O' Artful Deathby Sarah Stewart Taylor
Newcomer Sarah Stewart Taylor delivers a compelling and atmospheric cozy mystery that introduces Sweeney St. George, an art historian in Boston with a special interest in the art of death. Sweeney becomes interested in Byzantium, Vermont, an art colony that flourished in the late nineteenth century, when she comes upon a photograph of the striking gravestone of a… See more details below
Newcomer Sarah Stewart Taylor delivers a compelling and atmospheric cozy mystery that introduces Sweeney St. George, an art historian in Boston with a special interest in the art of death. Sweeney becomes interested in Byzantium, Vermont, an art colony that flourished in the late nineteenth century, when she comes upon a photograph of the striking gravestone of a girl who drowned, and may have been murdered, in 1890. The stone is in a tiny cemetery surrounded by other beautiful, if unremarkable, headstones, some dating back hundreds of years. But the unsigned sculpture that marks this young woman's grave is of extremely high quality and the artist is unrecognizable.
Sweeney is soon hooked, not only on the mystery of who created the beautiful sculpture but also on the details of the events surrounding the girl's death. When the friend who showed her the gravestone invites Sweeney to visit his relatives in Byzantium for Christmas, she jumps at the chance, knowing full well that the girl's murder has achieved the status of mythology in the town and hoping she'll be able to uncover new information. But by the time they arrive, her interest in the girl and the sculpture has gotten around town and, in fact, seems to have disturbed a killer. For not long after Sweeney arrives, one of the girl's descendants is murdered, shot and left lying in the cemetery.
Taylor has written a remarkably accomplished debut mystery in the traditional cozy vein, and she's sure to win over legions of fans with O' Artful Death.
-Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"A strikingly atmospheric debut. The writing is crisp and the characters all quite forcefully alive, especially Sweeney." -Denver Post
"[O' Artful Death] rings subtleand enormously satisfyingchanges on the venerable tried-and-true." -Newsday
"An elegantly wrought first mystery with layers within layers like carved ivory balls...Rich and rewarding reading."-Booklist
"A nicely puzzled plot, a closely confined rural setting, remarkable characterizations, and eminently readable prose." -Library Journal
"(Taylor) has an eye for the details of rural New England . . . Pull up an overstuffed chair and drift away." -The Boston Globe
"A compelling mystery about a dark subject. One can hope she'll bring Sweeney for more sleuthing."-Sunday Oklahoman"
"An academic cozy set in rural Vermont's Byzantium, a bygone artists colony replete with a Victorian mansion, rumors of murder plots past and present and a surfeit of oddballs marooned there for the winter."-Publishers Weekly
"Pithy assessments of the Pre-Raphaelites, Tennyson, and Victorian mores, along with Christmas-card pretty scenes of winter in Vermont."-Kirkus Reviews
"I could not put it down . . . Sweeney is a very human and appealing protagonist, and Sarah Stewart Taylor has a lovely, lyrical style. O' Artful Death will be one of the year's best first novels." -Deborah Crombie, author of And Justice There Is None
"Literate and lyrical, O' Artful Death by Sarah Stewart Taylor is a stunning debut novel. Art Historian Sweeney St. George, Taylor's protagonist, is quirky, appealing, and intelligent. O' Artful Death vaults Sarah Stewart Taylor into the select company of Amanda Cross and Jane Langton."-Carolyn Hart, author of Engaged to Die
"Sarah Stewart Taylor's debut mystery is an absolute delight. Sweeney St. George is the most intelligent, erudite, and sympathetic narrator to grace the academic mystery genre since Amanda Cross's Kate Fansler, and Taylor's complicated and multilayered plot is the perfect vehicle for her."-Ayelet Waldman, author of A Playdate with Death
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >