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An Illustrated Death by Judi Culbertson
Publication Date: October 1, 2013, (ebook only) by Witness Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
When bookseller Delhi Laine gets the opportunity to appraise the late Nate Erikson’s personal library, she jumps at the chance. It’s not every day a bookseller gets to peek into the mind of a famous illustrator, not to mention his fascinating collection of rare books. Invited to spend time with the artistic Erikson clan at the family compound in the Hamptons, Delhi is intrigued by their eccentric and eclectic ways.
But when death visits the family once more and another Erikson is found dead, dark family secrets come to light—including the death of Nate Erikson himself. Surrounded by the charmed family not quite as idealic as they once seemed, Delhi is determined to solve the murders once and for all. But digging up truths can get you dirty…and Delhi is about to discover how far some will go to keep them buried.
About the Author
Judi Culbertson graduated from Hampton DuBose High School in Florida, and majored in creative writing at Wheaton College in Illinois. After two years in Philadelphia she moved to Long Island where her son Andy was born. Here she published GAMES CHRISTIANS PLAY (Harper & Row, 1967), followed by THE LITTLE WHITE BOOK ON RACE (Lippincott, 1970) with a friend, Patti Bard.
In 1970 Judi began working for the Suffolk County Department of Social Services, working with families at risk, children in foster care and, finally, in the Court Unit where she wrote petitions to free children for adoption. During this time she was writing articles for Glamour, The New York Times, Newsday, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Working Mother, and others and travel stories for major newspapers.
In 1986, after a trip to Paris, Judi and her husband, Tom Randall, wrote a travel story that developed into PERMANENT PARISIANS,An Illustrated Biographical Guide to the Cemeteries of Paris, published in 1987 by Chelsea Green Press. This was followed by four more: PERMANENT NEW YORKERS; LONDONERS; CALIFORNIANS; and ITALIANS.
After earning an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Vermont College, Judi published THE NURSERY (St. Martin’s Press, 1996). By then she had started speaking professionally on a subject that had long fascinated her, people’s attachment to stuff. This led to two books: SCALING DOWN, Living Large in a Smaller Space, written with Marj Decker (Rodale 2005) and THE CLUTTER CURE (McGraw-Hill, 2007).
Judi left social work in 1999 to pursue her interest in selling used and rare books on the Internet.
It is this background that helped create the Secondhand Prose Mystery Series. A NOVEL DEATH is the first book, published by Avalon Books in June 2011. AN ILLUSTRATED DEATH will be published on October 1, 2013 by Harper/Collins. When not writing, she and Tom travel extensively and enjoy their twin grandchildren, Andrew and Emily, as well as the three cats they live with: Ignatz, Vladimir, and Pangur.
Delhi is a woman, who, after her husband leaves, and her children are gone, becomes an online bookseller. She discovers this is something she really loves doing. When she learns of an estate sale at the home of an illustrator who died a few months before, she jumps at the chance to go. This decision leads to the family asking her to appraise their late father’s collection. She agrees, wondering how she got so lucky. However, she ends up entangled in more mystery than she thought possible.
The characters in the story are well-written and the mystery is suspenseful and believable. I was kept guessing throughout the story. I enjoyed reading it. I liked that it was set in the book-selling world; I found it quite interesting.