Brush with Death

Joan Smith, Author
Joan Smith, Author Jove Books $3.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-515-10304-5
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
A multimillion-dollar scheme to replace 10 Van Gogh oils in Amsterdam with fakes propels this sprightly murder mystery. John Weiss, a continent-hopping investigator for an insurance company, tracks the forger to Montreal in the dead of winter, only to find that he has been stabbed to death. With his genuine appreciation of the paintings, this case is more than just another job to John. His other motives include one-upping an associate and the presence in Montreal of his fiancee, Cassie Newman. Cassie herself shows a natural aptitude for sleuthing, while also indulging her taste for fine food and other luxuries on John's expense account. But who is the ruthless and clever killer? Early evidence points to assistant curator Jan Bergma, who has movie star looks and a questionable connection to the oil-rich Sheikh Rashid. John needs all his wits plus the help of Gino, a crude, sharp Canadian Mountie, who would be a scene-stealer if not kept in check by the author. Smith ( Capriccio ) skillfully intertwines suspense and humor, and the bantering John and Cassie are an engaging pair. (May)
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