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Overview

Author's Note

Book Discussion Questions

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AN AFFINITY FOR MURDER

AN AFFINITY FOR MURDER

Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Oak Tree Press (April, 2001)
ISBN: 1892343169

AN AFFINITY FOR MURDER
A Lake George Mystery

Malice Domestic Best First Mystery Nominee 2002
Dark Oak Mystery Contest Winner 2000
Malice Domestic Unpublished Writers Grant 1999

“A witty, stylishly written mystery that weaves an entertaining tale of art theft and murder which evokes the grandeur of Lake George. A marvelous debut."

—Matt Witten, Supervising Producer for CW Show SUPERNATURAL.

Overview

Two dead art experts and a secret cache of paintings which may have been the work of Lake George’s most famous summer resident, Georgia O’Keeffe, set writer Ellen Davies on a collision course with danger. Ellen thinks she stumbled on a multi-million dollar find which will send her career in journalism soaring. But as with other recently discovered O’Keeffe paintings, nothing is one hundred percent certain and Ellen may not live long enough to uncover the truth.

Author’s Note

Although the characters and events in this novel are fictitious, Georgia O’Keeffe did spend summers from 1918 until the early 1930’s at Lake George in upstate New York. While there, she drew inspiration from the lake and its environs to paint some of her best-loved masterpieces, including many of the large, erotic flower paintings often seen as her signature work. O’Keeffe enjoyed painting several versions of the same flower and—according to her biographers—destroyed those which did not meet her exacting standards. But what if remnants of this flower life had been left behind at Lake George and overlooked for more than seventy years?

After all, something very much like that had actually happened. In 1988, two years after O’Keeffe’s death, twenty-eight paintings, which came to be known as the Canyon suite, surfaced in Texas. Experts believed O’Keeffe had painted these watercolors between 1916 and 1918 when she was teaching in Canyon, Texas, and given them to a friend there. Authenticated by scholars, they were hailed as a national treasure and valued in the millions of dollars.

So, if O’Keeffe paintings could turn up in Texas, why not at Lake George as well? How this could happen struck me as a fascinating topic for a mystery, a fictitious account of the discovery of other long-lost paintings, which might or might not be O’Keeffe’s work.

In late 1999, some time after I’d completed this book, experts associated with the National Gallery of Art determined that the twenty-eight Canyon Suite watercolors had not been painted by Georgia O’Keeffe and omitted them from the catalogue raisonne, or definitive catalog, of her work. What was not known at that time was the exact origin of those watercolors or how they came to be misattributed. The ongoing investigation into the real-life mystery of the Canyon Suite provides an unexpected counterpoint to this novel.

Anne White

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