Cover image for Lazarus, arise
Lazarus, arise
Kilmer, Nicholas.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Scottsdale, AZ : Poisoned Pen Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
213 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
On spine: "Art mystery."

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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""This is very funny stuff, clever in its details and merciless in its satire... Irreverent . . . witty . . . the erudite but down-to-earth Fred is a treasure.""--New York Times Book Review
Arriving from Paris in Boston's Logan airport, Fred Taylor, agent for eccentric art collector Clayton Reed, unwittingly grabs a smuggled treasure flung into the air by a dying passenger.
Not until much too late does Fred understand that the treasure -- a medieval work of art whose subject is Lazarus -- is in his hands. And now he must undertake to discover the identity of the work, as well as of its smuggler and its rightful owner. At the same time (for word gets out, and fast) he must fend off the increasingly aggressive attentions of both institutional and private collectors--not least among them his own employer Clayton Reed.
Fred's search leads to an encounter with the life work, and the sudden death, of the self-proclaimed subversive landscape artist Jacob Geist. During five days of golden autumn, the race to identify, and to account for the treasure, takes us back six hundred years, through the blood and torment of this century to the treasure's origin during the Hundred Years War. Throughout we are haunted by the seductive sweetness of the prevailing genius of Jacob Geist.
As usual, Kilmer delights in skewering the pretensions of the art world while constructing a brain teaser.
""Kilmer's artful depiction of local color puts him in a category with the early work of Robert B. Parker, whose quick word pictures of people and places captured New England character.""--Boston Herald
""A deft and compelling use of historical crimes that mirror the felonies in decorous present-dayMassachusetts vaults Fred's fourth adventure (Dirty Linen) up into the league of Iain Pears's art-history whodunits. --Kirkus Reviews
Fred Taylor's four previous art mysteries (Henry Holt) are published in paperback ($14.95 each) by Poisoned Pen Press: Harmony in Flesh and Black (1-890208-47-7); Man with a Squirrel (1-890208-39-6); O Sacred Head (1-890208-48-5); Dirty Linen (1-890208-53-1).

Author Notes

He was born (1941) in Virginia, lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts & Normandy, France. A Teacher for many years & finally Dean of the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, Massachusetts, he now makes his living as a painter & artist. He married Julia Norris & with her has four children.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Here's a moral dilemma: you work for an art dealer, and you inadvertently find yourself in the possession of an (apparently) extremely valuable illuminated manuscript. There's a chance the person you acquired the manuscript from had stolen it. Do you let your boss keep the manuscript, or do you try to track down its rightful owner? Fred Taylor, agent for Clayton Reed, wants to do the right thing; trouble is, he's not sure what the right thing is. Finding out will take Fred on a journey that is at once marvelously entertaining and terrifically dangerous. Like the previous Fred Taylor mysteries, this novel combines art history with adventure--not in the assemblyline manner of the repetitive Lovejoy novels, but in a way that is entirely fresh. The author, an art historian, painter, and dealer, fills the novel with fascinating information and exciting, compelling characters. We are not observing the art world from without; we are within it, part of it, and when we finish the novel, we've managed to learn a few things. An excellent entry in one of the two best art historical mystery series (Iain Pears' Jonathan Argyll series is the other one). David Pitt

Publisher's Weekly Review

This fifth novel in Kilmer's (Dirty Linen) Fred Taylor series about artists and their rarified world could, like Lazarus, use a little resurrection. It takes a potentially fascinating story and turns it into a confusing and occasionally boring tale of a painter who drops dead at Boston's Logan airport on arrival from Paris. By chance, Fred, a buyer for wealthy art collector Clayton Reed, whom he's meeting in Boston, disembarks from the plane right behind the dead man, who turns out to be eccentric artist Jacob Geist. Fred accidentally picks up Geist's Paris newspaper from the concourse floor. When he arrives at Reed's digs, he and Reed discover a painting secreted between pages of the paper. It looks like a page from a medieval bible, depicting Lazarus arising from the tomb. Reed calls in an art antiquities expert to vet the painting's history, while Fred, the accidental detective, does his best to find out the identity of the painting's owner. Fred's search proceeds in herky-jerky fashion, with able assistance from his lady friend, Molly Riley, a reference librarian and one of the book's bright lights. Despite some good turns of phrase and the Boston setting, the author fails to develop the kind of fluid plot or solid characterization that, say, Robert B. Parker does in his Spenser novels. Artists or art historians may be enthralled, but straight mystery lovers will likely be disappointed by the lack of thrills and substance. (Oct. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Kilmer's latest art mystery (after Dirty Linen) centers on chance: Boston art collector Clayton Reed's agent, Fred Taylor, tries to assist a man at the airport who suddenly keels over dead. When Fred reaches home, he's still clutching the man's newspaper which happens to conceal part of an exquisitely painted 15th-century illuminated manuscript. Clayton of course wants the piece for his collection, but Fred first wants to investigate the dead man and the manuscript. His search takes him through loose-lipped booksellers, unethical art dealers, and more. Effective prose, fascinating subject matter, and a sometimes cynical look at the art world combine in an intriguing read. For most collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.