Sunday 23 August 2020



Why do a sleazy antique dealer and a wealthy collector suddenly become interested in an unknown artist named Jo Allison? Is it the mysterious goblet she used in three still-life paintings? Jo's apartment is burglarized, and she is followed and threatened. When she attempts to determine the provenance of the goblet, she discovers that it might be a priceless artifact. Thieves follow her to Chicago and to the home of a blind woman in Riverside who also owns one of the goblets. The exciting climax takes place on the steps of the Art Institute of Chicago, between the roaring lions.

Not a book I would have contemplated reading other than the need to read a Helen for a Goodreads challenge. The ones I had on the pile weren't really singing out to me.... Helen MacInnes mainly and the advantage to this was it was an Audible book, so I could multi-task - not something you can say about many men - by working and reading at the same time.

The plot is exactly as above and I was moderately interested in the goings-on. Our main character, is Jo Allison. Events are related as they impact on her. Namely an unhealthy interest in her work as a ruse to possess a priceless goblet... burglary, stalking, threats, intimidation, escalation and on the upside a chance to get close to the cop looking into the initial burglary. Romance and a possible brighter future if the goblet mystery can be put to bed.

Overall it was okay, nothing amazing or stunning, conversely nothing too irritating. The main character was likable and the author does a decent job in building tension and portraying Jo's increasing isolation and fears as she worries over who she can trust throughout the book.

Not great, not awful, bang average if I'm honest. If I was a big fan of cozy type mysteries I'd probably have enjoyed it more.

3 from 5

Read - (listened to) August, 2020
Published - 2012
Page count - 229 (6 hrs 14 mins)
Source - Audible purchase
Format - Audible


  1. As always, Col, I appreciate your candor. This one sounds like a solid story, and there's something about a main character who's an artist. I know what you mean about a book that's 'OK/readable/enjoyable enough, but nothing spectacular.' Still, I'm glad you found some things to like here.

    1. Thanks Margot. Maybe more your kind of book than mine?

  2. I like the idea of an art-related mystery, I just don't want to add more to my TBR right now. But good for you for giving it a try.

  3. Definitely more my line than yours, and does sound interesting.
    I am entertained by the idea of your challenge of finding authors based on their names...

    1. Cheers Moira, definitely more you than me. Other Helen's were available but just didn't sing out to me at that particualr moment.