During WWII American museum directors became concerned about the possible fate of Western cultural resources in Europe, particularly large immovable statuary, cathedrals and other buildings and historic site. With the backing of President Roosevelt a small company of museum men, later to be called the Monuments Men, were dispatched to Europe to aid Allied commanders in protecting various sites. At war’s end, this unit became active in locating and recovering stolen art. In 2003 when the American army swept into Bagdad, the museums were left unprotected and thus looted of priceless rare items. I was upset by that news and decided to write a story. That story became the novel, “The Case of the Purloined Painting.” Like many stories, it gradually evolved into something else, a story that could engage my Minneapolis based private detective, Sean NMI Sean. Here was the murder of a survivor of the Nazi death camps who immigrates to Minneapolis, inadvertently bringing evidence of murder and theft by now-powerful international figures. Here too were international agents trying to get the evidence, a notebook, in order to bring the criminals to justice and avenge the murder of the immigrant. Sean, Sean, is unwillingly drawn into a confusing situation. On the one hand he is hired to search for a woman he suspects may be a foreign agent. On the other, he is trying to help a woman who witnessed the murder of the immigrant. Are they the same woman? And who, really, is the man who hires the detective to find his female companion? Is he also somehow involved in the search for the killers? The novel is deliberately confusing in places and unwinds a sub-plot in which a small painting by a Polish artist, brought home by a GI after the war, becomes a pawn in an escalating attempt to conceal its origins within a prominent Minneapolis family. Ultimately, the tangled threads unravel, and Sean discovers the truth. At least one version of the truth. I write commercial fiction which I hope will appeal to an audience of readers who want to be entertained and satisfied at the end. I find, however, that sometimes, I am just not able to neatly wrap up everything. My protagonists suggest unanswered questions and pose dilemmas which have to be addressed in later work. Through the same characters, I try to suggest possible solutions.
Brookins has been a television producer, a faculty member at Metropolitan State University and a mystery reviewer for magazines, newspapers and online sites. He tours with The Minnesota Crime Wave and makes presentations on the history of mystery and the author in the digital age. He writes three crime fiction series: The Tanner/Whitney sailing series, The Sean Sean P.I. series and a academic series with Jack Marston. His current releases are “Red Sky,” “Reunion,” and “The Case of the Purloined Painting” Carl lives with his wife, Jean, in Minnesota. Learn more at http://www.carlbrookins.com. http://agora2.blogspot.com
So the Rafflecopter isn’t wanting to work for me, so I’m going to be doing this through my blog. It is for 1 signed copy of the book The Case of the Purloined Painting by Carl Brookins. You can get an entry if you:
Follow @Katys_books on twitter
Tweet about the giveaway (including my twitter in the post)
Commet some other books you would like to see in giveaways.
The giveaway ends on July 2.