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Artistic License [Kindle Edition]

Julie Hyzy
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

After five years in a bad marriage, Annie Callaghan filed for divorce, quit her job, and began to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. But in the process, she made one very big mistake. As she tries her best to get her life back together with the help of an attractive widower, she inadvertently puts events into motion that draw her into a conspiracy involving a stolen masterpiece and murder.

Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 443 KB
  • Print Length: 344 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,273 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising start for a new author November 29, 2004
Chicagoan Julie Hyzy's debut novel Artistic License is a book of a different sort, more of a slice-of-life romance than a mystery; it is nevertheless an engaging story, made especially interesting by its complex, realistic heroine, Annie Callaghan.

Annie is an artist living in Chicago, a struggling painter trying to build a career and rebuild her life after kicking out her ne'er-do-well husband. Things become even more complicated for her when she discovers that her last, ill-advised fling with her husband has resulted in an unexpected pregnancy.

Were it not for the tender relationship she forms with Sam Morgan, her new friend and employer, Annie would probably fall apart. This is especially true once the mystery of the plot unfolds. It involves her ex-husband, a shady lawyer and a missing masterpiece of art.

Hyzy's work is tentative at points and the suspense of her story is never as tightly wound as it might be, but the real draw here is the finely crafted characters and the interactions between them. This first-time author has begun her career with a promising start.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Star Emerges December 10, 2004
Artistic License is an important books for several reasons. First and foremost, it's a really great read. I don't read a lot of cozies or romances, but this one blends the genres of mystery and suspense so well, that it goes down as smooth as a cool drink on a hot day. Hyzy's handling of the grittier aspects of crime fiction also deserve high praise.

Which brings me to reason number two. It's rare when a book succeeds on so many levels, but Artistic License does just that. Fans of romantic suspense will be thrilled by Anne Callahan's exploits, while lovers of police porcedurals will be hoping to see more of the adroitly depicted cops and unsavory characters. I was sorry to finish this one because I wanted it to go on and on.

Which brings up reason number three. As a first-time novelist, Hyzy avoids many of the mistakes and pitfalls that usually plague first books. She shows a fine grasp of plotting and pacing, and knows that sometimes giving your reader just enough, keeps him turning those pages. Her writing style is polished and full of grace (She must have been born on a Monday!), and the characters are so real that I felt I was leaving some old friends when I closed the cover the final time. What we're witnessing with Artistic License is the first work of an emerging star.

I can't wait for her next novel. Bring it on!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars delightful fine arts mystery February 7, 2004
In Tinsley Park, near Chicago, after almost five years of marriage to her loser of a spouse Gary, Annie Callaghan files for divorce. However, Gary persuades her to come out for lunch to talk. A few drinks later, Gary charms his way into her bedroom. Two months later, Annie is pregnant, but decides to finalize the divorce anyway.
Sam Morgan hires Annie to paint a mural on the wall of Millie's Ice Cream Parlour. Her preliminary work looks great until two young boys slop paint all over the wall. Their parents hire Annie to paint murals on the bedroom walls of their children. However, unbeknownst to Annie, that initial act of childhood vandalism has left her knowing about a stolen masterpiece, a Durer painting from the fifteenth century worth ten million dollars. Only Sam, who she now loves, tries to keep Annie safe.
Though readers will wonder why DeChristopher even allowed Annie into his home, fans will appreciate this delightful fine arts mystery. Annie is a charming soul who captures readers' hearts and, as important, their attention as she jumps from the frying pan of Gary into a fire of art theft and murder. The support cast enhances the audience's insight into the beleaguered heroine as Julie A. Hyzt provides a delightful inadvertent (on Annie's part) amateur sleuth tale.
Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Julie Hyzy is a very good 'cozy' author. If you are not familiar with what that word 'cozy' means it's this - no bloody gore, fleshed-out characters you can relate to, set in a small town with a good mystery revolving around it all. Well, at least that is my opinion of the definition. I have read all of Ms. Hyzy's books and shall continue to do so as long as she writes them. That does not mean that I'll forego Grisham, Balducci, Vince Flynn, Patterson or Sanford. Nor the biographies or political books. It just means that everyone should pick up an interesting cozy ever so often and relax and figure out the villain - there's always one or two.

Although, I liked her White House Chef books better than this one it might be because I read those one right after the other as a series. This one, so far, is a stand-alone. It's a good 'romance mystery' and a quick, fun read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Predictable February 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I downloaded this book quite awhile ago and I don't know if it was free or 99cents. In any case, I read a lot of mysteries and what I want a story to do is take me places and engross me in such a way that I'm not trying to figure the story out, the story unfolds and the surprises just happen. Not the case with this book. I knew what was going to happen, I wasn't attached to any of the characters, all in all, not a good read. I read the reviews that praise this as a new author, maybe a first book? I think there's potential, but this does read like a first novel. Definately not worth the price being asked for today.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm happy.
These are just for my library. They were new when they arrived. shipped quickly. I'm happy.
Published 3 months ago by C. Hankins
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
Great Julie Hyzy book.
Published 4 months ago by Linda
3.0 out of 5 stars I can't say that is was so amazing that is was worth the wait but it...
I downloaded this book in 2011. I just dug up in my kindle now and read it. I can't say that is was so amazing that is was worth the wait but it was an ok story. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding
Julie Bush never lets me. She captures my attention at the very beginning and never loses it. Even when I know what is going to happen I can't wait to see how she is going to get... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Susanne
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Heroine In Fast-Paced Thriller
At first I was disappointed with the main character Annie Callaghan. Right off the bat the reader learns that she has some flaws. Read more
Published 18 months ago by William E. Hall
4.0 out of 5 stars Stopped short
I really enjoyed this and wanted more. There seemed to be many loose ends that could have continued into more story. Still i found it enjoyable.
Published on April 27, 2012 by Pppom3
1.0 out of 5 stars Aggravating
For the record, I couldn't finish this book, so this review is also, necessarily, incomplete. When the book began I liked the heroine, but the further the story progressed, the... Read more
Published on March 16, 2012 by GioGio
2.0 out of 5 stars Main character's dumb decisions at odds with how she is described
Annie, the main character in this book, is the ultimate TSTL heroine. If her stupidity was an organic part of the character rather than the result of deliberate decisions needed... Read more
Published on January 16, 2012 by morehumanthanhuman
2.0 out of 5 stars It was okay...
This is an okay book... however, it just keeps going on and on and on. I didn't feel like I would ever be done with it.
Published on December 17, 2011 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Good Effort
I enjoyed reading this book. The story was captivating and the characters interesting. The romance aspect was perhaps a little drawn out, but that is most likely just my... Read more
Published on December 13, 2011 by DeeDee Brown
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More About the Author

Julie Hyzy is the New York Times bestselling author of the White House Chef Mysteries and the Manor House Mysteries. She's won the Anthony, Barry, Derringer, and Lovey Awards for her novels and short stories. Her first Manor House Mystery, Grace Under Pressure, earned a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly.

Grace Under Pressure
Grace Interrupted
Grace Among Thieves
Grace Takes Off
Grace Against The Clock (summer, 2014)

State of the Onion
Hail to the Chef
Eggsecutive Orders
Buffalo West Wing
Affairs of Steak
Fonduing Fathers
Home of the Braised

Originally published in hardcover books now available on KINDLE:

Artistic License (standalone romantic suspense)
Deadly Blessings (first in Alex St. James series)
Deadly Interest (second in Alex St. James series)
Dead Ringer (book two-and-a-half in the Alex St. James series, co-written with author Michael A. Black)

Also on KINDLE
Short Story Collection, Volume 1
Writing Dialogue
Deadly Shorts, Alex St. James short stories

Available on KINDLE - under the N.C. Hyzy pseudonym (decidedly less cozy!):
Playing With Matches
Mystery Short Stories, Volume 1
Tracer's Blues

And, under the S.F. Hyzy pseudonym - Science Fiction shorts
Science Fiction Short Stories, Volume 1

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