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Murder in the Abstract

(Dani O'Rourke #1)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Danielle O'Rourke's gala evening at the Devor Museum ends in catastrophe when the body of a young artist plummets from her office window. The police label it murder and suspect Dani, the Museum's chief fund raiser. Self-preservation and an insider's understanding of how money moves the art world drive her to investigate who might have a motive for murder. Dani's playboy ex ...more
Hardcover, 265 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Thomas & Mercer (first published 2010)
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3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  73 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Lloyd Russell
As you know, I saw Terry Shames at her book launch at Books, Inc. in Berkeley back on January 13. And as you also know, Terry was in conversation with Susan C. Shea, another local author. Well, I decided to get book 1 of Susan's Dani O'Rourke mystery series. And I really enjoyed it. Here's what Murder in the Abstract is about:

Danielle O'Rourke's gala evening at the Devor Museum ends in catastrophe when the body of a young artist plummets from her office window. The police label it murder and sus
Dec 31, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Uh, my dad gave me this to read. It's supposed to take place in a thinly veiled SFMOMA. I am wary.

A day later ...

Well, the murder story was interesting, but I did not enjoy the writing. I found all the phone flipping and snapping particularly irksome - srsly a VP of Development at a SF museum has a fifteen-year-old phone!? I don't think so. Also frequent references to the narrator's clothing size, calorie intake, and what she was eating bordered on misogyny. Bah, and the artist, gallery, and mus
Steve Shea
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not generally a fan of mysteries, but it's my mother's first novel...and I really enjoyed it. Murder in the Abstract establishes Dani O'Rourke as an (view spoiler) detective in events that pursue her before she turns the tables. The climax of the action is full of tension and doubt, and the resolution leaves her in further doubt and regret, but O'Rourke is made of tough stuff, as Shea proves in the sequel, The King's Jar.
R.E. Conary
As San Francisco's Devor Museum's chief fundraiser, Danielle "Dani" O'Rourke makes her living convincing wealthy people to donate large sums of money--or precious objects--to the museum. When a rising star of an artist falls to his death from Dani's office window, she finds herself way out of her element and a suspect in his murder.

A cozy, amateur sleuth mystery, MURDER IN THE ABSTRACT is a light read and the first of three novels featuring Dani O'Rourke. Actually, it's hard to call Dani an amat
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fast-paced and very entertaining, I especially enjoyed the premise of the protagonist being a fund-raiser for a major art museum! The dual settings of San Francisco and Santa Fe added to the interest.
Dani O'Rourke is an appealing and likeable character and the mystery itself was an intricate puzzle.

I recently finished several long-running series, catching up with all the installments and have been struggling a bit to find some new series to plug into. This one was fun and I'll happily read the o
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in the Dani O'Rourke series, but I'd read the next two before this. It didn't spoil the story for me, it's witty and fun, with a relatable lead character who doesn't go on idiotic lone sleuthing expeditions. I really hope Susan Shea writes more of Dani novels, as I've enjoyed them far more than the couple she set in France with a somewhat tedious lead character.
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, review-books, usa
One of the most difficult things about reviewing books is what to do when presented with a book which uses devices and has a style that is normally something I'd avoid, due to personal preference. Doesn't mean that it's a bad book, and it certainly doesn't mean that the book won't have a legion of fans (in fact it probably should just about guarantee it). I'm also aware that problems are considerably more obvious when there's other things going on that aren't working for a reader.

Needless to say
Mar 06, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.
Elizabeth A.
May 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
One more mystery, I thought bitterly. I kept adding mysteries but didn’t seem to be making progress solving any of them. – Dani O’Rourke

One wouldn’t expect the chief fund raiser for a posh art museum to find herself at the center of a murder mystery, yet that is precisely where Danielle “Dani” O’Rourke finds herself in Susan Shea’s debut novel, Murder in the Abstract.

What should be a triumphant, gala evening of celebration at the Devor Museum where Dani works is cut brutally short when up-and-co
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Jun 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
What has San Franciso, CA and Santa Fe, NM have in common? Murder. How , why, when...these are questions I asked myself as I began the fast-paced, fun-laced, trek through the modern art world in both cities. The sleuth is involved in the magical world of fine art as she is plunged into a murder.

Page one had me laughing as the speed of the crime astonished me. You are involved without even realizing it. I sped through the chapters like running traffic lights. On top of it all the Author's descri
Mary Bird
This was an interesting story, with some interesting characters. There were a few things that stopped me from getting fully into it - the main character, for example, never ever answers her cell phone despite the fact that bad things are constantly happening, and some of the characters feel a bit flat and a little indistinguishable. However it wasn't something that ruined the story, and I'd be interested in reading more in this series.
Dani has an important job raising funds for a San Francisco museum. When someone is thrown from her office window during a soiree, she becomes a suspect. Of course, Dani knows she didn't do it--but she does wonder about both her assistant and her boss, both of whom are behaving suspiciously. A trip to Arizona, partly to go to an art opening of one of the artists at the soiree, leads to more death and more danger.
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book that is ideal for a long plane trip. It's not real deep, but still interesting enough to hold attention. It takes place in the art communities of San Francisco and Santa Fe. I would read more by Shea if her work came my way.
Apr 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
Well, that was painful. Way too many characters, red herrings, fantastic coincidences and unexplained plot points. My OCD compelled me to finish the book, which was thankfully under 300 pages. I will not be looking for the next installment of Dani O'Rourke, amateur detective.
Laurel Benson
Jan 02, 2014 rated it liked it
This book had too many characters. Not sure it's going to be a hit with me but I will read the second book in the series and see where it's going before deciding.
James Ziskin
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved Dani O'Rourke and the mystery. The relationship with her ex is a bonus that I truly enjoyed. Smart and clever.
Susan Shea
Jul 15, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
I wrote it!
Chloe Dyer
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
This had a very good twist to the mystery. kept me guessing.
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Nov 11, 2014
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Dec 21, 2017
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May 23, 2017
Judy Price
rated it it was ok
Aug 31, 2010
rated it really liked it
May 21, 2015
Susan Walker
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I always like to read books based in San Francisco as I live near there. Some are a disappointment. This book was not one of those. It had a great lead character, who happened to be a murder suspect. There was some nice humor added in to the story.
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Jan 29, 2018
Kathy Jensen
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Apr 23, 2014
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Apr 01, 2018
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Dec 29, 2016
Cara Black
rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2013
rated it really liked it
Oct 11, 2014
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