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A Trace of Deceit

(Victorian Mystery #2)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  549 ratings  ·  166 reviews
From the author of A Dangerous Duet comes the next book in her Victorian mystery series, this time following a daring female painter and the Scotland Yard detective who is investigating her brother’s suspicious death.

A young painter digs beneath the veneer of Victorian London’s art world to learn the truth behind her brother’s murder...

Edwin is dead. That’s what Inspector
ebook, 416 pages
Published December 17th 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Karen Yes, you can read it as a standalone. I like to think of my "series" as a community in 1870s London, and with each book, I pluck a different person ou…moreYes, you can read it as a standalone. I like to think of my "series" as a community in 1870s London, and with each book, I pluck a different person out and tell her story. But there are overlapping characters. Inspector Matthew Hallam appears as the brother of the protagonist (Nell, a pianist) in A Dangerous Duet; in A Trace of Deceit, he's one of the two main characters. Tom Flynn, my intrepid newspaperman, appears in all three of my books. (less)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Annabel has been working to trust her brother again after he is released from jail for counterfeiting paintings but when she arrives at his flat to find two plainclothes detectives, she knows something is direly wrong.
With her art world knowledge, Annabel could be a tremendous help to Inspector Matthew as he searches for an art thief and murderer but i
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Oh what people do for a work of art. They steal, they connive, and they even commit murder.

While in the hands of Edwin who was restoring a famous painting, Madame de Pompadour by Francois Boucher, was stolen and Edwin was murdered.

We follow Anabele, Edwin's sister, and Mr. Hallam the investigator as they track down clues and the reason the painting may have been stolen.

What they find is quite a bit of information about the selling and trading of paintings and the people who participate in these
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Victorian mystery with everything you could want—a strong leading lady, a murder in London’s art world, a meticulous detective, and a missing painting. A Trace of Deceit is a gripping and complex mystery set in the world of Victorian London’s art scene that historical mystery fans will not want to miss!

Though it’s the second in a series by Karen Odden, A Trace of Deceit definitely works as a stand-alone mystery. The series is based on the time period and our leading detective Matthew Hallam. T
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I probably shouldn't say this, but this is my favorite of my three books. In writing, as with most things, there is no substitute for experience, and as I developed this book, I simply had more tools at hand to create rounded characters. I also had enough faith in the process to let the characters speak back to me and add their own nuance and complexity to my initial plot, and to let myself feel the depth of all of Annabel's emotions--even the most uncomfortable ones--the wistful longing, her re ...more
A young art student in the process of reconciling with a brother who fell into addiction and crime before beginning the process of recovery must now face that brother’s murky past and her knowledge of the art world to help a Scotland Yard detective get to the truth. This exploration into the world of Victorian art, the darkness of addiction and its effect on siblings, a young woman finding her way to understanding, and a sweet background romance all made for a profoundly good second visit with a ...more
Anne Morgan
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Annabel Rowe has been slowly working to reconcile with her brother Edwin, but one day she arrives at his flat to discover two detectives there with the news that Edwin is dead. Murdered, with a valuable painting he had been cleaning now missing. Annabel needs to understand what happened to her brother to gain some closure on his death (and life) and she convinces Inspector Matthew Hallam that her knowledge of the art world and Edwin will prove valuable to discovering his murderer. But what they ...more
This story takes me back to high school and the books I loved to lose myself in! Karen Odden has become a favorite author. In its review of this book, Publisher’s Weekly wrote: “Odden keenly evokes the physical as well as cultural milieu of Victorian England, and peoples her setting with fully realized and intriguing characters.”

(clean read)
N.N. Light
When painter Annabel Rowe discovers a Scotland Yard Inspector, Matthew Hallam, in her brother’s flat, she knows something is amiss but never thought she’d hear her brother’s been murdered. A valuable painting he’d been restoring is missing and Annabel knows it’s the key to finding her brother’s murderer. Teaming up with Matthew, they enter the underbelly of the art world. As they sift through lies, deception, and evasion, the investigation takes a surprising turn and puts Annabel in the crosshai ...more
I was so excited to be a part of this blog tour and with another great book from one of my favorite authors, Karen Odden since reading A Dangerous Duet which was unbelievably fantastic read, I highly recommend - check it out if you haven't read it already and then come back and thank me later. Though A Trace of Deceit is the second book in the series, this works as a stand alone mystery novel and a fantastic read full of mysteries to solve and

In Odden's third book, A Trace of Deceit, a Victoria
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“I think all of our memories have a trace of deceit in them.” Trace of Deceit is the second book I’ve read by Karen Odden, and I LOVED everything about it. Annabel and Matthew are delightful characters, not perfect but human and realistic. Ms. Odden has clearly done her research because her descriptions of art, painting and the auction world are detailed and expansive. She doesn’t shy away from the ugliness of human nature, especially when Matthew’s case takes the pair to visit the boarding scho ...more
I just really love these books.
The Lit Bitch
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read the first book in this series before picking this one up. Thinking that as it was a series, I would need to get caught up to speed with the characters before diving into this one.

As there was only one book, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea just to check it out. Well come to find out, I didn’t really need to read the first book in the series before this one, but I am still glad that I did as it gave readers a nice introduction to one of the main characters in this book, Matth
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My patient anticipation of A Trace of Deceit was sweetly rewarded when I began started reading on New Year's Day, and most of it was spent reading it! It did not disappoint as I have found in the previous novels of Karen Odden.

It was easy to fall into the world of Annabel Rowe as she finds out that her brother Edwin Rowe is dead, and not just that, he's been murdered. But for what and why? Annabel is determined to find out what happened to her older brother? She feels guilty of not feeling that
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you HFVBT and William Morrow for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

Trace Of Deceit
By: Karen Odden


I love art history, and any story with art as an important piece of the puzzle is an instant draw for me. Trace of Deceit is my first Karen Odden book, and I am obsessed now with reading more. What's not to love?

A strained sibling relationship. A brother murdered under suspicion circumstances. What? An expensive French paint
WTF Are You Reading?
Karen Odden's A Trace Of Deceit is in a word...
From the extremely knowledgeable and emotionally adept heroine readers encounter in Annabelle. To the working understanding that seamless character interaction and dialogue provide about all things art, auctions, the cleaning, restoration, buying, selling, and of course thievery of paintings. All the while integrating the tragedy and mystery surrounding the murder of Annabelle's brother Edwin into things, and managing to give him and his
Amy Bruno
"The day I lost Edwin, I think my paintbrush knew before I did."

Annabel Rowe is an art student at the Slade school when she finds out her brother Edwin has been killed in his flat. The siblings aren't close except for a weekly visit and when Annabel shows up one day she discovers a Scotland Yard detective in the flat instead of her brother. Though she is saddened by his death she is not entirely surprised. In their youth he was fond of getting into trouble and did a short stint in jail, so she b
Lynn Horton
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The slight problems I had with Odden's A Dangerous Duet have been ironed out in A Trace of Deceit. The author once again makes me reminisce—this time by remembering the scent of linseed oil!

I took oil-painting lessons when I was young, then set the hobby aside to take care of life. But when I picked up oils again one summer at my ranch, the fragrance from an opened the bottle of linseed oil swept me a thousand miles (and more decades than I'm going to admit) away, out of the mountain forest and
Norah Gibbons
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book to read through Edelweiss+ in exchange for a fair review. A Trace of Deceit is the third book in Karen Odden’s Victorian Mystery series. It can be read as a stand-alone. Artist Edwin Rowe has been murdered and his death seems to be tied to a missing painting, one that was supposed to have been destroyed in a fire five years previously. Annabel Rowe also an artist is determined to solve the mystery of her brothers death at a time when he finally seemed to be getting ...more
May 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
First I’d like to thank the author for sending me this book to read, it was very nice of her! I really liked Annabelle and how art was integrated into the story. Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot going on and the pacing felt off. The beginning was good, but then all of the clues felt stuffed in at the very end, and the middle was a lot of walking and talking. I also didn’t sense any romantic chemistry between the two main characters. I just wish there had been more stuff happening throughout the ...more
Linda Rorex
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This second book from the Victorian Mystery series by Karen Odden tells the story of Annabel Rowe and her quest to find the killer who murdered her brother Edwin. Inspector Matthew Hallam from Scotland Yard is sent to investigate Edwin’s murder. Matthew with the help of Annabel uncover deceit and deceptions in the art world. I really enjoyed reading this cozy mystery book. I received this free book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

“I think all our memories have a trace of deceit in them,” at least according to Inspector Matthew Hallam, the hero of our story – and of the previous book in this series, A Dangerous Duet.

He’s not wrong, not in the context of the story, and not in real life, either. It’s been said that looking at a memory is like opening a page in a book, and that every time we do so, we change it just a little bit – blur the edges, smudge a section, make it sound better –
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Thoughts:
This is the first book I’ve read by Karen Odden. I’m hoping to read other books she’s written in the near future.

Several reason why I love this story!
~I became quickly apart of the story.
~Annabel Rowe is a painter. She has an artist vision. She describes her environment as an artist because she looks at color and shape through an artist’s discerning eyes.
~When Annabel is told about her brother’s death I felt her reaction believable. Her reaction is not over the top in hysterics. Her
Nina Little
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Victorian era London, murder, mystery, dysfunctional families, a bit of romance and the art world equals a recipe for an interesting read in Karen Odden's book A Trace of Deceit.
A young painter digs beneath the veneer of Victorian London's art world to learn the truth behind her brother's murder. Upon his death, a valuable French painting he'd been restoring for an auction house goes missing from his studio: find the painting, find the murderer. After years of blaming her brother's reckless beha
Lauren James  (storied.adventures)
Full review on my blog, Storied Adventures!

I don't know how else to say it except that this was a relaxing and cozy read. It was perfect to wrap up my year with. A perfect Winter read. I loved learning a bit about the art world and art itself. This is one of those instances where I can really say I learned something from reading a fictional book! I loved Annabel's determined, yet kind spirit. Matthew was a great fit for her! And I hurt really badly after finding out Edwin's secret. So sad!
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Trace of Deceit is a historical novel set in Victorian England. Annabel Rowe is shocked when her brother is discovered murdered in his flat. Like Annabel, her brother Edwin was an artist; while she is studying in a formal setting, he worked as an art restorer. A famous Boucher painting Edwin was cleaning, in preparation for sale at an auction house, is also discovered missing. Curiously, the painting supposedly burned in a fire years ago. Annabel works with Scotland Yard policeman Matthew Hall ...more
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it
An engaging Victorian mystery involving a murder and the disappearance of a priceless French painting. Delving into the dubious goings on of the better known auction houses makes the mystery even more compelling.
Annabel Rowe, art student and sister of the murder victim, is a charming protagonist.
This is #2 in a series. I did not read #1 but it didn’t seem to make a difference. I quite enjoyed this one.
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
It's a cozy historical mystery!

This is the 2nd book in the Victorian Mystery series (A Dangerous Duet is the first). Think of it as Downton Abbey, Sherlock Holmes and a cozy crime story in one!

A Trace of Deceit is a suspenseful story with secrets and a setting that perfectly captures the underbelly of London’s art world in a bygone era.

It's about a young painter who digs beneath the veneer of Victorian London’s art world to learn the truth behind her brother’s murder...

I enjoyed this Victorian
Kathleen Gray
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Edwin drank too much, gambled too much, and wasted his talent forging art created by others. However, he was Annabel's brother and she is determined to find out what happened to him. Luckily, Inspector Matthew Hallem has been assigned his case and he's willing to let her assist him in the inquiry, especially since she's a talented artist with connections in that realm he doesn't have. Edwin was in the process of restoring a painting when he was murdered = a painting which went missing. These two ...more
Dianne Zimmerman
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written and I really enjoyed the art history. Ms. Odden made the art history very interesting for a person who has little knowledge about art. Made me want to learn more. The mystery was top notch for me!
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of books that center on art. A Trace of Deceit is a bit about art, both painting and the artists that paint. It centers on a brother and sister, both with talent but one is murdered. Edwin and Annabel did not have a happy childhood; both showed signs of artistic talent but Edwin was far better and Annabel is a woman so what good would it do her? Their father was not kind to either one of them but he was far worse to Edwin as he thought he was wasting his talent. He sent Edwin away ...more
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