“When the acclaimed Cuban painter Wifredo Lam turns up dead in his Greenwich Village studio, officers Juanita Diaz and Brian Fitzgerald of the NYPD, must investigate the crime. But what they find is much more gruesome than they ever could have imagined.
Suspicion soon falls on a tight-knit circle of Surrealist refugees who fled Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, and Diaz and Fitzgerald must traverse the city, from Chinatown’s underworld to Spanish Harlem’s gangland, to find the truth. Did one of the artists’ bizarre parlor games turn deadly? Or is there something even more sinister afoot?” – Amazon
An Exquisite Corpse by Helen A. Harrison is a fantastic historical mystery with a touch of noir that does a wonderful job incorporating the real life people and feel of the Surrealist movement in New York during WWII.
The book starts with an explanation of an exquisite corpse and then continues to include interesting facts about the people and time period. I found the short chapters to be perfect because I would get up and go to the computer to find out more about the interesting people and artwork that Harrison had mentioned in the chapter. I think I spent equal amounts of time reading as I did on the computer! You can tell that Harrison really knows what she is talking about.
Now some authors may know a subject really well and give great lectures, but if they tried to write fiction it would be boring, but not Harrison. Her dialogue read how people really talk and the noir elements helped to make this mystery a bit more gritty. The killer was unexpected and helped to add to the realism in the story.
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