Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Artistic License



From Publishers Weekly


Set in Chicago, Hyzy's smooth, well-paced debut features a vulnerable but resilient heroine, among other credible and diverting characters. Newly embarked on her career as a muralist, Annie Callaghan is dismayed to discover that she's pregnant, having been seduced by her soon-to-be-exhusband, Gary Randall. A charming cad, Gary gets Annie to bail him out of jail and soon moves back in with her. Meanwhile, Annie has agreed to paint a wall at Millie's Ice Cream Parlour, an old-fashioned soda fountain, for the attractive new owner, Sam Morgan, who proves to be a most sympathetic friend as well as employer. When a breezy customer of Millie's, Gina DeChristopher, hires Annie to paint a playroom for her sons in her elegant house, Gina even offers the professional services of her husband, an intimidating lawyer with a substantial art collection. The tension builds with the theft of a Dürer drawing worth $10 million on its way to the Chicago Art Institute, a kidnapping and a murder whose chief suspect is Annie herself. Romance and cozy fans will particularly go for this adroitly plotted tale.
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From Booklist


Hyzy's debut novel is at least 50 pages too long, yet through the grace of her compelling heroine, it manages to keep readers' attention until the end. Annie Callaghan is striking out in new directions--divorcing her loser husband, Gary, and starting a new career as a mural painter. In a lucky break, she gets a painting job near her home in the Chicago suburbs at an ice cream store that just happens to be owned by a hunk named Sam. Breaking the good-fortune bubble, Annie discovers that a drunken one-nighter with her ex has resulted in pregnancy. And to make matters worse, Gary is killed while trying to rob one of Annie's wealthy clients. Although it's hard to believe someone as pretty and cool as Annie would have become involved with a lowlife like Gary, her credibility is bolstered by her continued desire to divorce him--even after finding out she is carrying his child. And while Annie's romance with Sam is predictable, Hyzy makes it fun to watch. Watch for more Annie Callaghan novels; this could become a fine series. Jenny McLarin
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