Why Art-Related Mysteries?


Adam Barrow will soon return in my upcoming new mystery, Shadows of Leonardo. Employed as a private art investigator after discovering a priceless van Gogh, he is confronted by a questionable da Vinci, facing new dangers that thrust him into New York’s upscale art world. Wealthy and demanding Phillip Dansby returns as his mentor seeking to acquire the da Vinci… but is it real?

Readers have asked why I chose the art world for Adam’s trials and tribulations. Good question, given the current plethora of novels dealing with cops, rogue revengers, attorneys, female FBI agents, and fantasy subjects.

First, I admit to a bias for fine art. As a result, few things are more intriguing than the unexpected discovery of a lost painting. As former gallery owners, my wife and I encountered buyers and collectors who hungered for more than grandiose doodles and “installations” so revered by today’s critics. I’m especially drawn to past masters who were capable of creating more than these slashes and splashes of paint. Today’s art market is indeed diverse. Everyone has the privilege of indulging their own taste, but the unexpected rebirth of a master’s work confirms its universal appeal time and again. Such discoveries invariably demand record prices at auctions and private sales. Their reappearance occurs when and where we least expect, and I often wondered what stories might lurk behind these discoveries. The astronomical money they attract must create incredible avarice and temptation, so why not toss in intrigue, deception and murder?

Hence, the world of Adam Barrow, an individual with a troubled past who is drawn to the chase. Given the opportunity to pursue his dream by Phillip Dansby, Shadows of Leonardo leads him into dangers and challenges he never imagined.