Artistic License to Kill


Artistic License to Kill (A Fine Art Mystery)
by Paula Darnell

About Artistic License to Kill

Artistic License to Kill (A Fine Art Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Campbell and Rogers Press (January 15, 2021)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1887402136
ISBN-13: 978-1887402132
Paperback: 258 pages
ISBN-10: 1887402128
ISBN-13: 978-1887402125
Publisher: Campbell and Rogers Press (January 5, 2021)
Digital Print length: 211 pages

Artist Amanda Trent, accompanied by her beloved golden retriever Laddie and her persnickety calico cat Mona Lisa, is determined to start a new life after her husband divorces her to marry a younger woman, but it isn’t easy.

After a disastrous interview at the prestigious Roadrunner Gallery in Lonesome Valley, Arizona, far away from her previous home in Kansas City, Amanda’s afraid that she’ll fail at her new career. But her prospects begin to improve when she’s accepted as the newest member of the cooperative gallery.

Then, on her very first day, she discovers Janice, the stern director, has been murdered right in the art gallery, and the Roadrunner’s members, including Amanda herself, become suspects. Which gallery member murdered the unpopular director? Or was the killer an outsider with an ax to grind?

Character Guest Post

Character: Amanda Trent

Book: Artistic License to Kill

Series: A Fine Art Mystery

Author: Paula Darnell

    I'm Amanda Trent, and I've always wanted to be an artist, but it wasn't to be until my now-ex-husband divorced me, and I suddenly found myself on my own.

    From the time I was a pre-schooler, I loved to draw and paint. By the time I went to college, I had no problem deciding which major to declare: it was studio art. I knew it would be tough to make a living as an artist, but that's what I planned to do, until Ned came along.

    Ah, Ned, my college boyfriend. When he asked me to marry him, I was thrilled. Of course, I said “yes,” and that was the end of my art career for a couple of decades plus. Ned started his own insurance agency, and he needed someone to help. Guess who? 

    I didn't stop working in the office once our son and daughter came along, and I was busier than ever taking care of our family. Once in a while, I'd get out my paints, but there never seemed to be enough time, and my artwork went by the wayside.

    Fast forward to last year. Our son Dustin had a great job as an accountant, and our daughter was a first-year college student. We'd just hired an assistant at the office, and it seemed like the time was right to get back to my artwork. Ned agreed that I could take time off to do just that.

    In my excitement, I didn't notice that he had his eye on his new assistant, Candy, a real cutie pie who was younger than Dustin.

    Meanwhile, back at home, I worked diligently on my oil paintings and decided to exhibit some of them at a local arts and crafts fair. Imagine my surprise when Crystal Star, the owner of a chic art gallery in our hometown of Kansas City stopped by my booth. She liked my paintings of landscapes so much that she offered me a solo show at her gallery. I was over the moon!

    On the beautiful June evening when my show opened, I was so happy to have Dustin, Emma, my parents, and friends join me at the opening party, which turned out to be a big success. Several of my paintings sold, and I even got a lead on a commission for a new painting from a prominent couple in town. There was only one problem: Ned didn't show up until the show was almost over. After a celebratory dinner with our family, Ned burst my balloon. 

    He told me he planned to divorce me and marry Candy. I felt so taken aback that I couldn't say a word. It wasn't until later that I found out they were expecting a baby.

    Ned pushed the divorce through, and soon I was a free woman, but I was still in shock. It took me a few months to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. That's when I decided to start over in a new town and live my dream of making my living as an artist.

    I ended up in Lonesome Valley, Arizona, with only my golden retriever Laddie and my calico cat Mona Lisa for company. I rented a tiny, but cozy, house with an attached studio and applied for membership in the Roadrunner, a cooperative art gallery on Main Street, and that's where my adventure in Artistic License to Kill began.


About Paula Darnell

Award-winning author Paula Darnell is a former college instructor who has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in English and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in English with a Writing Emphasis. Artistic License to Kill is the first book in her Fine Art Mystery series. She’s also the author of the DIY Diva Mystery series and The Six-Week Solution, a historical mystery set in Nevada. She resides in Las Vegas with her husband Gary and their Pyrador Rocky.

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  1. I hope everybody enjoyed today's tidbit of artist Amanda Trent's back story! Thank you for spotlighting Artistic License to Kill!

  2. Love the cover... the cat, the dog, & the artwork... very eye-catching!


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