’
at her grand Galla art exhibition with over 300 guests expected?
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still Lives tells a story of Kim Lord, an artist who works in L.A. and who has a disturbing and provoking idea of presenting female murder victims in her works. She disappears, and Maggie Richter, a copy editior working for a modern art museum, embarks on a trail to discover the truth: is Kim's disappearance part of her artistic vision or is there a possibility that something terrible happened to her?
This thriller is rather slow-paced, however, well-written and there is no need for speed readin
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still Lives takes the reader on a mystery set in the L.A. art world.A famous artist, Kim Lord, goes missing on the opening night of her exhibit, "Still Lives."The exhibit is controversial because the portraits are of famous women like the Black Dahlia, Nicole Brown Simpson and other murdered women.There is definitely a lot of buzz and talk around the exhibit. When no one can find Lord on opening night, Maggie Richter, one of the museums editors, decides to investigate for herself.Mystery, suspen ...more
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
Kim Lord is a famous artist with a very controversial show about to open when she mysteriously disappears. Editor Maggie Richter finds herself sucked in to the scandal as she tries to figure out what happened to Kim, while struggling to reconcile with her own demons.

I had a lot of hope for this book - set in Los Angeles, art world, scandal....but, something just didn't click with me. I could not get into the story or the characters. I am clearly in the minority as this book is winning awards lik
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Make your life about the things and the people that matter to you, the ones worth saving. Keep them well and let the dead go. The dead already know their ending.

A literary mystery surrounding the disappearance of an enigmatic painter set in the world of museums and galleries drew me to this story, but it was the author’s writing that kept me reading. Hummel manages to infuse the narrative with a noir quality as she exposes the underbelly of Los Angeles along with some nefarious art world collect
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
4 Stars!

Thank you to Counterpoint Press for sending me a free finished copy of Still Lives!

This book's subject matter is unlike anything I've read before. It centers around the art community which frankly I don't have much knowledge of. Ultimately this book is a mystery about a missing person but the way the author wove in the Art community was very interesting.

Kim Lord is a famous artist and it's her opening night of a her new exhibit. She takes on a tough subject when it comes to her art: abus

3.5 stars

The main character in this literary mystery is Maggie Richter, the 28-year-old copy editor and assistant publicist for the Rocque Museum in Los Angeles.

As the story opens, the Rocque is having its 2003 Grand Opening for a show called 'Still Lives', which features paintings of real-life female murder victims. The twist is that the artist, Kim Lord, depicts herself as the murder victim in every gruesome picture. Among others, there are paintings of:

- Gwen Araujo: the 17-year-old transge
Book of the Month
Why I Love it
by Sarah Bedwell

In the world of mystery novels, there’s an elephant in the room that no one’s talking about: society’s fascination with violence against women. Don’t get me wrong, I love this genre, but sometimes I find myself wanting a little more feminism to go with all the female victimhood. Luckily, I found this in Still Lives, a suspenseful, splashy story about fame, sex, and how our culture views women’s bodies.

Kim Lord is a prominent and provocative artist whose new show—a se
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
You can find all of my reviews here!

1/5 – DNF at pg. 234 (85%)

TW: mentions of graphic crimes against women and murder

Well, here we are. Another DNF review from me. And I was so sure that I would like this book!

The basic premise of this is that Kim Lord is an artist. She exploits people for her exhibits. This time, she exploits women who were murdered in horrible crimes. Nicole Brown Simpson, The Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, and many others. The night that her exhibit is supposed to open, she neve
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, thriller, mystery
"Still Lives offers its readers a combination of entertainment and brilliance. It's at once profound and suspenseful, the ending had me gasping in surprise!. The book as a whole asks important questions about art and representation and how we, as a culture, objectify and endanger and victimize women.

Maria Hummel has written a remarkable, relevant, and necessary novel."—
Kim Lord is an avant-garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibitio
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Still Lives is a refreshingly original take on the contemporary thriller set in glamorous Los Angeles. It focuses on the disappearance of controversial artist Kim Lord and uncovers some of the darkness hidden behind the scenes of the LA art world. There are plenty of surprises and I found myself completely immersed in the story and the wonderful setting. If you appreciate intriguing thrillers that are both chilling and disturbing, you will find much to enjoy here. The writing was easy to connect ...more
Umut Reviews
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm afraid I have to agree with a lot of reviews mentioning the same points that are missing in this book. I loved the cover and the premise. I found it very original, and still find the set up quite cool.
An artist who plans a controversial exhibit where she painted the well known women victims, who had terrible deaths. And the night of the exhibit, she doesn't show up. So, what happened to her?
I loved the gallery, art, artist dynamics. I thought the story would connect to this cool artist's pa
Cindy Burnett
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Still Lives is a fascinating read set in Los Angeles that focuses on the disappearance of an up-and-coming artist right before the opening night of her exhibition. The book is significantly darker and more grim than I usually tolerate, but the originality of the plot and the subject matter kept me reading at a furious pace to find what was going to happen next.

Maggie Richter works as an editor at the Rocque Museum and has mixed feelings about Kim Lord’s exhibition, self-portraits of Lo
Pamela Glass
This book has received some bewilderingly high reviews. I was surprised at how slowly this "thriller" moved. It wasn't a difficult read by any means, and as a person with interests in art and it's strange intersection with capitalism, as well as feminism and the incredibly high numbers of acts of violence against women, it seemed like a really promising premise. Sadly, I found reading it a chore.

Hummel goes into such intricate detail describing very famous murders and kidnappings, not just once,
Jessica Woodbury
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, crime-mystery
When a crime novel is set in a very specific place or time or industry, it can sometimes feel more like a gimmick than something where the story flows organically from it. But in STILL LIVES, more than any novel about art in my recent memory, the gallery and the art all feel alive and honest. Perhaps the thing that's bothered me most about novels about art and artists is the way the reader just has to accept that the art is vibrant and interesting, often it fails to appear that way on the page. ...more
Jessica Sullivan
“Never look for the what. Find the who. Who gets hurt. Who gains. Whose life will never be the same.”

I’ve seen some reviews lamenting that this isn’t the thrilling page-turner they expected, and that’s true, it isn’t. It’s more of a slow burn noir about the LA art world, with a missing woman at the center.

On the opening night of her new museum exhibition featuring self-portraits in which she depicts herself as famous murdered women, artist Kim Lord disappears.

Maggie Richter, who works at the mus
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Honestly. One of the worst books I have read this year. However it is not for a lack of trying. I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters and the story never seemed to get off the ground. I was really disappointed because I was looking forward to reading this and it was a let down.
I skimmed half the book just to figure out what happened at the end.
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
I'm quickly coming to realize that books about possession or art just don't work for me all that well. While this one is centered around a missing artist and the behind the scenes of where she could possibly be, the underlying world of art and what people consider art just does not interest me.

At one point, I thought this was going to go in the direction of Exhibit Alexandra and I was going to be REALLY MAD about it. Thankfully it did NOT. For that I thank you, Hummel.

I think this book is more
Roman Clodia
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
"She also says that unless women artists simultaneously inhabit the roles of artist and subject, the art world will never escape the prison of the male gaze"

This may not be the first book to make literary capital out of the juxtaposition of contemporary art, sexualised violence against women and murder, but it weaves its themes together with considerable deftness to create something that is immensely readable while constructed on a foundation of feminist aesthetics.

The first person narrator,
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a thriller with a very interesting setting. The main character, Maggie Richter, works at the Rocque Museum in LA. This is an art gallery, where the newest, Gala opening, is for the artist, Kim Lord’s, latest exhibition. The exhibition, ‘Still Lives’, involves artworks, presenting famous, female, murder victims.

Maggie has mixed feelings about this exhibition; not only because of the theme of the paintings, but also because Kim Lord is the lover of art gallery owner, Greg Shaw Ferguson. G
A Wondrous Bookshelf
Everyone seems to be giving this book at least 4 stars but in reality just like art is subjective so are books. I really, and I mean, really struggled with this book at least until 60% of the story. It’s not that it is a badly written book, it was just boring and slow. The other half of the book gets a bit better but the ending did not wow me and by the time I was done with the book I was tired of reading it.

I’d like to thank Edelweiss for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my hon
Robert Blumenthal
This novel is one of those very literary thrillers which is immersed in the modern, contemporary art world. Maggie is a copy editor who works for a modern museum in Los Angelos. They are about to put on an exhibition by Kim Lord where she paints herself as various women in history who were murdered (e.g., Nicole Simpson Brown, the Black Dahlia, etc.). Kim doesn't show up for her premiere, and the plot continues to where Maggie is trying to find out what happened to her. Kim happens to be the cur ...more
Maggie works in an art gallery where an exciting new exhibition is premiering. The exhibition is by Kim Lord, and includes self-portraits depicting herself as famous murder victims. On opening night, Kim is a no-show. As hours and days pass, it appears something sinister may have happened to Kim. Maggie starts asking questions, and trying to piece together what has happened to Kim.

This story is told from Maggie's point of view. As Maggie looks into Kim's disappearance, she learns more about her
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Picked up this audiobook on Hoopla. It was a botm pick previously, so I thought I’d give it a try. But, like many contemporary murder mystery/thrillers, I found the story unrealistic, plot thin, and characters ridiculous. I don’t understand why women in these stories all make such bad decisions. This one was a disappointment for me, and I’m starting to think that this just isn’t my genre.
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Artist Kim Lord is a high-profile name in the art world and the Rocque Museum is excited about her latest exhibition, Still Lives, which depicts the artist as famous murdered women like Black Dahlia and Nicole Brown Simpson.

The musuem's staff editor, Maggie Richter, watches the wealthy art patrons arrive at the Rocque on opening night with a feeling of dread.  Her ex-boyfriend, the aspiring gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, is now dating Kim Lord and will no doubt be on her arm the entire night.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reese's Book Club...: Thoughts.... 10 657 Jan 22, 2019 06:48PM  
Play Book Tag: Still Lives - Maria Hummel - 3 1/2 stars 1 12 Sep 25, 2018 08:10AM  
Reese's Book Club...: Questions for the Author 7 249 Aug 24, 2018 09:38AM  
Reese's Book Club...: Art 2 198 Aug 19, 2018 12:58PM  
Book of The Month: Still Lives 4 38 Jun 01, 2018 10:14AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sayonara Slam (Mas Arai #6)
  • King Maybe (Junior Bender, #5)
  • The Good Children
  • Gangster Nation
  • Buffalo Noir
  • Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
  • Scribe
  • Go-Between
  • Follow Her Home (Juniper Song, #1)
  • The Night Visitor
  • The Underground Railroad
  • Self-Portrait with Boy
  • Patricide
  • Invisible Dead (Wakeland, #1)
  • The Assassin Trilogy: The Silver Bear / Columbus / Dark Men (Silver Bear, #1-3)
  • The Age of Light
  • Judas Horse
  • In Perfect Light
See similar books…
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“There’s a large class of men who can’t endure humor in a woman.” 3 likes
“Only women who seek their own importance leave her circle of family and friends.” 1 likes
More quotes…