Murder in Pastel Synopsis: Ten years ago Cosmo Bari vanished, and with him, his legendary masterpiece, The Virgin in Pastel. Since that day no one in the seaside art colony of Steeple Hill has heard from the eccentric painter.
Surrounded by an extended family of Cosmo’s colorful compatriots, mystery writer Kyle Bari believes he has come to terms with being abandoned by his famous father, until the day Adam MacKinnon arrives with his new lover, the beautiful but poisonous, Brett. Brett has an unerring instinct for other people’s weak spots; soon the quiet colony is seething with hostility and suspicion as Brett hints he knows something about the missing artist.
Kyle doesn’t take Brett seriously until the long lost The Virgin in Pastel is discovered hidden in an antique dresser. A few days later the painting has vanished again–and Brett is dead. Murdered…Goodreads
Murder in Pastel Review
I’m kicking myself for saying I’d review this book, I really am. Because, when I initially read the genre slot (mystery) and the blurb, I fully expected a good mystery novel. What I got, instead, was a soap opera with mystery elements. I should have known. Reading the blurb again now, its obvious. It ‘screams’ soap opera, and trust me, this book screams soap opera. Oh, my lord. The unrequited love, the town sleep-around, the hormones, the back-biting, the cattiness, the suspicious deaths.
I don’t watch soaps. I don’t watch romances. Heck, I don’t even watch comedies, so this book was so very far outside the realm of things I’d enjoy reading that it made me physically angry.
However, for the style that it is, its well-written. There are several salient points about homosexuality and homophobia inserted when you least expect it. There’s even a piece I liked because it discussed something I’v discussed more than once about homosexuality as it appears in most novels.
“..if the point is that marriage for us is the same as marriage for straights, then I think their relationship should have illustrated commitment and responsibility and compromise.”
“Its a story, Brain Guy.”
“its a story that confirms stereotypes about gays.” -Josh Lanyon
I’ve had the pleasure of reading several novels lately where, when a character is homosexual, the same-sex relationships are not made a big deal of. At least not more so than any other relationship. There’s hormones, lust, love, anger, etc. Its all there. But the lens of ‘wrongness’ is not. That is a fantastic thing.
Overall, Murder in Pastel is not a bad book. As I said before, it is well written. It just wasn’t quite the mystery book I was expecting to get!