Death at Olana
Author: Glenda Ruby
A classic detective novel set in the historic Hudson Valley.
Death at Olana follows in the tradition begun by Agatha Christie, P.D. James, and Ruth Rendell---a classic detective story featuring a female sleuth.
The book opens at Olana, former home of painter Frederic Church, during a festive Christmas party. The evening’s centerpiece is to be the unveiling of an hitherto unknown nude portrait by Church. But at the moment of the unveiling, the curtain parts to reveal another nude---Sheila Marks, the director of Olana, hanging by a rope in view of 300 guests.
The narrative voice of the heroine, Lindsey Brooks, is warm, erudite, and witty. Lindsey has an art and antiques background; she has helped New York City detectives with cases of stolen antiques and smuggled art. Recruited for the Olana case by the Hudson, New York sheriff, an old friend formerly of the NYPD, she is joined by her butler, Bennett, and a colorful cast of Hudson Valley worthies, sycophants, and well-born----but not always well-behaved---eccentrics, several of whom loathed Sheila enough to kill her. The secret of the haunting portrait ultimately reveals the murderer and the dark motive hidden for half a century.
The Hudson Valley milieu is lively and attractive--- historic homes, antiques, rivalries, town-gown intrigues.
Paperback, 228 pages
Publisher: Greendale Books