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February 2, 2022

The Artist Colony by Joanna Fitzpatrick ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

It's 1924 when Sarah arrives in Camel-by-the-Sea to bury her sister.  She'd been shocked to find out that Ada Belle's death had been classified as suicide.  This made no sense to Sarah.  Her sister was an artist and her work was selling very well and she was excited about an upcoming show of her portraits at a local gallery.  Sarah puts her own art career on hold to prove that Ada Belle had not committed suicide. When she arrives in Carmel, she meets an assortment of people - some who believed Ada Belle had committed suicide and others who were sure that she had not.  Sarah spends time in the local artist colony getting to know other female artists and to find out if any of them had additional information about her sister.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Artist Colony
September 2021; She Writes Press; 978-1647421694
ebook, print (328 pages); historical thriller

Sarah and her sister didn't always get along, and at the time of Ada Belle's death, they had been estranged for several months.  Sarah always felt that her sister looked down on her and didn't have the talent that she did.  Even though they didn't have a fantastic relationship, they were still sisters and Sarah vowed to find out the real truth.

I enjoyed the descriptions of the setting in California and learning more about artwork and galleries.  I liked all of the characters and even the secondary characters added a lot to the story.  I also admired Sarah's determination to find out what happened to her sister even though she should have been working on her own show.  The beautiful location wasn't too beautiful under the surface due to the prejudice towards women and immigrants that was very prevalent and made Sarah's search for the truth more difficult.

This is a great book about the love between sisters - even when they are estranged.  It's a mystery with small clues throughout that lead to a surprising ending.  This author is new to me and I am planning to read some of her earlier books based on how much I enjoyed The Artist Colony.

Buy The Artist Colony at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.

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  1. I also liked that this one combined a mystery with sister relationships and art.

  2. Thank you Susan for your smart review. I love it when a reviewer does a close reading. And you did!

  3. Thank you Helen! You are another close reader. You were the first reviewer on my TLC book tour and you started it off with a bang with the brilliant review you gave The Artist Colony. Much appreciated.

  4. So many great reviews for this one! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours