Artistic License to Kill (A Fine Art Mystery) by Paula Darnell


About Artistic License to Kill


Artistic License to Kill (A Fine Art Mystery)

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 

Publisher: Campbell and Rogers Press (January 15, 2021) 

Hardcover: 384 pages 

ISBN-10: 1887402136 ISBN-13: 978-1887402132 

Paperback: 258 pages 

ISBN-10: 1887402128 ISBN-13: 978-1887402125

 Digital Print length: 211 pages

Artist Amanda Trent, accompanied by her beloved golden retriever Laddie and her persnickety calico cat Mona Lisa, is determined to start a new life after her husband divorces her to marry a younger woman, but it isn't easy.


After a disastrous interview at the prestigious Roadrunner Gallery in Lonesome Valley, Arizona, far away from her previous home in Kansas City, Amanda's afraid that she'll fail at her new career. But her prospects begin to improve when she's accepted as the newest member of the cooperative gallery.


Then, on her very first day, she discovers Janice, the stern director, has been murdered right in the art gallery, and the Roadrunner's members, including Amanda herself, become suspects. Which gallery member murdered the unpopular director? Or was the killer an outsider with an ax to grind?

My thoughts:

When you are the mother of grown kids nearing your mid-century mark and your marriage blows up, you look for a fresh start. This new series is a wonderfully fresh beginning.

Amanda is an aspiring artist who moves alone, with her dog and cat, to Arizona to be among other artists.
Her interview to join a gallery of artists has a shaky start but soon she is making new friends and even has a potential sale or two.  Even her pets are making new friends.
However her fresh start over is threatened when the gallery's director and benefactor is discovered murdered, by none other than Amanda herself, and her new close friend, Susan.
The gruff detective on the case is more concerned with arresting someone than solving the crime. Who better to suspect than those who called in the body?  Or the other artists? After all, the victim was not the most liked person in town.

What I liked best about this book are the characters and the look behind the scenes of the art world.
From the studios to galleries and even in-person sales at a fair, you'll find yourself connected to and afraid for Amanda. Does she have information that could also make her the next victim?

As you read, various suspects will come to mind. Who can Amanda trust? Who will believe her?
This case will be closed but I look forward to how Amanda's life evolves as she comes into her own person. 

About Paula Darnell

Award-winning author Paula Darnell is a former college instructor who has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in English and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in English with a Writing Emphasis. Artistic License to Kill is the first book in her Fine Art Mystery series. She's also the author of the DIY Diva Mystery series and The Six-Week Solution, a historical mystery set in Nevada. She resides in Las Vegas with her husband Gary and their Pyrador Rocky.

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 Artistic License to Kill (A Fine Art Mystery) by Paula Darnell 


  1. Thank you for featuring my new book, Artistic License to Kill. I really appreciate it!


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