Category Archives: Dying Art

Review: Dying Art by Shirley Wells

Title: Dying Art by Shirley Wells
Dylan Scott Mystery #5
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 83,000 words
Book Rating: B+

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


Portrait of a mystery

Dylan Scott vowed never to return to the dreary town of Dawson’s Clough. But one visit from a beautiful ex-lover and he’s back in Lancashire, investigating a possible murder. The police think Prue Murphy died during a burglary gone wrong, but her sister isn’t so sure–and neither is Dylan. After all, the killer overlooked the only valuable thing in Prue’s flat.

So who could have wanted the quirky young woman dead, and why? Dylan’s search for answers takes him to France, where he discovers Prue’s family didn’t know her as well as they thought they did. And the more he digs, the more secrets he unearths–secrets someone would kill to keep buried…

83,000 words

The Review:

Dying Art is an intriguing installment in Shirley Wells’ marvelous Dylan Scott mystery series.

Ex-lover Maddie Murphy seeks out Dylan Scott following the death of her sister Prue. Local authorities believe her death is related to a string a unsolved burglaries in the neighborhood, but Dylan’s instincts are telling him there is more to her untimely demise than meets the eye. Returning to the much disliked town of Dawson’s Clough, Dylan uncovers several possible suspects as he tenaciously investigates Prue’s death.

While Dylan has fond memories of Maddie, he is not too clear on the details of their relationship. He certainly remembers how hot the sex was though and he is still drawn to her. But with his relationship with wife Bev back on track, Dylan has no intention of falling into bed with Maddie. When his investigation reveals how much Maddie has changed over the years, Dylan begins to wonder what role she might have played in her sister’s death.

Aiding Dylan in his investigation is his friend and retired Detective Chief Investigator Frank Willoughby. Together they follow where the clues lead them and they uncover a fairly large pool of suspects who have various motives for killing Prue. What is Prue’s connection to dead artist Jack McIntyre? Did Prue unwittingly reveal secrets worth killing for to local wine bar owner Danny Thompson? And where exactly does Prue’s disturbing landlord fit into the picture? Rounding out their suspect list are Maddie’s husband Tim and his business partner Eddie Bryson.

Of course, a Dylan Scott mystery would not be complete without guest appearances by Dylan’s extended family. His relationship with his wife Bev is always entertaining and rather humorous. Dylan and his son Ben are still close and I always enjoy their interactions. What, if any, significance is there to Dylan’s introduction to someone from his aging hippie mother’s past?

As with other novels in the Dylan Scott mystery series, Dying Art is well written with a compelling plot. Shirley Wells provides an entertaining story with plenty of twists, turns and unexpected secrets. The murderer’s identity is virtually impossible to figure out and a startling plot twist took me completely by surprise.

Another topnotch installment in one of my favorite series, I highly recommend Dying Art to anyone who loves a good mystery.

Read my reviews of the other novels in the series HERE.

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Filed under Carina Press, Contemporary, Dying Art, Dylan Scott Mystery, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Shirley Wells