Slashed Canvas by Liz Tolsma is the final book in Celebrate Lit’s Ever After Mysteries series. And, like our other releases, we’re solving a mystery. This time, though, the question is who stole the painting of the Russian princess from the Louvre? There’s a post every day (links at bottom of the post) and a giveaway!
I stared at the little man with a funny mustache for a moment. “Are you sure you aren’t Monsieur Poirot?”
I could see it took a Herculean effort not to roll his eyes, but he managed. He tapped his fingers against the side of the coffee mug (no teacups for us!). “Madame, as I have mentioned before, twice, I am Inspector Bacchantes and I am here on behalf of Interpol searching for the painting stolen from the Louvre recently.”
“Right.” I nodded enthusiastically. “I’ve always wanted to go to the Louvre. Weird how you think I may have taken it when I’ve never been, especially with the plague and travel bans and whatnot going on. Also, I think that…”
He raised his hand as I was about to explain how hard it would have been to smuggle a painting onto the plane.
“Madam, we are sitting in the parlor of a rented Parisian apartment.” He sneered as his eyes bored into mine. “We have proof from your accomplice that you have the painting.”
“Oh yeah. Forgot where I was for a moment,” I said, as I took in the frilly window hangings and stylish decor. “It’s so far out of my comfort zone, decorating wise, you understand, that I must have temporarily blocked it out.”
“I see.” He snorted and took a sip of coffee from the large mug with I Heart Paris painted on the side. He made a moue of distaste and set it down. “Now, your accomplice mentioned that you’d been at the Louvre earlier this week.”
“Hold on there, buddy.” I raised my hand. “What accomplice?”
“Mrs. Cathe Swanson,” he replied, checking a little black notebook set on the table. “She mentioned that you’d been and I have video proof of you in the building.”
“That rat fink,” I muttered under my breath. “No postcard for her!”
“So you admit the theft,” he shouted, jumping from his chair. “I knew it.”
I leaned back in my chair, waiting a moment for the spindly legs of the overly pricey and (possibly) antique chair to stop wobbling.
“I didn’t say that. I said I’m not sending her a postcard. You see I didn’t have a chance to steal it, even if I wanted to. Which I don’t. It’s a nice painting, but it’s no Mona Lisa. Besides, it wouldn’t fit into my library.”
“You’re library?” He looked slightly deflated then shook his head. “Get to the point, Madame Hayman.”
“Right.” I rubbed my chin, thinking back on my last week then snapped my fingers. “I bet you it was Denise. I saw her slinking around the Louvre and, as I passed by the gallery that the painting was displayed in…I’m more of a modern art fan myself so I was headed to…”
“Again, Madame Hayman, get to the point.”
“Sorry. Anyway, check out Denise Barela. I saw her admiring,” I used air quotes, “the painting.”
“Denise Barela,” he muttered as he wrote it down. “I will track her down to the ends of the earth.”
“May want to check her house first,” I said sipping at my coffee. “Doubt you’ll have to go too far for her.”
He nodded and rushed out of the room like he was on fire. Or had a mystery to solve. Either way, I know I didn’t steal that painting! Might want to check out Denise, though. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have an alibi!
Check out the other authors all week for more mystery fun!
And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
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