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The Art Fiasco

(Poppy Denby Investigates #5)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  32 reviews
It’s 1924 and Poppy Denby is heading up to Northumberland to celebrate her father’s sixtieth birthday. She stops off in Newcastle en route to visit her Aunt Dot, who has temporarily relocated from London to renovate a house she’s inherited. 

One of Aunt Dot’s guests is the world renowned artist, Agnes Robson, who is staging an exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery. Reluctantl
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 23rd 2020 by Lion Fiction
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My review on my website
This is my first book that I have read by Fiona Veitch Smith and tea enjoyed it. The Art Fiasco is currently the fifth book in the Poppy Denby Investigates series.

The Art Fiasco mixes with the art world and perhaps a murder.

Inside the book is a map that readers can follow, explaining where every place is within this storyline. There is also a list of characters for each year this story is set in.

The Art Fiasco is set in the 1920s, in Newcas
Ivonne Rovira
Aug 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one I liked
Sleuthing reporter Poppy Denby isn’t Amory Ames of Murder at the Brightwell; Poppy isn’t Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher nor Rhys Bowen’s Lady Georgie, either. Amory, Phryne and Lady Georgie are all bright young things at the beginning of the 20th century: modern, clever, sophisticated and relentless in the pursuit of justice. Their speech isn’t just cut-glass — it’s cultivated, sharp and intelligent. In other words, they’re nothing like Poppy, except that their novels take place about the same ...more
I should say upfront that I did not finish this novel - I actually only made it 2% in. I don't want to expressly why, as to not spoil the story for you, but there was a scene in the first chapter that I was extremely uncomfortable with, thus I could not stomach continuing at that point. I didn't read enough of the novel to be able to comment intelligently on the writing style or any other factors at this point. However, I do immensely thank Fiona Veitch Smith, Lion Hudson Ltd, and NetGalley for ...more
A solid historical mystery filled with intrepid women making their own way in life in 1920s Britain. The characters are well developed and reflect the dynamic social forces at work during this time. A well plotted mystery rich in details will keep the reader engaged. I immediately went out and bought the first in the series.

I received a free copy of this book thanks to and the publisher in return for a fair and impartial review.
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels-set-in-uk
Murder mystery set in 1920's NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE

Our You Tube review:

This is no. 5 in the Poppy Denby series and I came to this without having read the previous novels. It easily holds its own.

Popping is up from London and staying with Aunt Dot and her friend Grace in their house in Heaton. She is spending a few days there before heading on to her father’s birthday party in Northumberland. She is a journalist and therefore has a nose for a story AND she is a bit of a
Elizabeth Plunkett
Jul 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-2020
The Art Fiasco by Fiona Veitch Smith is a cozy mystery set in 1920’s England starring Poppy, a journalist and part time sleuth. I didn’t realize this was a series and not the first book, however it was still entertaining and had an art theme. This one did take a while for me to get into, but there were some interesting twists. Large ensemble cast and pretty Brittish settings.
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fiona V. Smith has written a wonderful historical mystery that features a cast of very liberated 1920's women. I loved the crusading spirit of the female artist, attorney, reporter and actress. They formed an entertaining team of investigators on this art-centric mystery set in an English mining town.

Ms. Smith's characters have both brains and heart and their adventures were the perfect tonic for a very hot summer day. I loved every minute i spent with this light mystery and look forward to enco
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this title from the publisher for an honest review. The Art Fiasco is part of a series featuring Poppy Denby and her associates, but can easily be read as a stand-alone title. This entry finds Poppy visiting Newcastle, which is in the area where she grew up, to attend her father's 60 birthday party, see her aunt's new project, and attend a performance of her friend's latest play. Aunt Dot and her friend Grace are putting the finishing touches on an old house Dot inherited so ...more
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found The Art Fiasco and Poppy Denby to be very interesting. I have not read the previous books in the series but was still able to enjoy the mystery! The death of a renown artist during a gallery showing provides the reader with a number of intriguing suspects and motives. Poppy and the other characters are well done. I highly recommend it and will be checking out the other Poppy Denby books.
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-new-author
I requested a copy of The Art Fiasco for review because the cover struck me. Also, I’m a longtime fan of 1920s and 1930s murder mysteries from the likes of Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer, as well as their more modern counterparts like The Drew Farthering Mysteries by Julianna Deering. When I opened the book, I found it is actually the fifth book in the Poppy Denby Investigates series.

The Jazz Files opens in 1920, and we are introduced to Poppy Denby, the daughter of a northern clergyman. Sh
Oct 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
The Art Fiasco is the fifth book in Fiona Veitch Smith's Poppy Denby Investigates series. The mystery in the center of this historical cozy mystery series stands alone, which is a good thing since I haven't read the first four books! I still enjoyed the story, but I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I read the previous installments. I missed all the previous character development which would have greatly enhanced my reading pleasure.

Poppy Denby is on her way to her father's 60th birthd
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Art Fiasco by Fiona Veitch Smith is Book 5 in the Poppy Denby series of 1920's mysteries, all set in England. Poppy is the Arts and Culture editor for the Daily Globe. To be honest, she was the reporter as well. There was only she in the department. She is on her way north to the Newcastle area to celebrate her father's 60th birthday. He is a Methodist minister in a town not for from Newcastle, Morpeth. She was taking a couple of days to stop with her aunt Dot, who, with her companion, Grace ...more
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it

Journalist, and amateur sleuth, Poppy Denby is staying with her Aunt Dot in Newcastle, and whilst there she meets with renowned artist, Agnes Robson, who is back in the North East, to celebrate her artistic success by showing some of her art collection in an exhibition at the prestigious Laing Art Gallery. When Agnes’s press assistant is taken ill, Poppy steps in to help out, with devastating consequences when secrets from Agnes’s past threaten to be exposed.

Poppy Denby is a likeable amateur cri
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This historical mystery is the 5th in the series. The main character is Poppy Denby. Poppy is a 26 year old journalist and amateur sleuth. One thing that caught my interest was the setting of this book. Poppy goes home to Newcastle (her parents actually live in a village outside Newcastle, but her Aunt is renovating a house in Newcastle). The industrial northeast is not that common of a setting for historical mysteries and I was intrigued.

The story opens in 1897. Fourteen year old Agnes' art te
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Art Fiasco by Fiona Veitch Smith is a marvellous historical novel and the fifth book in the Poppy Denby Investigates series. It can be read as a stand-alone but I recommend reading all the books in the series, they are fabulous.
This Poppy Denby series is nostalgic amateur sleuthing of the very best. I find it reminiscent of Agatha Christie and also the television series Death In Paradise as the ending wraps up all loose ends in a perfect summary.
The Art Fiasco is set in Northumberland in 192
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I read in this series and I found it highly entertaining and well written.
I was hooked since the first pages and I read in two setting.
It’s an interesting historical mystery that reminded me of Golden Age one and it can be read as a stand-alone even if it’s part of a series.
Poppy is a well rounded and interesting character, a woman who faces the misoginy of the ’20 when women were starting to work but their main role was still wife/mother. She is strong willed and able to
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Can Poppy trust those closest to her?

After finishing The Cairo Brief I just couldn't get enough of Poppy Denby Investigates, author Fiona Veitch Smith's fun Jazz Age crime solving reporters, so I just when right ahead and started The Art Fiasco right away. And trust me, this story turned out to be a dilly as Poppy once again takes on some tough issues while bringing the truth to light.

As an American reader I'm a bit of a stranger to settings like the one in The Art Fiasco but I find them to be
Paul Trembling
The latest in the 'Poppy Denby Investigates' sees the reporter / investigator going back to her roots, for a reunion with family up in Newcastle and nearby areas. But she soon finds herself investigating another murder, this one with some especially tangled roots of its own. It's an intriguing mystery, as Poppy and friends delve into the past and slowly unravel the truth.

Like all good historical novels, 'The Art Fiasco' (as with the other books in the series) gives an excellent sense of the time
Meredith C
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hello Poppy Denby, journalist, amateur sleuth and old friend! I was delighted to read a new installment in Poppy’s adventures, this time in Northumberland circa 1924. (Are you too noticing the increase in historical fiction mysteries just after World War I?) Poppy leaves London for a vacation with her Aunt Dot, and finds herself reluctantly filling in for the press liaison of world renowned artist Agnes Robson. Agnes is staging an exhibition of her paintings at the Laing, and needs Poppy to run ...more
Sarah Hudson
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in 1924, we meet Poppy – a journalist – as she travels to Northumberland for her father’s birthday. Although Poppy is on holiday, she soon gets roped in to helping an old family friend – the internationally acclaimed artist, Agnes Robson, who has just returned to the area for an exhibition. Poppy soon learns that Agnes left the area decades ago under something of a cloud, and that the rumours surrounding her involvement in a man’s death are still very much alive. However, the rumours come to ...more
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
The author notes that parts of the book stem from her family history which is fascinating, including some plots and locations. Details such as these are noticeable throughout by her intimate knowledge of streets and buildings in the Northumberland setting.

Poppy Denby, a news reporter, goes on holiday and decides to spend some time with her Aunt Dot before proceeding to her father's 60th birthday celebration. Aunt Dot hosts an art event and has invited the illustrious artist Agnes Robson. Events
Oct 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I am a fan of Golden Age mysteries and also stories set in British locales. This book is fun in that it opens with a map of locations mentioned in the book. The main character is Poppy Denby, a sleuth in the 1920's who is working as a reporter, an unusual profession for a woman at that time. Poppy returns home to Newcastle to her father's birthday and stops by her aunt's manse. She is on hand for an art showing, when the artist is murdered. The story goes back in time to the artist's early life. ...more
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
While in Newcastle visiting her family, investigative reporter Poppy Denby agrees to work as the press liaison for famous local artist Agnes Robson. She is soon fending off questions about Agnes’ past involvement with her art teacher, Michael Brownly, who died under suspicious circumstances 27 years previously. But when Agnes is murdered, Poppy must delve into that past, and a possibility link between the two.

This is my second book in the series that I’ve read (The Jazz Files being my first), an
Book Inspector
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
The protagonist in this book is Poppy Denby, an investigative journalist from London, who is visiting her family in Newcastle and the towns around it. After a famous artist is murdered, Poppy needs to figure out who actually killed her, to protect her aunt, that is accused of it. I fell in love with Poppy instantly, she is such a cool young woman, and her interactions with other characters are very amusing to read about. The story is told from multiple perspectives, and it was a true joy to know ...more
This is the first Poppy Denby investigation I have read and I really enjoyed it.
London journalist Poppy is convinced by her family to help a well known artist who once hailed from the coal town in Northumberland that is honoring her. The artist's early life was marred not only by poverty but by an illegitimate pregnancy at age 14 caused by her artist mentor who died under possibly questionable circumstances all those years ago. Like small towns everywhere, the local women remain as judgemental
Nichole Carrier
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
In this fifth installment of Poppy Denby Investigates, Poppy is heading north to visit her old stomping grounds for her father's birthday. Aunt Dot has recently inherited a home nearby so all our favorite characters are on hand for the latest murder. The murder of Aunt Dot's longtime friend and a semi-famous painter, Agnes.

This book was much slower than the last couple Poppy Denby's and took me a lot longer to read through. The plot was interesting; murdered artist, lots of ghosts in everyone's
Melissa Dee
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fiona Veitch Smith’s 'Poppy Denby' series takes the talented young reporter and amateur detective back to her roots in Newcastle in this latest novel. Set in the mid 1920’s, Great Britain’s society is changing quickly, especially for the “bright young things” for whom the suffragettes have opened opportunities. Poppy and her colleagues join with her family and friends to investigate a contemporary murder as well as another with its roots in her childhood. Smith does a great job of capturing the ...more
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really Good

I just love these books. I had the good fortune to hear the author speak at a New Wine Festival either in 2018 or 2019. She was an inspirational speaker and her talk introduced the audience to Poppy Denny. I recommend these books if you enjoy reading female detective fiction, cosy crime, are interested in the post war world of the 1920s and the suffragette movement. It ticks all the boxes. Absorbing, interesting and compelling.
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Karren Hodgkins
Sep 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Another in the series that is a well written murder mystery’. I have read others in the Poppy series Denby and thoroughly enjoyed them. This one just didn't gel as well, even in terms of the protagonist.

The start to this book was extremely distressing for me and may be a trigger for anyone who has suffered from abuse. The theme also reappears in various places throughout the story so that needs to be something the reader considers and I did not see coming.

With thanks to the publisher Lion Hudso
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Poppy Denby Investigates (5 books)
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