Author: Jennifer S. Alderson
Narrator: Carol Purdom
Series: The Adventures of Zelda Richardson, Book 2
Publisher: Jennifer S. Alderson
Released: Oct. 2, 2017
Length: 10 hours 42 minutes
Missing masterpieces, Nazi blackmailers, and a pesky amateur sleuth.
When a Dutch art dealer hides the stock from his gallery – rather than turn it over to his Nazi blackmailer – he pays with his life, leaving a treasure trove of modern masterpieces buried somewhere in Amsterdam, presumably lost forever. That is, until American art history student Zelda Richardson sticks her nose in.
After studying for a year in the Netherlands, Zelda scores an internship at the prestigious Amsterdam Museum, where she works on an exhibition of paintings and sculptures once stolen by the Nazis, lying unclaimed in Dutch museum depots almost seventy years later. When two women claim the same portrait of a young girl entitled Irises, Zelda is tasked with investigating the painting’s history and soon finds evidence that one of the two women must be lying about her past. Before she can figure out which one it is and why, Zelda learns about the Dutch art dealer’s concealed collection. And that Irises is the key to finding it all.
Her discoveries make her a target of someone willing to steal – and even kill – to find the missing paintings. As the list of suspects grows, Zelda realizes she has to track down the lost collection and unmask a killer if she wants to survive.
Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. Her love of travel, art, and culture inspires her ongoing mystery series, the Adventures of Zelda Richardson. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, Jennifer can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.
There are currently four books in the stand-alone series following the adventures of traveler and culture lover Zelda Richardson. In Down and Out in Kathmandu, Zelda gets entangled with a gang of smugglers whose Thai leader believes she’s stolen his diamonds. The Lover’s Portrait is a suspenseful “whodunit?” about Nazi-looted artwork that transports readers to wartime and present-day Amsterdam. Art, religion, and anthropology collide in Rituals of the Dead, a thrilling artifact mystery set in Dutch New Guinea (Papua) and the Netherlands. Her short story set in Panama and Costa Rica, Holiday Gone Wrong, will help fans better understand this unintentional amateur sleuth’s decision to study art history and give new readers a taste of her tantalizing misadventures.
The Lover’s Portrait was Chill With A Book’s January 2018 Book of the Month and won the Silver Cup in Rosie’s Book Review Team 2017 Awards, Mystery category. TripFiction recently named it one of their 10 Favorite Books set in Amsterdam. It also won a Chill With A Book Readers’ Award, Readers’ Favorite 5 star medal, was one of The Displaced Nation magazine’s Top 36 Expat Fiction Picks of 2016, and came in at 14 in BookLife’s 2016 Prize for Fiction in the Mystery category. The Lover’s Portrait was also one of Women Writers, Women’s Books magazine’s Recommended Reads for April 2017.
Her travelogue, Notes of a Naive Traveler, is a must read for those interested in learning more about—or wishing to—travel to Nepal and Thailand. It was also awarded a Readers’ Favorite 5 star medal.
Carol Purdomis a retired System Analyst. She has many years of experience performing in community and dinner theater and currently writes for and directs her church Drama Ministry team. She received training in commercial and audio book recording from ADDY award-winning voice actor Leonard Dozier (SAG-AFTRA, AEA, ASCAP, Actor, Singer, Songwriter). She has recorded 8 audiobooks.
Just two more crates, then our work is done, Arjan reminded himself as he bent down to grasp the thick twine handles, his back muscles already yelping in protest. Drops of sweat were burning his eyes, blurring his vision. “You can do this,” he said softly, heaving the heavy oak box upwards with an audible grunt. Philip nodded once than did the same. Together they lugged their loads across the moonlit room, down the metal stairs and into the subterranean space below. After hoisting the last two crates onto a stack clock to the ladder, Arjan smiled in satisfaction, slapping Philip on the back as he regarded their work. One hundred and fifty-two crates holding his most treasured objects, and those of so many of his friends, were finally safe.
This is an art mystery for sure! Zelda is a lover of art, her character brought to life by Alderson and dropped into an adventure of rich proportions and dangerous men. Alderson has an intriguing novel for those readers who enjoy a good mystery with a hint of war history.
Zelda wants to get into the Masters Art Program in Amsterdam and is almost willing to do anything at this point to ensure her acceptance. When her mentor recommends Zelda for an intern position for the upcoming Stolen Artwork Exhibition, she doesn’t think twice about accepting. Then she realizes that she has been assigned to translation services! Mortified by the thought of translating over 2,500 descriptions of unclaimed artwork on the exhibition’s website from Dutch to proper English for American viewers, she desperately wants the curator and project manager of the museum to notice her true talents as a website designer. Stepping overboard slightly to create a scrolling, flashy design to draw attention and flare to the website, this bold move attracts the museum’s first claimant…and then the second claimant over the same painting by an unknown painter with no history to his name! Who knew that a portrait of a woman with a vase, painted by someone outside of the famous Dutch painters, would be the talk of the town. Now with the museum forced to investigate both claims, Zelda dips her toes into the private investigator pool, even after being asked specifically not to go snooping! What she uncovers could be more dangerous than she could ever have known.
Alderson has a fantastic story line, filled with superb character development, originality, and creativity. The narrator doesn’t seem to have any trouble with the pace or flow of the story, assuming that the book is written quite well. She also does well with voice translation. Art history can be so intriguing, but it is also known to be a very political matter and can get quite expensive which makes this mystery such a dangerous one! Money is power and for some families, that knowledge is all that matters and they are willing to kill to have it or maintain it. This is the second installment of the Adventures of Zelda Richardson, but it can be read as a standalone. If you are interested in mystery and love some extra historical background, you are sure to be entertained with this one.
An audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a five-star rating for The Lover’s Portrait by Jennifer Alderson. Check back in to see our review of the third installment called Rituals of the Dead scheduled for September 10, 2018.
THE LOVER’S PORTRAIT
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