Saturday, July 5, 2014


SYNOPSIS (from Amazon)
Painted in 1907, “Glacier Blue” is an oil painting recently appraised at 2 million pounds. Reginald C. Pierpont, the artist who created the stunning masterpiece, studied with the Impressionists in Europe and bold visionaries in the Americas. The sole heir to a family fortune, Reggie used his vast holdings and leisure time to experiment with new techniques and daring ideas to create his art. Although the masterpiece failed to turn heads during his own time period, Reggie’s secret method triggers larcenous schemes among modern crooks.

Genuine Fakes, an auction company that sells “authorized copies” of famous paintings, arranges to hold six charity auctions of fakes during a voyage to Alaska. Million-dollar originals will be displayed next to the Genuine Fakes during each auction—six opportunities for international thieves to steal a valuable piece of art. The president of Constellation Cruise Lines, Emily Schultz suddenly needs her new crack security team to guard the paintings.

When one of the fakes gets stolen from the buyer’s cabin, a discrete search for the missing canvas begins. The stakes rise when a body is found next to the missing fake, and the investigation suddenly takes a deadly turn. The investigators learn more about "Glacier Blue" and realize it’s no ordinary work of art. The painting’s special secret already provoked one murder, and it gets easier to kill again.

Emily begs Kayla and Steven to work for a few days before their wedding on Glacier Bay. They expected a stress-free cruise up the Inside Passage of Alaska, filled with glaciers, wildlife, and stunning scenery, but an art heist and murder might interrupt their romantic plans. To ramp up stress levels, Steven’s ex-wife, Cynthia, shows up for the cruise on the arm of Steven’s school chum—and Kayla feels hate-at-first-sight.

The young couple must entertain future in-laws while trying to outsmart murderous outlaws. As the ship navigates through icy waters, truth lies hidden from plain view, like the treacherous underwater portions of dangerous icebergs. Greed, jealousy, and envy generate potent motives for murder.

Genuine Fakes has chosen this Alaskan cruise as the site for the auction of commissioned copies that have been intentionally made, side by side, with the original works of art worth millions.  The fakes are also worth a lot and Emily has recruited her friends Kayla and Steven to provide security.  This is also their wedding cruise so other friends, also in security, as well as Steven's father, a retired cop, are aboard.  When one of the "fakes" goes missing and the artist who painted that fake is found dead, major concerns rise with regard to whether it is the fake that is missing or the original. Kayla and Steven split their time between wedding preparation and working with their friends to ensure the paintings are secure so that Emily doesn't suffer a major financial loss.  To do that, they have to solve the murder.

The characters of Emily, Kayla, Steven, Natalie, Jason and others are likable and "real"; the character of Cynthia is equally as negative, Phillip weak. In all, Rapp provides characters with depth and humanity.  The plot is well developed and there are some obvious and not so obvious potential suspects for the murder and theft.  An added bonus is the description of the various stops and sights from Ketchikan to Sitka to the Glacier National Park.  Quick paced, this is an enjoyable read.

This is the third in the High Seas Mystery Series, and it can be read as a stand alone. A word of warning though, reading it first will clue you to endings of the first two!  

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