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A Dangerous Talent (An Alix London Mystery)

A Dangerous Talent (An Alix London Mystery) [Kindle Edition]

Aaron Elkins , Charlotte Elkins
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Alix London has a promising career as an art consultant, a sumptuous condo in Seattle’s toniest neighborhood, a gorgeous figure, and a presence that exudes Ivy League breeding and old money. She has it all…or does she? Only Alix knows that the image she presents to the world is a carefully constructed mirage that veils an embarrassing truth. A brilliant, once-promising art student, the daughter of a prominent New York art conservator, her world was left in ruins when her father went to prison for art forgery. Now a Harvard dropout with an emptied bank account, she is languishing in a career that has produced little more than a lucky house-sitting gig. But all of that changes when Alix meets Christine Lemay, a novice art collector with money to burn and a hot tip on a recently discovered painting by American master Georgia O’Keeffe. Chris hires Alix to perform the authentication, an assignment that finally could launch Alix into the big leagues. But soon after her arrival in Santa Fe, she finds herself tangled up in a web of forgery, deceit—and murder. Anxious to avoid becoming the next victim, she teams up with FBI Special Agent Ted Ellesworth—and gets a little unlikely help from her roguish father—to uncover the truth behind the painting and those who would kill to have it. Sharp, witty, and devilishly fun, A Dangerous Talent offers an insider’s look into the surprisingly treacherous contemporary art world.

About the Author

Charlotte Elkins wrote her first novel while working at the MH de Young Museum in San Francisco. Published under the pseudonym Emily Spenser, it was the first of her five romance novels that have sold in twenty countries. She switched to writing mysteries when she realized how much fun it was to collaborate with her husband, Aaron. Their first novel, A Wicked Slice, was published in 1989; since then, they have co-written four more novels starring a golf-pro-turned-sleuth and several short stories, one of which, "Nice Gorilla," won the Agatha Award for Best Short Story of the year.

Aaron Elkins’s novels have been published in thirteen languages and made into a major television series. He is the author of sixteen novels featuring forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver and of three mysteries featuring art museum curator Chris Norgren. He has won an Edgar Award and a Nero Wolfe Award, and he shares an Agatha Award with his wife, Charlotte. Aaron's nonfiction articles have appeared in the New York Time's travel magazine, Smithsonian magazine, and Writer's Digest.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 475 KB
  • Print Length: 271 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612182739
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (6 Mar 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005Y0BYE2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,424 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dangerous Talent 5 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Alix London is an art restorer, whose father Geoff was recently in prison for forgery. This naturally causes Alix some embarrassment and she is hoping it doesn't stop her getting a new job when she goes to meet a collector who wants expert advice on a purchase. Chris LeMay is buying a painting for $2.9 million and wants Alix to check it is not a forgery. Her friend Liz Coane owns the gallery which is selling the painting and Alix accompanies Chris to give her opinion.

What follows is a fun mystery, with Alix a great character - slightly flawed, intelligent and capable. Chris is slightly outrageous and a good foil and there is some love interest with an FBI agent who is investigating the sale of expensive art forgeries to foreign buyers. This is a cosy mystery, there are bodies but nothing gruesome, and the art background gives the book a very interesting setting. I really enjoyed this and, as the end of the book suggested this is the first in a series, I would certainly read on.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dangerously talented 30 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Again, a new author (well, two of them, actually) introducing to me Alix London, a hardworking but not very successful picture restorer who is just about making ends meet. Maybe her lack of success is down to a reprobate father who is a master forger who's done time for his pains thus alienating said daughter Alix..

However, events move on and Alix is asked to verify the authenticity of an expensive painting which her new friend Chris is planning to buy. This, as you might guess, causes not a little murder and mayhem.

I quite enjoyed this story, probably because the subject matter is of interest (not the fakes, I hasten to add). It's written in a sort of Sunday afternoon style, well crafted, clear English and a light-hearted approach to most of the content. This, however, does not prevent a body or two appearing and a determined attempt at solving why these people were killed off, especially as they each had something to do with the afore-mentioned painting.

Throw in an undercover FBI agent with fake art on his mind and perhaps a chance to get to know Alix as he pursues the forgers and you have a entertaining crime thriller with an arty-farty feel to it which gives the reader a lot of pleasure in the reading thereof. I believe this is a debut novel as far as Alix London is concerned so we should be seeing more of her as she develops her business and becomes friends with her dad after all.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lame and unengaging 11 April 2012
By R. A. Mansfield VINE VOICE
The famous film reviewer Barry Norman once poured scorn on a person who claimed he must have the best job in the world.

'I have to sit right through every movie, regardless of how bad it is, because something brilliant might happen in the last 15 minutes if I left early, and I'd get slated' (or words to that effect).

Reading this book put me in mind of his scorn. When you're asked to review a book, not finishing it isn't an option because the author might his/her stride halfway and produce a brilliant twist that changes the entire book.

Sadly, A Dangerous Talent didn't pull that trick. It's essentially a thriller set in the art world, but it's about as thrilling as a roller coaster with no twists and turns.

The plot is limp, the characterisation is two dimensional and the story finishes almost before it gets started.

It put me in mind of a badly-written contemporary Miss Marple mystery, except that Jane Marple is now a 'sexy young art expert'.

Derivative and uninspiring - avoid :(
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars everything works out 18 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As i have said in my title everything works out,The book is well written just a little to off pat for my liking but a good read for all that, will easy pass a few hours of enjoyment so that can,t be bad
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read 21 May 2012
By Prof
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent read, well plotted and Alix London is an interesting character. The dangerous talent is her ability to distinguish between genuine paintings and forgeries and takes her back into a world not entirely unknown to her since her father was himself a forger, which she wishes to forget. Hopefully there will be further Alix London mysteries.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing and Plausible 6 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
With so many `wham-bang' thrillers on the market it is gratifying to come across a crime novel embracing a well conceived plot that is rational and logical. `A Dangerous Talent' is written in an easy to read straightforward and flowing style at an even pace, with excellent dialogue between characters and with much humour. The intriguing context is artworld forgery and the genre is a combination of mystery, murder and `who dunnit' involving a number of clever twists. The main protagonist is engaging and there are credible relationships with all other characters throughout a narrative where any violence is limited to that necessary to the plot, nothing sexual is portrayed other than a romantic interest, and there is no foul language other than mild expletives. How refreshing! Furthermore `A Dangerous Talent' reaches a properly considered satisfying conclusion where there are no loose ends. An excellent 5-star read!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery, forgery and murder. 31 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I generally have an aversion to co-authored novels and hadn't noticed that this was written by a husband and wife team; it turned out, however to be a pleasantly engaging little murder-mystery.
Its very much an example of the mainstream mystery genre but with an art-world theme - the action quickly moves from Seattle to New Mexico's trendy Santa Fe gallery scene and the former art colony at Taos; the art stuff is pretty accurate and well researched. For most of the novel the reader is in the company of the central character Alix, a fledgling art consultant who is advising her new friend, employer and wealthy art collector Chris. With two women in the central roles this has something of a chick-lit feel to it, with a touch of romance thrown in for good measure.
The plot is absorbing and well paced, a little like a TV movie perhaps; there is no gratuitous violence or strong language, the writing style is easy and flowing. You'll work out the whodunit bit well before the end. The storyline is properly resolved and the door is wide open for a sequel - the authors are clearly old hands at this.

"A Dangerous Talent" was a very enjoyable if undemanding read, an excellent introduction to a new mystery series and an easy novel to recommend.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Good story line but I had worked it out fairly quickly which detracted from the urge to finish it quickly
Published 6 months ago by drbmd
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written although not my kind of stuff
Too 'girly' for my taste in the way the characters interacted with each other and descriptions of their clothes and shoes did nothing for me
Seriously; the book had a well... Read more
Published 7 months ago by para3drop
2.0 out of 5 stars A Dangerous no talent
the characters one dimensional and repetitive. You could have written the story with 50% less words. Plot too obvious. I knew whodunit way before the ending.
Published 7 months ago by Mum
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good read
By no stretch of the imagination would you have said that I am keen on looking at paintings, but this book has definitely piqued my interest. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Malcolm Balshaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written with extremely good background knowledge of the...
This is a good, well-written book by an author with a deep knowledge of the art world. This makes it informative as well as an exciting read, and the central characters and their... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Karin Snellock
4.0 out of 5 stars Rather Good
An interesting story with a new twist as it moves into the world of art with lots of insights. Perhaps a wee bit predictable and maybe somewhat unbelievable at times, it was still... Read more
Published 7 months ago by torharris
4.0 out of 5 stars Arty?
Interested in the art world, well this book has a twist. I very much look forward to reading the next book!
Published 7 months ago by winnifred
4.0 out of 5 stars Guilty pleasure?
A good easy read, well written, quite a page turner. There were a couple of wrong personal names that could cause confusion or at least irritation, but for that I blame the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Peter M Goodlad
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dangerous Talent.
A well written story that holds the interest of the reader. I look forward to reading the next in the series.
Published 9 months ago by Just Ordinary.
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
An interesting concept with an intriguing storyline which was well thought through to make an enjoyable read. Looking forward to the next one.
Published 10 months ago by Sumjen
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Popular Highlights

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father used to say. He said that the reason there’s so much unintelligible drivel written and spoken about today’s so-called art is that without it, how could you tell it from garbage?” &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users
Santa Fe was tiny—508th in population, according to the last census—but it comprised the third largest art market in the country. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users

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