Man with a Squirrel: A Fred Taylor Mystery

Nicholas Kilmer, Author Henry Holt & Company $22.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8050-3666-4
Fred Taylor, a Boston-based art expert who made his initial appearance in Harmony in Flesh and Black, returns to tackle another multifaceted crime. Art experts have made fine amateur sleuths--e.g., Aaron Elkin's Chris Norgren or Elizabeth Peters's Vicky Bliss. Fred, low-keyed, blunt and sardonic, is an eccentrically nonmaterialistic sort employed by the rich and very acquisitive Clayton Reed. Despite his aversion to ownership, Fred has moved in with girlfriend Molly Riley and her preteen children, Sam and Terry, finding himself possessed of, and by, a family. Here, Fred buys a fragment of a mutilated painting he thinks might be an unknown (or unaccounted for) portrait by John Singleton Copley, an 18th-century American-born painter whose Tory leanings caused him to flee to England. Fred's pursuit of the rest of the painting leads to murder. Through Molly, Fred also becomes involved in the machinations of Eunice Cover-Hoover, a psychiatrist who blends talk-show appearances, pop-psych books and personal consultations about recovering repressed memories of abuse into a smooth and sinister con operation. In addition to rendering the art history (and Fred's research) interesting, Kilmer makes Cover-Hoover's predations on the psychologically fragile believable and frightening. These elements and healthy doses of humor and suspense keep the pages turning to the satisfying conclusion. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1996
Release date: 07/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4417-9686-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 288 pages - 978-0-06-104426-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-1226-5
Paperback - 231 pages - 978-1-890208-39-4
Open Ebook - 231 pages - 978-1-4668-7948-5
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