Trick of the Eye
Jane Stanton Hitchcock
Premise: An artist is hired by a wealthy widow to paint an old ballroom using trompe-l’œil techniques. The artist discovers that the ballroom had originally been constructed for the widow’s daughter, who was later murdered; the murder was never solved. The artist begins investigating, but unearths much more than she expected.
Stay away if you dislike: Stilted language. Subtle worship of wealth and status. Plots where everything is a bit too tied together at the end.
Recommended if you like: High society. Dark family secrets. Mysteries without any police or court elements. Surprising revelations/twists.
Don’t expect: Very much detail about painting techniques, or about art movements and styles. These aren’t really a focus of the story, despite art being a superficial theme.