The Artist Colony by Joanna FitzPatrick
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
She Writes Press
Paperback & eBook; 328 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Paris, July, 1924…
Sarah, a young Modernist painter, receives a cable from California. Her estranged older sister, Ada Belle, has died under suspicious circumstances. When she arrives two weeks later at San Francisco’s Union Station, Sarah is confronted by a newspaper headline: “Inquest Verdict: Artist Commits Suicide.”
Sarah remembers the last haunting words Ada Belle said to her: “Ars longa, vita brevis: Art is long, life is short.” But Ada Belle’s work is selling, and her upcoming exhibition of portraitures would bring her even wider recognition. Why would she kill herself? Sarah’s quest to find the truth of what happened to Ada Belle leads her to join the bucolic artist colony to look for clues. As she delves into her sister’s underworld, tensions surface. The darker things get, the closer she comes to terrible danger. How far will a killer go before he kills again?
REVIEW FROM COFFEE & INK
Successful painter Sarah Cunningham travels to California to bury her sister, also a successful painter. The authorities, and others, believe Ada Belle committed suicide, but Sarah knows this can’t be true.
The author paints a gorgeously layered picture of Carmel-by-Sea, an early bohemian refuge for artists and poets. But the pretty layers of Carmel are peeled away by Sarah’s suspicions her sister was murdered, revealing the dark heart of the people who live and work there.
A deeply satisfying mystery paired with an equally satisfying prose style. Highly recommended for all historical mystery lovers. And I know it’s a phrase I use frequently, but I mean it—I could not put this book down! 😊
“. . . delivers an escape to gorgeous Carmel and an engaging mystery.” — Kirkus Reviews
“The Artist Colony is bold, creative, and unexpected – all the things nice ladies weren’t supposed to be in the 1920’s when they escaped to Carmel-By-The-Sea to make art without criticism. Joanna FitzPatrick, a descendant of one of those feisty female pioneers, has honored her family legacy and entertained her fans yet again with a fast-paced whodunnit that is equal parts loving tribute and killer thriller.” — Meredith May, author of The Honey Bus and Loving Edie
“The Artist Colony” is a sumptuous ride through the Carmel-by-the-Sea, circa 1920, as Sarah Cunningham, newly arrived from Paris, attempts to uncover the truth about her sister’s mysterious death. Atmospheric and delicious, FitzPatrick delivers a thrilling page-turner woven with artistic flourish. This exquisite novel does not disappoint! Highly recommended!” — Michelle Cox, author of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series
“It’s 1924 and a young woman journeys to Carmel, California, to learn more about her sister’s sudden death. She soon learns that the bohemian arts colony is anything but idyllic, as she’s confronted by flagrant racism and intimations of murder. Fitzpatrick has written a vivid historical novel with an absorbing mystery at the center of it, and I was riveted.” — Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen
“The dramatic landscapes of Carmel, beautifully depicted by FitzPatrick, are central to the plot, whose blow-by-blow story keeps us gripped to the final revelation of Ada’s murderer . . . a must-read novel for anyone who loves historical fiction, art, detective stories, and the West Coast.” — Maggie Humm, author of Talland House
“. . . readers who enjoy an exciting narrative with unexpected twists will find this a diverting and illuminating read.” — Historical Novels Review
About the Author
Joanna FitzPatrick was born and raised in Hollywood. She started her writing habit by applying her orange fountain pen and a wild imagination to screenplays, which led her early on to produce the film White Lilacs and Pink Champagne. At Sarah Lawrence College, she wrote her MFA thesis Sha La La: Live for Today about her life as a rock ’n’ roll star’s wife. Her more recent work includes two novels, Katherine Mansfield and The Drummer’s Widow. The Artist Colony is her third book. Presently, FitzPatrick divides her time between a mountaintop cottage in Northern California and a small hameau in Southern France where she begins all her book projects.
Blog Tour Schedule
Thursday, September 2
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Friday, September 3
Review at SJ Through the Looking Glass
Tuesday, September 7
Interview at Books & Benches
Wednesday, September 8
Review at Booking With Janelle
Saturday, September 11
Review at Reading is My Remedy
Monday, September 13
Review at Jorie Loves A Story
Wednesday, September 15
Review at Passages to the Past
Friday, September 17
Review at Nat Reads
Monday, September 20
Feature at What Is That Book About
Thursday, September 23
Review at Coffee and Ink
Enter to win a paperback copy of The Artist Colony by Joanna FitzPatrick! We have 2 copies up for grabs!
The giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends on September 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.