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Working nights to restore murals in a building full of cremated remains is strange enough, but chasing a crypt-robbing ghoul through a graveyard is downright creepy. In Brush with Death, San Francisco artist Annie Kincaid finds herself drawn into a decades-old mystery involving some illustrious graveyard residents and Raphael's most intimate portrait, dubbed La Fornarina, Working nights to restore murals in a building full of cremated remains is strange enough, but chasing a crypt-robbing ghoul through a graveyard is downright creepy. In Brush with Death, San Francisco artist Annie Kincaid finds herself drawn into a decades-old mystery involving some illustrious graveyard residents and Raphael's most intimate portrait, dubbed La Fornarina, or "the little baker girl". Could the Raphael "copy" hanging amidst funerary urns actually be the priceless original? Is the masked crypt-robber somehow connected to the Raphael? Or is the painting part of a larger puzzle involving Annie's unrepentant grandfather, master art forger Georges LeFleur, and an Italian "fakebuster" out to ruin him? Annie's under pressure to figure things out...before she finds her permanent home amongst the ashes.


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Working nights to restore murals in a building full of cremated remains is strange enough, but chasing a crypt-robbing ghoul through a graveyard is downright creepy. In Brush with Death, San Francisco artist Annie Kincaid finds herself drawn into a decades-old mystery involving some illustrious graveyard residents and Raphael's most intimate portrait, dubbed La Fornarina, Working nights to restore murals in a building full of cremated remains is strange enough, but chasing a crypt-robbing ghoul through a graveyard is downright creepy. In Brush with Death, San Francisco artist Annie Kincaid finds herself drawn into a decades-old mystery involving some illustrious graveyard residents and Raphael's most intimate portrait, dubbed La Fornarina, or "the little baker girl". Could the Raphael "copy" hanging amidst funerary urns actually be the priceless original? Is the masked crypt-robber somehow connected to the Raphael? Or is the painting part of a larger puzzle involving Annie's unrepentant grandfather, master art forger Georges LeFleur, and an Italian "fakebuster" out to ruin him? Annie's under pressure to figure things out...before she finds her permanent home amongst the ashes.

30 review for Brush With Death

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    this is the best one yet of the three AND my next door neighbor wrote it. EVERYONE needs to read these books.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John

    Solid plotting, and good use of local setting. I appreciated keeping the plot (pretty much) on the mystery, rather than on Annie's complicated, cluttered personal life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    In the 3rd installment of Hailey Lind's Art Lovers Cozy Mystery series, Brush with Death, Annie Kincaid returned to solve another art theft-related mystery. Back at San Francisco's Brock Museum, she restored murals and chased a grave robber from stealing Raphael's "Little Baker Girl" painting. She needed to prove, if it was a copy or the real deal. Or if he was involved Annie's grandfather or an Italian art forger. It was now up to Annie to figure things out, before she became one of the cremate In the 3rd installment of Hailey Lind's Art Lovers Cozy Mystery series, Brush with Death, Annie Kincaid returned to solve another art theft-related mystery. Back at San Francisco's Brock Museum, she restored murals and chased a grave robber from stealing Raphael's "Little Baker Girl" painting. She needed to prove, if it was a copy or the real deal. Or if he was involved Annie's grandfather or an Italian art forger. It was now up to Annie to figure things out, before she became one of the cremated remains in a graveyard.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kitty

    Third in the series All the usual characters were back. Takes place mostly in Oakland, where Annie is restoring some artwork at a chapel/cemetary. A little disappointed with some of Annie's decisions in the love dept., but I'm seriously into this series!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Imjussayin

    Brush With Death: An Art Lover's Mystery 3 Reading in chronological order is recommended. In A Nutshell: Annie is busy earning her crust faux finishing murals in the Columbarium crypt. A midnight stroll finds Annie chasing robbers and making friends with a grad student who says the Columbarium's Little Baker Girl by Raphael is the original. And soon after that Annie finds the graduate's body but Annie does not believe it is suicide. But it's an Annie story, so there is more, Annie's inquiries int Brush With Death: An Art Lover's Mystery 3 Reading in chronological order is recommended. In A Nutshell: Annie is busy earning her crust faux finishing murals in the Columbarium crypt. A midnight stroll finds Annie chasing robbers and making friends with a grad student who says the Columbarium's Little Baker Girl by Raphael is the original. And soon after that Annie finds the graduate's body but Annie does not believe it is suicide. But it's an Annie story, so there is more, Annie's inquiries into Raphael's work lead to her precious grandfather master art forger Georges LeFleur being threatened! Another most entertaining Art Lover's Mystery The Plot: Where is the original Raphael's Little Baker Girl? The Protagonists: Annie spent her teenage years forging Old Masters with her grandfather in Europe. After a spell in a European jail, Annie has returned to America setting herself up as a respectable faux finisher in San Francisco. Inbetween fired by the Brock. There is something naive and yet appealing about Annie. She embodies joie de vivre although she is too trusting, a tad frustrating but feisty and comedic. I am enjoying this series a great deal. It is a fun, well-written educational romp. The downside, I would like to see a more independent Annie. The love interests are wearing, but they make less of an appearance in this story. Recommended. Go for it ūüėČ

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I'm an artist all my life so I read this book with great interest. This book was written by two sisters, one is an author, the other is an artist. Intriguing story of a woman who is working to restore murals, an area near a funeral park. A mystery happens while the renovations take place. Interesting that artwork may have been stolen, what is missing? Problem with the story is the way the chapters, the events, descriptions of scenes, action, dialogue, etc., are compressed, I felt I didn't have c I'm an artist all my life so I read this book with great interest. This book was written by two sisters, one is an author, the other is an artist. Intriguing story of a woman who is working to restore murals, an area near a funeral park. A mystery happens while the renovations take place. Interesting that artwork may have been stolen, what is missing? Problem with the story is the way the chapters, the events, descriptions of scenes, action, dialogue, etc., are compressed, I felt I didn't have chances to digest the information given to me thru each chapter. Third of the way thru the book & I became exhausted of all the info, back stories of characters, etc., seemed as if the story was being over-told, I couldn't finish the book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I love this series, and while this book wasn't my favourite, it was still lots of fun to read! Annie's world is one big loony bin of crazy characters, ridiculous situations, and all kinds of nutty fun happenings for a reader. This book had a little less of the really clever and funny snappy repartee of the previous books, but there was some, and the slapstick nature of the ridiculous situations Annie continuously ends up in the middle of are just plain fun to read! I really do love this series, and I love this series, and while this book wasn't my favourite, it was still lots of fun to read! Annie's world is one big loony bin of crazy characters, ridiculous situations, and all kinds of nutty fun happenings for a reader. This book had a little less of the really clever and funny snappy repartee of the previous books, but there was some, and the slapstick nature of the ridiculous situations Annie continuously ends up in the middle of are just plain fun to read! I really do love this series, and Annie's attempts to go straight while navigating between two very different potential love interests [both of whom are ALSO tons of fun!] is just plain ticklingly entertaining. I will definitely continue with this series! A great cozy series, highly recommended!

  8. 4 out of 5

    C.A.

    Really love this series. Once again Annie Kinkaid stumbles upon an art mystery. Annie remains a delightful heroine, talented, flaky, and as snarky as ever. He journey to straight and narrow respectability gets a leg us in this one, but that only makes her personal life, and the two men competing for entry to it, all that much messier. Lots of fun along with lots of art history and facts.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Camille

    Entertaining plot with an art history storyline. This was fun.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Tollefson

    I really like this series, and I like that there's a bit of overlap in characters from at least one of her others. As always, X E Sands does a fine job of reading.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I actually laughed more through this book than the others in this series. And of course I adore the Narrator. She makes these characters come alive!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This series is a favorite.

  13. 5 out of 5

    IslandRiverScribe

    The story begins about 6 months after the conclusion of ‚ÄúShooting Gallery,‚ÄĚ the second novel in the Art Lover‚Äôs Mystery series. Annie Kincaid is working to restore two murals at an area columbarium when she takes a midnight break, strolling through the attached cemetery. She finds a grad student at a grave, photographing the crypt for her thesis on public grieving. Finding out that Annie is an art restorer, the grad student tells her that the columbarium‚Äôs copy of a famous Raphael painting may n The story begins about 6 months after the conclusion of ‚ÄúShooting Gallery,‚ÄĚ the second novel in the Art Lover‚Äôs Mystery series. Annie Kincaid is working to restore two murals at an area columbarium when she takes a midnight break, strolling through the attached cemetery. She finds a grad student at a grave, photographing the crypt for her thesis on public grieving. Finding out that Annie is an art restorer, the grad student tells her that the columbarium‚Äôs copy of a famous Raphael painting may not really be a copy but the original. Before Annie can get more information, a masked grave robber, hiding in the very crypt being photographed, attacks them. Knowing that the original Raphael is supposed to be in an Italian museum, Annie inspects the columbarium‚Äôs gallery. She quickly determines that the painting in question is definitely not the original and is not even the certified centuries-old copy that it is supposed to be. It is, in fact, a recently digitized computer print. Annie then asks Frank DeBenton to use his art security company‚Äôs contacts to verify the originality of the Raphael in Italy. Almost immediately, the grad student is murdered, Annie is assaulted, and a web of lies and extortion is perpetrated. Everyone is lying. Those associated with the grad student are lying. The employees and volunteers for the columbarium are lying. Michael Johnson is definitely lying (those spots are never going to change). Even Frank is lying, if only by omission. And Annie has been so indoctrinated since childhood to fear the police that she cannot bring herself to tell them the whole truth either. Soon the fallout from all the deception becomes life threatening. But it is the request for Frank to contact the Italian museum that serves as the catalyst for not one, but two, extortions. One threatens Annie‚Äôs existence; the other threatens her grandfather‚Äôs. At this point, the stage is set, so to speak, and we expect the next 300 pages to take us tensely but naturally to an acceptable resolution, as occurred in the first two books. However, when Annie discovers who is complicit in the threat against her grandfather, we realize that the expected resolution is a myth and the author duo intends to wrench the story line in a 90-degree twist. Hailey Lind incorporates art history with the history of San Francisco in a flowing manner. The author duo provides this background through Annie‚Äôs conversations and thoughts, laying out just enough information for the scenes and machinations to make sense. Since we are viewing the world from Annie‚Äôs POV only, we are treated to both hilarious internal monologues and serious introspections into her motivations and actions. Therefore, this is not a spoof or a Stephanie Plum knock-off. Nor is it a warm and fuzzy cozy with an HEA guaranteed to please. This is a serious mystery with a serious protagonist who has serious problems in both her professional and personal realms. And she has no super abilities to rely on, either in intelligence or physical strength, only a determination to succeed and a lot of friends who care enough to help. The backstories for the major characters are not summarized and the tale begins with the assumption that the reader is quite familiar with those characters. This entry also feels like a transition novel, basing itself on the events of the past, but using those events to propel both the protagonist and the reader in a new direction. There is one more book in the series, and we definitely leave this novel with a starting place for the next.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    This is the third book in the Art Lover's Mystery Series by Hailey Lind. This book opens with Annie Kincaid working on a restoration project at the Chapel of the Chimes Columbarium, which is adjacent to the Bayview Cemetery. She is working at night, as to not disturb the mourners who come during the day. On this particular night, she meets a young grad student by the name of Cindy Tanaka who is working on her dissertation of the phenomenon of public grieving. While they are talking at the crypt This is the third book in the Art Lover's Mystery Series by Hailey Lind. This book opens with Annie Kincaid working on a restoration project at the Chapel of the Chimes Columbarium, which is adjacent to the Bayview Cemetery. She is working at night, as to not disturb the mourners who come during the day. On this particular night, she meets a young grad student by the name of Cindy Tanaka who is working on her dissertation of the phenomenon of public grieving. While they are talking at the crypt of a little boy who died in 1937, a masked man comes running out of the crypt. Cindy gives chase and manages to tackle the intruder, but he gets away leaving a small box that he had stolen from the crypt behind. Once Cindy finds out that Annie is an art restorer, she asks her a question about a copy of Raphael's La Fornarina that is hanging in the columbarium and if it might actually be genuine. Annie becomes intrigued and promises to take a look. This small request leads Annie on quite the adventure. Annie once again finds a dead body, is attacked by 2 masked men, rescues Mary from kidnappers, tries to re-establish her friendship with Detective Annette Crawford, kisses Frank DeBenton, is rescued by Michael X. Johnson and generally leaves mayhem in here wake as she stumbles from one clue to another trying to make sense of what is going on. I really like the amount of history and detail that is expressed to us about the San Francisco area and art in general. The twists and turns were very well thought out and kept me guessing almost to the very end. Each chapter of this book begins with a quote by a famous artist and an reply from Annie's infamous art forger grandfather, George LeFleur. They continue to subtly set the tone for each chapter and foreshadow what will be happening within it. I really enjoyed this mystery and the tension between Annie, Frank and Michael keeps this potential love triangle exciting. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    The third book in this series. Former art forger and current faux finisher Annie Kincaid is back, trying to solve a new mystery after hearing that a painting in the columbarium where she's working may be an original Raphael... and a murder quickly follows. Interesting new characters are introduced as Annie pokes around the columbarium where she's working and the cemetery next door. The romance triangle (square? pentagon?) aspect of the book moved forward in a fun way, which was nice to see. I di The third book in this series. Former art forger and current faux finisher Annie Kincaid is back, trying to solve a new mystery after hearing that a painting in the columbarium where she's working may be an original Raphael... and a murder quickly follows. Interesting new characters are introduced as Annie pokes around the columbarium where she's working and the cemetery next door. The romance triangle (square? pentagon?) aspect of the book moved forward in a fun way, which was nice to see. I didn't guess the ending in advance and was kept in suspense until then. I really liked the way the plot was continually being revealed little by little, intertwined with funny incidents in Annie's personal life. One of the funniest moments, in my opinion, came when Annie wanted to rescue something from an awful-smelling dumpster, so she tried to bribe kids to go in there for her, only to discover that not even they were dumb enough to take her money and go dumpster diving. I don't think this is the kind of series you can read one book after the other without a break, as you'd probably get tired of the characters (especially Anie's English-challenged friend Pete; the way he mixes up words is getting a little old), but it certainly is a fun series and an entertaining way to pass time.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I love this mystery series and am so sorry this is the final book. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite tie up loose ends in that we don't know which of the 3 men, who are interested in our heroine, will be the one she has a continuing relationship with, know of any further adventures in her new business enterprise nor what happens to any of her friends/employees. I wish the publisher had signed for one more book to get the final word on these events. Anyway, the mystery was a good one. Great characte I love this mystery series and am so sorry this is the final book. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite tie up loose ends in that we don't know which of the 3 men, who are interested in our heroine, will be the one she has a continuing relationship with, know of any further adventures in her new business enterprise nor what happens to any of her friends/employees. I wish the publisher had signed for one more book to get the final word on these events. Anyway, the mystery was a good one. Great characters with their own individual personalities and interesting setting. If you are are looking for a cozy mystery to read, I highly recommend this short 3-book series. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tori

    thank goodness for some books I can get through quickly! Mysteries are just the perfect type of books to enjoy - and then move on to something heavier. This is the third book in the Art Lovers Mystery Series. Most of the main characters are familiar and enjoyable - although I have to admit, I am getting tired of Pete's ( a Bosnian) malapropisms. I hope his English improves for the next book. anyway - Annie Kincaid manages to solve another mystery, this time regarding Raphael's La Fornarina. In th thank goodness for some books I can get through quickly! Mysteries are just the perfect type of books to enjoy - and then move on to something heavier. This is the third book in the Art Lovers Mystery Series. Most of the main characters are familiar and enjoyable - although I have to admit, I am getting tired of Pete's ( a Bosnian) malapropisms. I hope his English improves for the next book. anyway - Annie Kincaid manages to solve another mystery, this time regarding Raphael's La Fornarina. In the process, a few people are killed, and she solves those mysteries too. I enjoyed how her boyfriend Josh was handled. And I am looking forward to finding out how her new occupation works out!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dharia Scarab

    Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books... 1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future. 2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author. 3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up. 4 sta Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books... 1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future. 2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author. 3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up. 4 stars... I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be on the look out to pick up more from the series/author. 5 stars... I loved this book! It had earned a permanent home in my collection and I'll be picking up the rest of the series and other books from the author ASAP.

  19. 4 out of 5

    April

    This was my first acquaintance with MacInerney's Gray Whale Inn mystery series, and I enjoyed it. Natalie's relationship with her young artist niece, Gwen, is nicely portrayed, as is her developing relationships with both her fiance John, and his uptight skinny mother. I thought there was a bit too much focus on eating to relieve stress (yeah, sure that happens sometimes, but it's like on every other page), but I liked the mystery and the book. I'd definitely read another issue when I want a coz This was my first acquaintance with MacInerney's Gray Whale Inn mystery series, and I enjoyed it. Natalie's relationship with her young artist niece, Gwen, is nicely portrayed, as is her developing relationships with both her fiance John, and his uptight skinny mother. I thought there was a bit too much focus on eating to relieve stress (yeah, sure that happens sometimes, but it's like on every other page), but I liked the mystery and the book. I'd definitely read another issue when I want a cozy!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    So I started reading this in June and got about 1/3 through and then just put it to the side. I wasn't sucked into the story, but I did put it to the side because I wanted to find out how it ended. Also because I have the next book in the series and I thought I might like it better than this one. So, 9 months later (give or take) I picked it up again, skimmed a bunch of pages and then jumped to the end to see what happened. And it was fine, I got the gist and I'm just hoping I get more into the So I started reading this in June and got about 1/3 through and then just put it to the side. I wasn't sucked into the story, but I did put it to the side because I wanted to find out how it ended. Also because I have the next book in the series and I thought I might like it better than this one. So, 9 months later (give or take) I picked it up again, skimmed a bunch of pages and then jumped to the end to see what happened. And it was fine, I got the gist and I'm just hoping I get more into the last book in the series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Annie does restoration work and is currently working in an unguarded columbarium. She gets a tip that the chapel's copy of Raphael's painting is real and not a copy she has to take a look. She runs into a art thief. Annie hopes that returning the masterpiece to Italy she will redeem herself and gain status. Then murder enters the picture and she realizes that it won't be as easy as she thought. The book was well written with some interesting information about how old paintings are proved to be r Annie does restoration work and is currently working in an unguarded columbarium. She gets a tip that the chapel's copy of Raphael's painting is real and not a copy she has to take a look. She runs into a art thief. Annie hopes that returning the masterpiece to Italy she will redeem herself and gain status. Then murder enters the picture and she realizes that it won't be as easy as she thought. The book was well written with some interesting information about how old paintings are proved to be real.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Annie Kincaid was trained as an expert forger, but prefers to stay on the legal side of the art business. Working on restoring a mural at a columbarium in Oakland, she runs into a young woman, Cindy Tanaka, who is in the cemetery doing research on public mourning rituals. Cindy had asked her to examine a copy of a Raphael masterpiece and Annie finds that a lot of people are interested in the reproduction. Annie is more interesting than the average amateur sleuth mystery, but the lost masterpiece Annie Kincaid was trained as an expert forger, but prefers to stay on the legal side of the art business. Working on restoring a mural at a columbarium in Oakland, she runs into a young woman, Cindy Tanaka, who is in the cemetery doing research on public mourning rituals. Cindy had asked her to examine a copy of a Raphael masterpiece and Annie finds that a lot of people are interested in the reproduction. Annie is more interesting than the average amateur sleuth mystery, but the lost masterpiece plot was a bit too much to swallow.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Faux finisher Annie Kincaid is restoring some old paintings in a chapel in Oakland when she runs into grave robbers in the cemetery outside. Meanwhile, she also hearing rumors that a reproduction inside might be the real thing. As always this was a fun romp with likeable characters. I could turn the pages fast enough. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers. Faux finisher Annie Kincaid is restoring some old paintings in a chapel in Oakland when she runs into grave robbers in the cemetery outside. Meanwhile, she also hearing rumors that a reproduction inside might be the real thing. As always this was a fun romp with likeable characters. I could turn the pages fast enough. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Amy was right, very cheesy dialogue. The fake French accent that Annie's grandpa put on was my favorite-yes, it was written as "Zey air such clowns. Zey sink zey can catch..." It just made me laugh. I have tromped through "Bayview" Cemetery (Mountain View Cemetery) many times and have had the pleasure of once going through the beautiful Chapel of the Chimes, which is right next door. That the book was set locally featuring these places was it's only redeeming quality.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Really 2.5-3. Female protagonist, Annie, makes choice after choice that leads her deeper and deeper into danger. Plus she didn't change clothes for TWO days after dumpster diving (yes, she did get a shower during this time) and never once considered replacing her cell phone (lost early on) which could have allowed her to call for help. What kind of modern woman is this? Probably done with this series. I love my cozy mysteries...relaxing entertainment...but even I have limits!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    the dialogue is terrible--filled with cheesy cliches--and the story and character relationships are way more complicated than they need to be. but the story revolves around the chapel of the chimes and the mountain view cemetery in oakland and includes interesting historical information, and i enjoy any story that has characters running around oakland, berkeley and san francisco, so overall it was a fun read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    J

    MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS. Light "niche" mystery series is the genre. Liked this well enough to go back and look up other titles in series. Heroine Annie Kinkaid is a smart, devil-may-care muralist in Bay area who has madcap adventures in which she doesn't try to be, but always ends up as, a sleuth. Fun byplay w. Frank, landlord of building where Annie's studio is located. They finally kiss (twice)!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Harris

    This is a well-written and fun series featuring faux finisher and amateur art sleuth Annie Kincaid. My one complaint is that every plot requires her to make several totally boneheaded decisions when she otherwise appears to be an intelligent woman. I hate that. Only one more book in the series (as of right now, anyway) and I look forward to it nevertheless.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Third in the Art Lover's Mystery series is a fun romp through the hills of Oakland and S.F. Annie Kincaid is an art restorer, gifted--but reformed from--art forgery, and magnet for quirky friends and odd murders. Easy, beach read--with a bonus that you learn a bit about art history and a lot about the Bay Area. Reminded me of Jennifer Crusie's Faking It. Perfect for pre-Bouchercon reading!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Galman

    Cute, never especially challenging mystery about forger-turned-faux finisher Annie Kincaid. Annie's reasons for not going to the police aren't especially plausible, but (as with the Stephanie Plum books), the largest suspension of disbelief is required to believe that the ditsy, average-looking Annie could hook two such smokin' hot men.

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