Welcome to the Blog Tour for The London Forgery by Heidi Eljarbo, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
About the Book
Title: The London Forgery
Series: A Fabiola Bennett Mystery #1
Author: Heidi Eljarbo
Publisher: Independently Published
Release Date: August 29, 2023
Genre: Historical Cozy Mystery, Dual Timeline
1973. Art historian Fabiola Bennett sees herself as a prudently observant deer who becomes a daring and even mischievous lioness if the situation calls for it. And that’s exactly what’s required when greedy criminals steal, forge, and tamper with treasured artwork. When the crooks add murder to their list of crimes, the chaos is complete.
A mysterious note is delivered anonymously at the door of the National Gallery in London, and the director immediately calls Fabiola’s office in Oslo and pleads with her to come without delay. The message is confusing, but it seems one of her favorite eighteenth-century portraits is in trouble.
Fabiola hops on the first plane and meets up with her vibrant side-kick Pippa Yates and the ever-loyal Detective Inspector Cary Green from New Scotland Yard. But she is not naïve enough to think untangling the purpose and meaning of the mysterious note will be as simple as a walk in Hyde Park. These things never are.
1750. Newly married Robert and Frances Andrews, members of the landed gentry of Suffolk, England, hire young and talented Thomas Gainsborough to paint their wedding portrait. Their desire is a lovely conversation piece showing their wealth and class, an artwork to remember them by for generations to come.
Little do they know the gifted artist portrays their personalities exactly how he perceives them, and the artistic symbolism is not as flattering as they’d hoped for. Even the looming clouds in the distance promise a troublesome future.
This is the first book in a new dual timeline series by Heidi Eljarbo—an intriguing spin-off from the much-loved Soli Hansen Mysteries.
Fans of Lucinda Riley, Rhys Bowen, Kathleen McGurl, Kate Morton, and Katherine Neville will love this cozy historical art mystery, which takes the readers back to the nostalgia of the groovy seventies and the classical Georgian era of the eighteenth century.
I do love a good dual-timeline story, and Heidi Eljarbo delivers!
In 1973, art historian Fabiola Bennett is called in when the National Gallery in London receives a mysterious note indicating there may be a problem with Mr. and Mrs. Andrews, a well-known work of artist Thomas Gainsborough. We see the investigation into the matter through Fabiola’s eyes, and we see the history of the painting from the artist’s viewpoint in 1750.
I know very little about art history or how one would tell a real painting from a forgery, so the detail the author provided on those subjects was fascinating. As a former prosecutor, I’m always interested in anything related to crime and its investigation, and it was fun seeing Fabiola work with (and sometimes without) Detective Inspector Cary Green. I sometimes had to hold my breath at the situations Fabiola and Pippa put themselves into for the sake of gaining information. They were definitely keen to solve the mystery!
The dual timelines wove together effortlessly, and it was interesting reading about the thought process that Gainsborough may have put into his painting. (I say “may” because this is fiction, after all.) I’m no artist, and Eljarbo gave us an engaging look into the the artist’s inner world as he put brushes to canvas.
There’s just a hint of romance between Fabiola and the Detective Inspector. I hope we see more of that in future books. Fabiola is a likable character. She’s mourning the death of her husband, so it’s understandable that she isn’t jumping into anything right now. But I would like to see her happy in a new relationship at some point. I can hope!
This is the first book I’ve read by Heidi Eljarbo, but it won’t be the last. I look forward to more in this series, and I recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery that keeps you guessing.
My thanks to JustRead Publicity Tours and the author for a review copy of the book. All opinions here are mine, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.
Keep scrolling to enter the giveaway!
About the Author
Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of historical fiction and mysteries filled with courageous and good characters that are easy to love and others you don’t want to go near.
Heidi grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter.
After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, fifteen grandchildren—so far—in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier.
Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter.
Heidi’s favorites are family, God’s beautiful nature, and the word whimsical.
Connect with Heidi by visiting heidieljarbo.com to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.
(2) winners will win a print copy of “The London Forgery”, an eBook “Of Darkness and Light” and a $10 Amazon gift card!
Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight September 26, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 3, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. No shipping restrictions. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!