My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Kate Wilhelm’s Barbara Halloway mysteries are generally edgy and suspenseful. Death of an Artist is a stand-alone novel that has no edge at all. It’s pretty clear from the title who’s going to die, and there’s no question as to who had motive and opportunity. The plot revolves mainly around the circumstantial murder case, in which strong proof against the perpetrator is utterly lacking. That’s not all that’s lacking. The characters are lackluster, devoid of personality, and they are made to say such trite utterances as, “Don’t try to shield me, I’m not a child”. I finished the book because I wanted to know if they managed to nail the killer, but I can’t say it was at all exciting.