The young woman in the hair salon raises her shirt in a brief gesture to show a friend a work in progress--a riot of stunning tattoos. From his accidental vantage point in the barber's chair, Fred Taylor knows that those images--weird insects, beasts, and naked human figures--could only come from something amazing: a hitherto unknown painting of ...Read MoreThe young woman in the hair salon raises her shirt in a brief gesture to show a friend a work in progress--a riot of stunning tattoos. From his accidental vantage point in the barber's chair, Fred Taylor knows that those images--weird insects, beasts, and naked human figures--could only come from something amazing: a hitherto unknown painting of rare and significant value. And the girls don't have a clue. Fred knows such a painting needs to be found. His inquiries lead him from the salon to the illegal tattoo parlor of an unlicensed genius. Fred is met everywhere by ignorance and denial. Anyone who must have seen the painting denies that it exists, despite the vivid proof increasingly laid bare on the canvas of the hairdresser's skin. Fred's employer, the collector Clayton Reed, is out of the country. So Fred, left to his own devices, is free to follow the trail, despite the distractions presented by the intriguing librarian Molly Riley. Not wanting to spook his unwilling witnesses, Fred must proceed with caution. Then he encounters the first serious bump in the road: a suspiciously convenient hit-and-run that brings one potential informant into an abrupt dead end. Can a painting be worth a murder?Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-07-18 When Fred Taylor spies an elaborate tattoo on Cambridge, Mass., hairstylist Kim Weatherall in Kilmer's offbeat eighth art mystery (after 2010's A Butterfly in Flame), Fred thinks it's an imitation of an undiscovered work by 15th-century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch, best known for The Garden of Earthly Delights. His eagerness to see the original painting leads him to Kim's former boyfriend, gifted tattoo artist Arthur Pendragon (ne Schrecking), and Arthur's evasive associates, including volatile tattoo artist Kenzo Petersen; exotic dancer Tippy Artoonian; well-heeled art dealer Lexington Orono; and creepy high school art teacher Zoltan "Z" Zagoriski. Fred suspects Z knows more than he's telling about the Bosch painting, while Z's death in a too coincidental hit-and-run accident underscores the high stakes of the game. Besides showcasing Kilmer's knack for intriguing premises, this installment poignantly depicts Fred's tentative steps toward love. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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