cover image Fugitive Colors: A Sigrid Harald Mystery

Fugitive Colors: A Sigrid Harald Mystery

Margaret Maron / Author Mysterious Press $18.95 (260p) ISBN 97

Although it has been five years since readers last met NYPD homicide detective Lt. Sigrid Harald (in Past Imperfect), only two fictional months have elapsed since Sigrid's lover, painter Oscar Nauman, died and left his entire estate, worth millions, to her as both legatee and executor. Still grieving, Sigrid returns to work and to the Manhattan art scene to authorize a Nauman retrospective--and it's tough to say which venue is less civilized. While Sigrid's detectives cope with a mother who insists her ne'er-do-well son's suicide was really murder, Sigrid herself gets a look at the dirt trapped under high culture's polished veneer. Soon after a painter angrily causes a ruckus at an opening staged by a prominent art dealer, Sigrid discovers the dealer's bludgeoned corpse in Oscar's--now her--studio apartment. Although Sigrid assigns one of her men to take charge of the case, it is her own sensitivity to enmities and old grudges in the art world that finally reveals the entire picture, although not before another life is lost. Maron adeptly establishes a coolly thematic and deceptive link among the deaths as she constructs her affecting mystery out of distinctive blend of art-world politics, past crimes and present grief. (June)