Dirty Linen

Nicholas Kilmer, Author Henry Holt & Company $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-8050-5034-9
A cache of erotic drawings of uncertain provenance is the centerpiece of Kilmer's (Harmony in Flesh and Black) latest art world mystery. Acting for eccentric collector Clayton Reed, Fred Taylor attends a public auction of the late Lord Hanford's possessions, pretending to be interested in a painting so that the other competitive dealers won't guess that he is really after the seemingly worthless drawings. Fred arranges for another dealer, Marek Hrisc , to bid on the erotica Clayton wants, and the ploy works. Once Fred has delivered the collection to the seedy motel where Clayton is hiding out, he begins to see the true worth of the dirty pictures--they may be part of a long-lost collection by real-life 19th-century painter Joseph Mallord William Turner. The situation turns brutal when Hrisc is savagely attacked. Kilmer, who's a professional painter and art dealer, carefully knits facts about Turner's life and work into his tidy, absorbing mystery, offering an entertaining twist on art history. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 218 pages - 978-1-890208-53-0
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