Book Review: Still Lives

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Author: Maria Hummel

Pages: 275

Goodreads Synopsis: “Kim Lord is an avant-garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others—and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women.

As the city’s richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum’s opening night, all the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution’s flailing finances. Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala. Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls on the up-and-coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie’s ex. A rogue’s gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord’s disappearance, she’ll come to suspect all of those closest to her.


I don’t normally read mystery/thrillers but I found this during my subscription of Book of The Month club and decided to give it a try. I really enjoyed Maggie and her story line — while the story is about Kim Lord’s disappearance it’s also about Maggie finding who she is and where she’s going based on her past. While we didn’t get to truly know Kim Lord as a character I found her intriguing all the same. I also really enjoyed how Hummel used art not just for a mystery but to provide an unfortunate and graphic perspective on the horrific murders of LA society.

If you’re looking for a quick story to read while on the plane or on vacation this is the one for you. It has everything you could need — some mystery, interesting characters, suspense and character growth.

Overall Rating: 3/5 stars

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