Murder in the Abstract by Susan C. Shea

Murder in the Abstract by Susan C. SheaOne more mystery, I thought bitterly. I kept adding mysteries but didn’t seem to be making progress solving any of them. – Dani O’Rourke

One wouldn’t expect the chief fund raiser for a posh art museum to find herself at the center of a murder mystery, yet that is precisely where Danielle “Dani” O’Rourke finds herself in Susan Shea’s debut novel, Murder in the Abstract.

What should be a triumphant, gala evening of celebration at the Devor Museum where Dani works is cut brutally short when up-and-coming young artist Clinton Maslow plunges to his death from an office window. The circumstances lead police to believe it was murder, and the fact that Dani previously dated the victim, not to mention the window he went out of was her office, quickly lands Dani at the top of the suspect list.

When additional evidence appears that seemingly further connects Dani to Maslow’s death, but which she knows was planted, Dani decides to get proactive in figuring out who really killed him and why they are trying to frame her.

Dani O’Rourke is a refreshingly real character: she’s closer to 40 than 30, closer to a size 14 than a size 4, doesn’t know martial arts or weapons, isn’t a master computer hacker, and she doesn’t single-handedly figure out whodunit. She’s just a regular gal caught up in a highly irregular situation, which makes her very easy to identify with because she could actually be your next door neighbor, an old college roommate… even you!

Shea has also given Dani a strong cast of supporting characters: the dashing police detective Dani finds herself attracted to, despite the fact he’s investigating her for murder; her über rich playboy ex-husband, who’s still carrying a torch for Dani; Rowland Reynold, a somewhat sinister Santa Fe based art collector and main patron of the dead artist; Suzy, Dani’s social-butterfly, gossip-hound best friend. They, and many others, flesh out the wonderfully colorful world Shea has created.

Whether you’re looking for a book to curl up with while having a glass of wine or one to stuff in your bag to take to the beach, Murder in the Abstract is picture perfect!

Murder in the Abstract is available from Thomas & Mercer (ISBN: 978-1477812853).

Susan C. Shea spent more than 25 years as an executive in the non-profit world working for universities, arts and science organizations, and other charitable groups. Murder in the Abstract, Susan’s first novel, will be released on June 24th. To learn more about Susan, visit her website.


  • Elizabeth A. White

    June 21, 2010 - 1:31 PM

    Thanks for the heads up about that, Janet. Anyone interested should note that the event is THIS Wednesday, June 23rd at 7 p.m. For more information, click here

  • Janet Rudolph

    June 21, 2010 - 10:44 AM

    Susan Shea will be at a Lit Salon this week at my home. Really enjoyed Murder in the Abstract.

  • Elizabeth A. White

    June 18, 2010 - 1:15 PM

    You’ve got a bit more grit going on in yours Leigh, but I do think Dani and Geraldine would get along. 😉

  • Leigh Russell

    June 17, 2010 - 4:18 PM

    This sounds like the sort of book I might read – and not far off the sort of book I write, either!
    Thank you for your interesting contribution to the discussion on my blog, Elizabeth.

  • Charles Wingfield

    June 17, 2010 - 9:50 AM

    Sounds like a very interesting book. How refreshing to have the lead protagonist be a down to earth character, someone you can relate to. Looking forward to checking this out.

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