Historical Fiction Lovers! Get Ready for Your Next Cozy Mystery Obsession | Blog Tour + Review: A Trace of Deceit by Karen Odden

7:30 AM

Karen Odden intrigues and delights with her latest, chilling Victorian Mystery: A Trace of Deceit. If you've yet to read this series--now is the time! You can read this a standalone, but I highly recommend giving the series a go.


• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (December 17, 2019)

From the author of A Dangerous Duet comes the next book in her Victorian mystery series, this time following a daring female painter and the Scotland Yard detective who is investigating her brother’s suspicious death.

A young painter digs beneath the veneer of Victorian London’s art world to learn the truth behind her brother’s murder…

Edwin is dead. That’s what Inspector Matthew Hallam of Scotland Yard tells Annabel Rowe when she discovers him searching her brother’s flat for clues. While the news is shocking, Annabel can’t say it’s wholly unexpected, given Edwin’s past as a dissolute risk-taker and art forger, although he swore he’d reformed. After years spent blaming his reckless behavior for their parents’ deaths, Annabel is now faced with the question of who murdered him—because Edwin’s death was both violent and deliberate. A valuable French painting he’d been restoring for an auction house is missing from his studio: find the painting, find the murderer. But the owner of the artwork claims it was destroyed in a warehouse fire years ago.

As a painter at the prestigious Slade School of Art and as Edwin’s closest relative, Annabel makes the case that she is crucial to Matthew’s investigation. But in their search for the painting, Matthew and Annabel trace a path of deceit and viciousness that reaches far beyond the elegant rooms of the auction house, into an underworld of politics, corruption, and secrets someone will kill to keep.

Buy A Trace of Deceit:

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

A Trace of Deceit by Karen Odden 
Rating: ★★★★☆

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

From the moment I read the synopsis for A Trace of Deceit, I knew I had to catch up on the series and dive into this second installment. While you can read it as a standalone, I can't say enough good things about the series itself. Karen Odden pens a breathtaking mystery that will truly and completely compel readers of all ages.

Enticing in all its mystery, A Trace of Deceit is highly engaging and I certainly enjoyed every minute of it. Not all mysteries are impossible to put down, but this one is. I found myself drifting into its pages and chapters; thinking of it when I set it aside, longing to dive back into the story. I'll try keep this review spoiler free--to preserve as much as possible when it comes to the central mystery and storylines because it is one of those mysteries that is SO satisfying.

This is absolutely perfect for fans of Sherlock Holmes. While they are only comparable in archetypes and formulas, the story is something that will surely appeal to fans of a classic feeling detective story. Prepare yourself for a slick, historical feeling that is cloaked in darkness and deceit. Read the signs and discover for yourself where the twists and turns might take you.

If you love to curl up with a cozy mystery that intrigues and keeps you on the edge of your seat, then this historical mystery is for you. During A Trace of Deceit, the formula appears fairly simple at first glance but nothing is as it seems: an artist has been murdered and the air of mystery is strong around his death and connections to a painting that has been missing. For most of my life, I've been a fan of mysteries, but I have an absolute soft spot for historical based ones and this series is shaping up to be one of my all-time favourites.

A Trace of Deceit is the first great read of 2020 for this reason alone. Karen Odden takes the genre on a journey and the readers have no choice but to listen to her prose--it's that good. It is the very definition of head-turning and still cozy. Ultimately, I adored this book and found it to be enthralling; utterly entertaining.

About the Author

KAREN ODDEN received her PhD in English literature from New York University and has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She currently serves as an assistant editor for the academic journal Victorian Literature and Culture. Her debut novel, A Lady in the Smoke, was a USA Today bestseller.

Find out more about Karen at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Follow the Tour

Instagram Features

Tuesday, December 17th: Instagram: @crystals_library
Tuesday, December 17th: Instagram: @jessicamap
Thursday, December 19th: Instagram: @amberafterglowreads
Friday, December 20th: Instagram: @megsbookclub
Friday, December 27th: Instagram: @reallyintothis
TBD: Wednesday, December 18th: Instagram: @_ebl_inc_
TBD: Saturday, December 21st: The Reading Corner For All
TBD: Monday, December 23rd: Instagram: @somekindofalibrary

Review Stops

Tuesday, December 17th: A Pint-Sized Life
Tuesday, December 17th: Instagram: @theunreadshelf
Wednesday, December 18th: Jessicamap Reviews
Thursday, December 19th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog
Friday, December 20th: Reading Reality
Monday, December 23rd: PhDiva
Friday, December 27th: Broken Teepee
Monday, December 30th: Instagram: @storied.adventures
Tuesday, December 31st: Instagram: @rendezvous_with_reading
Thursday, January 2nd: Unabridged Chick
Thursday, January 2nd: Booked J
Friday, January 3rd: Jathan & Heather

Find me on Instagram and/or Twitter.

You Might Also Like