Julie Seedorf

Sunday, November 6, 2016

BOOK TOUR


I'm thrilled to be a stop on the 
blog tour for author 
Vicki Vass
and her new book
KEY TO A MURDER
Book 4 in the Antique Hunters Mysteries


A mysterious woman appears on the doorstep of Great Aunt Sybil’s Attic in the middle of the night. Owner Anne Hillstrom lets her in, only to have the woman die in her arms. With no final words, and only an old lantern clutched to her chest, the dead woman provides Anne and her partner CC precious few clues to discover her murderer or why she spent her last moments in their antique store. The two Antique Hunters search for clues, finding themselves entangled in a centuries-old mystery leading them to a cemetery in Ireland where a ghost from the past has left them a cryptic message, and a killer has left them no choice but to discover his identity before he kills again. On their journey, the two best friends encounter antiques, romance and the key to a murder. Key to a Murder is the fourth book in the Antique Hunters Mystery series.


Now a word from author 
Vicki Vass!

When Life Imitates Art

            For those of you who read my last book in the Antique Hunters Mystery Series, you know that the Georges Seurat painting, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, plays an important part in solving a centuries-old mystery. I recently had a special opportunity to share an intimate opportunity with perhaps Seurat’s most famous painting.


            Held in the Impressionist wing at the Art Institute of Chicago, this painting encompasses a large wall. A week ago, I hosted a private evening event in the Art Institute for a small group of 60. We had a private hour in the impressionist wing where I strolled among the Renoirs, Monets, Gaugins and of course, Van Goghs.

            Walking up the Chicago limestone steps adorned on either side by the famous lions. Since 1893 dating back to the Colombian Exposition, those lions have guarded the entrance. I have walked by them many times but this time they bore a slightly different appearance. They were adorned in their Cub hats. It was the day after the Cubs had clinched the National League championship.  I had to stop for a photo opportunity as this is an event that has not happened in my lifetime. I then climbed up the grand staircase that surrounds the Impressionist wing, part of the original building and impressive in, and of itself.


A small exhibit to the side of the staircase showcases the stained glass designs of Chicago architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I, and my character Anne, were enthralled with the idea of recreating one of the images in a bathroom window. We could picture the sunlight filtering in through the green glass.


I could feel the majesty of the Seurat’s work as well as those of Monet and Renoir but I was struck by Berthe Morisot’s painting of Woman at her Toilette. Its image captures a woman in silvery tones blending into the background perhaps a statement of women’s role at the time. It is an almost ethereal image, and I saw it in a way that I had never visioned it before.
Google Images
Many of these paintings were in an exhibit that I had attended titled, Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, which was held a few years ago at the Art Institute. That exhibit included actual gowns, gloves and shoes that inspired many of the paintings, including a fantastic dress by Charles Worth, which was a showpiece in itself. One could see the detail that went into each, whether painting or gown. Details that are often missing in today’s fast-paced world.

Perhaps this is why my fictional Anne and I appreciate the past so much. Many of the aesthetic details are missing from today’s designs. These details are evident in Chicago’s bungalows, Victorians and craftsmen from the carved woodwork trim around doorframes, to the beveled glass above the door and the gleaming crystal chandeliers.

Google Images

Anne and I have toured the gilded age restored mansion/museum, the Driehaus, in Chicago several times, including most recently for an exhibit of costumes from Downton Abbey. It is fun for us to take these steps back in time and see current day meet pasttimes.

Google Images

More about Vicki


With a passion for shopping and antiques, Vicki Vass turned in her reporter's notebook to chronicle the adventures of Anne and CC, two antique hunters who use their skills to solve a murder case. 

Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman's World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief.

She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer and musician Brian Tedeschi, son Tony, Australian shepherd Bandit, kittens Terra and Pixel, seven koi and Gary the turtle.


~*~*~*~~

*****!!!GIVEAWAY!!!*****

(Open to USA only)

Winners will be chosen after November 14 at the end of the tour.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.


MY REVIEW


The Antique Hunters Mysteries just keep getting better!

I have been following this wonderful series since book one, A SPOONFUL OF MURDER. Each time a new book comes out, I’m more excited than I was for the one before. And as a finally read each new book, my excitement proves justified.

In KEY TO A MURDER, the series main leads, Anne Hillstrom and her friend/partner in crime solving, CC Muller are back. Their blog, and their antique shop, Great-Aunt Sybil’s Attic have acquired quite the following. Indeed, the “Spoon Sisters” have a real fan base, and along with their shopping expeditions this makes for fun reading. I love CC’s blog entries. I would so follow her! However, due to some circumstances that happened in a previous book, there feels to be some tension with the friends. Don’t get me wrong, I still love these two characters, yet there were times that I wasn’t very thrilled with them. But hey, that just serves to make them more “real”.

Author Vicki Vass wasted no time getting the action started off in KEY TO A MURDER. The victim literally shows up on page one, leaving us the entire book to investigate the who and why of this whodunit. The main mystery kept building at a great pace until its conclusion. There were also other storyline plots intermixed with the main, ensuring something was happening at all times to keep us readers on our toes.

Loaded with surprises, exuding mystery in every chapter, KET TO A MURDER was an exciting read that if I did have to sit it down, I didn’t do so for long! Author Vass puts everything she has into her stories, and you can tell that by reading them. I didn’t want this book to end. My hands are already itching to get ahold of book five!

If you’re hunting for a great read, look no farther than KEY TO A MURDER. If you haven’t read any of this series, grab up the first three books and read them back to back. Yes, they are that good!

 

GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

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5 comments:

  1. Thanks, Lisa. Love the cover! Happy Sunday, to you.

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  2. The cover is fantastic. I look forward to this book. Thanks for the chance.

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  3. This series is new to me, but it sounds like a really fun read. Like that antiques are part of the story.

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  4. It sounds great! I could love to have an e-copy of Key to murder. Thanks for the visit to the Chicago Institute of Art. Haven't been there is years but loved it and most of the amazing museums of Chicago.

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  5. Sounds like a good fun read. Thanks for the review. I'd love to win a paper copy of this title

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