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Circles of Confusion (Claire Montrose Series Book 1) by [Henry, April]
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Circles of Confusion (Claire Montrose Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Length: 368 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An amateur sleuth with an unusual day job debuts in this lively romantic mystery, Henry's first novel. Claire Montrose works for the Oregon Motor Vehicles Division in Portland, checking applications for vanity license plates. Her mundane job is interrupted by a call from her mother, who reports that Claire's great-aunt has died, bequeathing to Claire the contents of her mobile home. Aided by her boyfriend, an obsessively careful insurance adjuster, Claire sorts through Aunt Cady's belongings. Among the piles of old knickknacks, she finds a beautiful small painting of a woman sitting at a table. Aunt Cady had been in Germany during WWII and Claire suspects the artwork might be one of many masterpieces that disappeared in Europe around that time. To have it appraised, she flies to New York, where an expert tells her that the painting is a forgery. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, however, a handsome artist says that the canvas may be an authentic Vermeer. Attempts to steal the painting convince Claire that the artist may be right?but can she trust him? Or should she trust the expert who thought the painting a forgery? Danger follows Claire back to Portland, but she proves clever enough to outwit even the wiliest villain in her offbeat, vital first outing as a sleuth. Agent, Wendy Schmalz at Harold Ober.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A lively, romantic mystery...an off-beat, vital first outing." -- -- Publishers Weekly

"Tremendous fun. The most adventurous, humorous and romantic novel since Dame Agatha gave us The Man in the Brown Suit...Brava, Ms. Henry." -- Romantic Times

"Wonderful!" -- -- Poisoned Pen

"Wonderful!" -- Poisoned Pen

Product Details

  • File Size: 791 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publication Date: January 4, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0032UY4B6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #627,794 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Karen Bierman Hirsh VINE VOICE on May 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book because Amazon recommended it to me and boy am I glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed April Henry's first Claire Montrose novel and eagerly await the arrival of her second in my mail box! I love bibliomysteries and that love drew me to this book.
Claire works at the DMV in the specialty plates division - making sure that no offensive license plates get made and April Henry sprinkles fun brain teaser plates throughout the book which is just one reason this novel is so delectable. Everything in Claire's life changes when she learns that her great Aunt Cady has died and left her everything. Claire and her dull as dirt boyfriend Evan go to the trailer park to see just what Claire has inherited. Amongst the trash Claire discovers a suitcase full of nazi memorabilia and a lovely painting which she decides to keep.
Claire decides to discover just who painted the beautiful, intriguing woman and who she was. Despite what the auction house in New York says, that it is simply a cheap copy of a master's work, Claire believes that it is something more. While in New York she meets Troy, the valuator at the auction house and Dante, an art enthusiast at the MET. Both offer her their ideas on the paintings origins (plus something more....) and Claire finds out that this painting is more than meets the eye.
With her life and the painting in danger Claire does not know who to trust or where to turn. Circles of Confusion is well written and has a fabulous ending. I could not put this gem down. Claire is a complex character and I can't wait to see what she will do next in Square in the Face. Brava April Henry for allowing us to share in your wonderful novel.
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By A Customer on March 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I learned a little about art forgeries and the WWII background made it more interesting. Clair Montrose is a very likable character and I found myself rooting for her the whole time. I'm looking forward to more of the series-this one is a keeper!
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By A Customer on March 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
At the heart of this fine novel, the first in what should be a long series, is Claire Montrose, a wonderful heroine that all readers will find good company. She is so appealing that I was as anxious to discover how the complications in her love life would be resolved as I was to learn the truth about the painting she's inherited. I'm ready to follow Claire anywhere she goes in her future adventures. Outstanding.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the best mysteries that I have ever read. It has it all! Suspense, Drama plus it seems so real. You completely lose yourself when reading this. You feel the fear and confusion of Claire. This is one book that once you start it you can not put it down!
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Format: Hardcover
I suppose everybody has, at some point in their lives, had a fantasy about a long-lost relative leaving a fortune to them.
Unfortunately, for Claire Montrose, the fortune ended up being piles of books, junk, and dust in a rusty old trailer home. The one gem among all the gravel? A painting of a woman, filled with an intricate interplay of light and shadow.
From that point on, the reader is hooked and drawn into Claire's quest to find out more about her great aunt's painting. Along the way, the reader shares with Claire the beginning of a metamorphosis as the quest to find out more about her painting evolves into a journey of discovery - both of herself and the family from which she came.
The characters in "Circles of Confusion" come alive with rich detail both of their physical appearances and mannerisms, but also of their inner desires and motivations. Each of the major characters is totally believable.
And the world into which these characters is placed is one full of color and life! The smells of New York City especially struck me as I read, because the author could simply have run with the cliche of urine and sewers. Sure, those smells are mentioned, but so are the many others - some good, some bad - that help paint the locale as vividly as the characters are painted. As Claire walked through New York City, I smelled trash, road oil, pasta, baking bread....
To say too much about the plot wouldn't be fair to the reader...let it be enough to say that this reader was guessing at every turn and wrong in most of his guesses. Yet every surprise twist, every turn of the plot is plausible and real. The tale is simply so skillfully woven as to keep the pages turning.
Do yourself a favor. Read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
After all the Harry Bosch-thrillers (by Michael Connelly) I moved on to April Henry and her "detective" Claire Montrose. And I really liked it! It feels very new and different. Claire is not a journalist or a police, she does not have a (very) messed up life with lots of personal problems, she is 35 without kids and husband but there is not a lot of talk about that or the Clock, and she lives in Oregon. All of this makes a nice change to all "regular" mysteries set in LA or NY with gross details from autopsys, shootings, and the effects of too much coffee, drugs and sex.
The mystery itself is also unusual, combining art, history and Nazis. Very interesting and I learnt a lot!
Another good thing about Circles of confusion is that April Henry is a good writer. Even though this book does not start in an extremely exciting way, you still have a hard time putting it down. And it's funny too in the middle of all the art and Nazis. Especially when Claire's boyfriend Evan, the insurance guy, shows up. He's too good to be true!
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