Saturday, September 9, 2023

Book Review: A STATUE TO DIE FOR (Carmen De Luca Art Sleuth Mysteries Book #2) by Jennifer S. Alderson

About the Book

Carmen De Luca is having the time of her life recovering stolen artwork from nefarious European collectors for her employer, the Rosewood Agency…until her partner, Baroness Sophie Rutherford, is injured during a mission gone wrong. 

Their boss wants to ground them, but Carmen’s not ready to give up on her newly revitalized career without a fight. So she begs her best friend, Rhonda Rhodes, an antiques expert and the host of a popular television show, to fly over and take the Baroness’s place. Carmen isn’t rich or interesting enough to get on the guest list of the exclusive parties she uses to access her targets’ homes—but Rhonda is. Carmen’s boss agrees to her unorthodox plan, but with one caveat—she can’t disclose to Rhonda that she’s actually an art sleuth currently on assignment. 

With no alternative other than to pack up and fly home, Carmen agrees to deceive her friend. She picks Rhonda up at the airport, thinking they can see some of Europe’s most famous sights before her next assignment, only to discover that her friend’s already made other plans. On the flight over, Rhonda’s seatmate invited her to attend an exclusive party being held on a pirate ship and hosted by a Hollywood director. How can they resist? 

What begins as a fun night partying with an eclectic group of film directors, actors, and producers turns into a deadly game of whodunnit when their host is murdered with his own copy of the Maltese Falcon statue. Now Carmen must use her wits and expertise to sift through the many motives and uncover the killer’s true identity, if she and Rhonda are to get off the ship alive. 

Movie moguls, priceless props, and long-buried secrets make for a deadly combination in this delightful mystery that is sure to appeal to fans of cozy crime and amateur sleuth mysteries. 

Collecting Can Be Murder 
Forgeries and Fatalities 
A Killer Inheritance

Carmen's job is rather unorthodox at times. She goes along with the "Baroness" to exclusive locations all around Europe, trying to locate long lost (stolen) art objects. This time, her target is Hollywood memorabilia stolen by Alistair ten years ago, who promptly disappeared. The Baroness is in the hospital and Carmen convinces her friend, Rhonda, to help her. Rhonda, unlike Carmen, is famous and well-received and doesn't realize the true goal of Carmen's viewing the memorabilia - to get the thief arrested and the goods returned. 

Rhonda manages to get them invited to a party hosted by Alistair and the people at the Rosewood Agency are thrilled. Alistair almost doesn't let them attend - no uninvited guests - until he recognizes Rhonda. The party is on an old ship and goes out to sea with a group of guests, other than Rhonda and Carmen, who have nothing positive to say to Alistair. He stole from all of them. 

The story is well-written, and the characters have unique voices, if not similar motivations, including Alistair. Carmen manages to alert the Coast Guard when the Captain and crew abandon them rather than follow Alistair's directions. Suspense, danger, and secret passages keep the story moving. If you like a good mystery, you'll enjoy this one. This is my second in the series, but it could be easily read out of order - Carmen and the Baroness are now in a different country with mostly different characters.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

About the Author

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, grew up in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she lived in Darwin, Australia, before finally settling in the Netherlands. 

Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning Zelda Richardson Mystery series, her Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries, and her Carmen De Luca Art Sleuth Mysteries. 

Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found perusing a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip. 

For more information about the author and her upcoming novels, please visit:


  1. Thanks for sharing this review. I'm new to this author.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Carmen is an interesting character and she travels all over Europe.

  2. Looks like a good mystery thanks for sharing.