Official Review: Death on Canvas by Mary Ann Cherry

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MsMartha
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Official Review: Death on Canvas by Mary Ann Cherry

Post by MsMartha » 11 Jul 2016, 09:54

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Death on Canvas" by Mary Ann Cherry.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Jessie O’Bourne, a talented and well-respected artist, is staying at her father’s farm in Sage Bluff, Montana. She has been invited to judge an art contest in a nearby town. Her recently married dad is on his honeymoon in Hawaii, so Jessie has Jake, her orange cat, as her only companion. On an early morning sketching excursion, Jessie sees an unusual color on the ground by her dad’s haystack. Determined to see what the turquoise item could be, she finds a single shoe, then a motorcycle. Finally, with Jack’s help, she finds a young woman who is still alive but in very bad shape. This is a difficult situation, but it gets worse. The local police discover that the now-deceased young woman came to Sage Bluff to contact Jessie O’Bourne.

There are other issues that engage Jessie. Some are related to family history. There was a mysterious disappearance of paintings done by Thomas Moran, who knew Jessie’s relative, Kate O’Bourne. There are questions about Jessie’s brother, Kevin. In addition, there are drug issues serious enough that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) is keeping an eye on the area. There are also relationships Jessie has to deal with. One is with police officer and old family friend Russell Bonham, and one is with the FBI agent, Grant Kennedy, who is researching the lost Moran artwork.

There are a number of characters involved in this book. In addition to those who have already been mentioned, there are family members, local police officers, and several people who are important in the story line about Jessie’s relatives and Moran in the early 1900s. There are even pets that have interesting roles in the story.

A mystery with so many questions and issues, and so many people who might be involved in the answers, could be confusing to the reader, but in Death on Canvas that confusion doesn’t happen. The novel is written in the third person, which can be helpful when there is a variety of characters. There is also plenty of information that encourages the reader to try and determine what happened, and why. Personally, I came to some correct and incorrect conclusions, and it was very enjoyable to find out how I went wrong.

Author Mary Ann Cherry is a very good writer, and an interesting person herself. She is an artist in the western United States, like Jessie. Her descriptive writing includes a lot of detail, including colors. This description is in Chapter 2: “Peering through the windshield, she drew several thumbnail sketches of the scattering of new bales drying in the field, the massive stack of hay bales, and the windbreak of silver-leafed Russian olive trees silhouetted against the blushing sky.” The way her characters relate and work together is impressive and realistic. The details about Jessie’s art—how and why she does it, and how she teaches and judges other artists—is very informative. One of the things I learned is that Death on Canvas is intended to be Book 1 of the Jessie O’Bourne art mystery novels. I’m looking forward to Book 2.

Death on Canvas deserves 4 out of 4 stars. A long book that includes a lot of characters and more than a single story line sometimes can be too lengthy, and have too much detail, but that isn’t the case with Death on Canvas. It’s entertaining, enjoyable, humorous, and has a satisfying conclusion.

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Death on Canvas
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Post by anneloretrujillo » 18 Jul 2016, 17:23

This sounds like a great book. I agree that too many characters and storylines can be confusing, but it sounds like this book isn't like that.

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Post by MsMartha » 19 Jul 2016, 06:52

anneloretrujillo wrote:This sounds like a great book. I agree that too many characters and storylines can be confusing, but it sounds like this book isn't like that.
It definitely worked well. I'm reading a different book right now by an author I've enjoyed previously, and there are so many characters that I'm confused and wondering if I need to start over--or give up and read something else. I hope you'll give Death on Canvas a try!

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Post by bookowlie » 19 Jul 2016, 09:56

Great review! You have a good eye for picking interesting books. I like that you mentioned that you came to some correct and incorrect conclusions. I like it when the answers are not obvious. Adding this one to my long reading list.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing

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Post by MsMartha » 19 Jul 2016, 12:39

bookowlie wrote:Great review! You have a good eye for picking interesting books. I like that you mentioned that you came to some correct and incorrect conclusions. I like it when the answers are not obvious. Adding this one to my long reading list.
Thanks, bookowlie! I think my glasses help ;-)

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Post by barb429 » 20 Jul 2016, 11:17

Great review! Sounds like an interesting book. I agree that having a long list of characters can make it difficult to read, so it's always nice to find authors that do this well.

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Post by bookowlie » 20 Jul 2016, 11:24

MsMartha wrote:
bookowlie wrote:Great review! You have a good eye for picking interesting books. I like that you mentioned that you came to some correct and incorrect conclusions. I like it when the answers are not obvious. Adding this one to my long reading list.
Thanks, bookowlie! I think my glasses help ;-)
Ha ha ha!
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Post by klbradley » 20 Jul 2016, 12:00

Having a lot of characters can make things difficult, but it seems that you found that no challenge, and liked the book! Glad to hear! Nice review.
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Post by hsimone » 20 Jul 2016, 13:34

This sounds like a great read! I love when books keep you guessing! :)
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Post by Cherry_Art » 21 Jul 2016, 08:51

Thank you so much for the well written and comprehensive review of my novel, Death on Canvas. I am delighted that you enjoyed it, and appreciate your time in writing a nice review...

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Post by MsMartha » 22 Jul 2016, 16:24

Cherry_Art wrote:Thank you so much for the well written and comprehensive review of my novel, Death on Canvas. I am delighted that you enjoyed it, and appreciate your time in writing a nice review...
You are very welcome! I'm very pleased to be able to share this review, especially because I think a lot of readers will enjoy it.

-- 22 Jul 2016, 16:27 --

Thanks to barb429, klbradley, and hsimone for your comments on the review! I really appreciate this--and I hope you enjoy the book.

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 26 Jul 2016, 20:20

I think I like the book already. I have an appreciation for art but I don't have any innate talent to be an artist. So, I think explanation for judging a work of art or discussion for the reason a particular art is created would be very interesting for me. And that's in addition to the mystery and suspense of the story. Great job on the review. Congratulations to Mary Ann Cherry on such an obviously well written book.

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Post by MsMartha » 27 Jul 2016, 16:32

kimmyschemy06 wrote:I think I like the book already. I have an appreciation for art but I don't have any innate talent to be an artist. So, I think explanation for judging a work of art or discussion for the reason a particular art is created would be very interesting for me. And that's in addition to the mystery and suspense of the story. Great job on the review. Congratulations to Mary Ann Cherry on such an obviously well written book.
There is so much that I found interesting when I read this book. I do know a little about art (not that I've been able to do much for ages...), and that was one of the things that made me want to read and review this book.

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Post by fallenechoes » 28 Jul 2016, 20:50

Good review. This definitely sounds like an interesting book with lots going on. It sure makes for a great read I'm sure!

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Post by gali » 08 Aug 2016, 08:48

Sounds like a unique book. I am glad you enjoyed it.

I just saw it is free on Amazon, so got it. Great job on the review!
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