Published: 1999
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 333
Challenges:
Unread Authors #4, Hometown #1

This one was added to my list when I was looking for Portland authors and settings for the Hometown Challenge. Since it’s also a new author, I’m substituting it in for the Unread Authors Challenge too.

Claire Montrose is leading a predictable life in Portland, Oregon. Although her job is unusual (approving or rejecting vanity license place applications for the Dept. of Motor Vehicles) she’s been there long enough to be bored with it. When Claire’s Aunt Cady dies and leaves everything to Claire, things become less predictable.

Aunt Cady didn’t have much more than a trailer filled with junk, but under the bed, Claire finds an old suitcase containing a bracelet, her aunt’s diary, some pamphlets from Nazi Germany and a small painting that takes her breath away. Claire’s boyfriend is sure the painting is junk, but her roommate (an elderly survivor of Dachau) and a local antiques dealer are not so sure.

When Claire decides to take the painting to New York to research it’s history and how her aunt came to possess it, she soon finds herself in the middle of a mystery and apparently in some serious danger.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s a light cozy style mystery, but one that kept me entertained and turning the pages. I will most definitely be looking for and reading more of April Henry’s Claire Montrose series.