—Michael reviews the debut mystery novel of New York art world insider, Reba White Williams, and asks an interesting question.–the artblog editors——————————-What about a series of art world mystery novels? Restrike features amateur detectives Coleman Greene, editor of an art magazine, and her cousin Dinah Greene, director of a print gallery. The consigner of a Winslow Homer is brutally murdered. A reporter for Coleman’s magazine investigates; he too is murdered. Newly-found Durer prints are at auction. The Greenes discover they are mere restrikes. I have a restrike of a Rouault woodcut. An art dealer in Chicago purchased the original block, then printed and sold new copies — always specifying that they were unauthorized restrikes. Or so she said. In this novel the restrikes are passed off as extremely-valuable originals.
Would Libby and Roberta solve such crimes? Imagine. Crime novels have a peculiar ability to make me turn their pages. This one did. Perhaps it will inaugurate a successful new series. If Restrike has a defect, it is a lack of specificity — why for instance do people forever meet in “Starbucks?” Perhaps the novelist does not really know New York. But it is a first novel. More and better work may be in the offing. Meanwhile, report any misconduct in the Philadelphia art world to Libby and Roberta.