Cover image for Die in plain sight
Die in plain sight
Lowell, Elizabeth, 1944-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Prince Frederick, MD : Recorded Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
12 audio discs (13.75 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Lacey Qyinn inherits landscape paintings done by her late, much-loved grandfather. But they are more than the works of a talented master. They are anguished voices from the grave --crying murder!
General Note:
Compact disc.
Added Author:
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
XX(1245342.23) Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order



Die in Plain Sight

Author Notes

Elizabeth Lowell is actually a pen name for the real person named Ann Charters Maxwell. Maxwell was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1944. She was educated at the University of California, Davis and the University of California, Riverside, where she received a B.A. in 1966. She married Evan Maxwell, a journalist, on September 4, 1966. They have published numerous novels together including The Silk Strategy, The Ruby, Steal the Sun, Redwood Empire, and The Golden Mountain.

Maxwell started her writing career in 1975 with the science fiction novel Change. She has written over 60 novels and one non-fiction book. The novels range from science fiction to historical fiction, from romance to mystery to suspense. She has written under numerous pen names including A. E. Maxwell, Annalise Sun, and Lowell Charters. In 1982, she began publishing romance novels as Elizabeth Lowell. She was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in 1994, Romance Writers of America Best Historical Romance in 1994, and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. Her title Beautiful Sacrifice made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Lacey Quinn makes her living selling odds and ends in her shop in Newport Beach, California, but to the consternation of her society parents, painting is her passion. Against her father's wishes, she unknowingly starts on a dangerous path when she has her grandfather's paintings appraised by the famous artist Susa Donovan at a charity event. Susa loves the paintings and the two become friends and painting partners along with Susa's bodyguard, Ian Lapstrake. Lacey and Ian, an investigator for Rarities Unlimited, set off sparks in a fiery love scene, but the heat of lust is dispelled by a series of mishaps involving Lacey and her grandfather's paintings, which generate unwanted publicity, attract a buyer who wants them at any cost, and put Lacey's life in danger. Ian extends his professional protection to include Lacey as they start investigating Lacey's grandfather. Was he a forger, or a murderer? And who so desperately wants the paintings now? Lowell tangentially touches on her well-loved Donovan family in this well-crafted, exciting romantic suspense novel. One of her best, this will enthrall Lowell fans and encourage others to join their ranks. PattyEngelmann.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Heavy on romance and light on mystery, Lowell's latest romantic thriller (after Running Scared), set in the art world, promises fireworks, then fizzles out. Art buyer and struggling southern California artist Lacey Quinn shows a few of her grandfather's paintings to renowned artist Susa Donovan, in the area for a charity event. The paintings are mostly landscapes, but also include a few samples from his dark later work, including detailed depictions of murder and death by fire and drowning. Believing that the landscapes are really the work of famous California plein air painter Lewis Marten, Susa asks Lacey to have them professionally appraised. Lacey resists Susa's pleas, fearing that her grandfather may have been guilty of forgery, but she discovers something far more complicated and horrifying. The murders her grandfather depicted actually took place, and as Lacey digs into her grandfather's past, strangely similar murder attempts and arsons begin cropping up. Her research leads her to Ward Forrest, a financier and real estate mogul who is obsessed with the paintings. In spite of the high-concept plot, most readers will guess the outcome well before the end of the book, and the speed and ease with which Lacey unravels three decades of murder and mayhem defy credibility. The wide array of characters and the engaging lesson on California art are enjoyable, but they can't make up for the lack of suspense. (One-day laydown June 24) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The third title in Lowell's "Rarities Unlimited" series (which includes Moving Target and Running Scared) finds a mix of old and new characters embroiled in the California art scene. Artist Susa Donovan, matriarch of the Seattle Donovans (introduced in another Lowell series that includes Amber Beach and Midnight in Ruby Bayou), comes to Southern California for an exhibit and art auction to benefit a local museum. Her "escort" (read: bodyguard) is Rarities security specialist Ian Lapstrake. Having had a peripheral role in the previous titles, here Ian takes center stage when young artist Lacey Quinn presents her grandfather's plein-air landscapes anonymously for La Susa's evaluation as part of the auction. The next thing we know, arson, art theft, and old murders combine with Ian and Lacey's budding romance. Die isn't one of the author's better novels, though her avid fans won't care. Perhaps La Lowell is growing weary; most of these educated rich folks come off as smarmy and too slick for this reviewer's taste. In the past, her relationships would develop over time, but here our lovers are pretty much picking out China patterns within the first week of meeting. Also, the denouement is too pat and barely explained. Sigh. Maybe Lowell needs to return to her historical tales. Now that's romance. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/03.]-Bette-Lee Fox, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Die in Plain Sight Chapter One Pasadena, California January Early Tuesday morning Lacey Quinn looked around her parents' gracefully remodeled old Pasadena home and gave herself a moment to prepare for the coming storm. Her mother and father were enjoying a sun-dappled weekend brunch in the garden room. Lacey had driven over from the coast and dropped in without warning, figuring it would be easier to tell them that way. Now she wasn't so sure. "Remember that art auction benefit for the Friends of Moreno County I mentioned last time I was here?" Lacey asked. Her mother made a noise that said she was listening despite the boring subject. Although charity benefits were Dottie Quinn's meat and drink, her daughter's relentless interest in art baffled Dottie as much as it irritated her. Except at the very high end of the trade, art was indelibly messy; she preferred life well ordered and tasteful. "What about it?" her father asked. Part of Lacey wanted to drop the subject. The rest of her tensed for a fight. "In addition to bringing two of her paintings for a showing, Susa Donovan is going to paint a canvas onstage and then auction it off right there, with the money going to Friends of Moreno County." Coward, sneered her inner self. You didn't drive all the way from the beach just to announce that. Brody Quinn grunted, shuffled the legal papers he was reading, and said, "That's nice." "Nice?" Lacey put her paint-stained hands on her equally paint-stained jeans. "Dad, even postcard-size paintings by La Susa sell for more than a quarter of a million a canvas." "So she gets a nice write-off giving one to charity," Brody said. "So what?" "In addition to donating the painting," Lacey said through her teeth, "she has generously agreed to look at any old paintings people bring in. Sort of like Antiques Roadshow." "Clever idea," Dottie said instantly. "Everyone is sure they have a treasure hidden away in the family junk, so there should be a huge turnout and lots of press for the event. Excellent approach. I'll put it to work for my next charity auction. I'll even use the name of your little shop, Lost Treasures Found." Lacey managed not to wince. Her shop wasn't huge, but it kept her and her partner, Shayla Carlyle, employed and paying taxes while they scoured estate sales and craft fairs both local and distant for stock. Figuring the conversation no longer needed to include him, Brody went back to the legal brief he was reading. "The point is," Lacey started, when she got distracted by a lock of her curly hair springing free of the clip she used to tame the chestnut mass. "Damn!" Automatically she jammed curls back in place and reset the clip. "If you'd just have it cut short and styled, dear, it would be easier to control," Dottie said. "Then I'd have to do it every few weeks." "And?" "The point is, it only costs twenty dollars a painting to have Susa look at them." Dottie adjusted to the changed subject without a pause. "Even better. All money donated, yes?" "Yes, and I'm going to take three paintings in for her to see," Lacey finished in a rush. "I'm sure she'll be quite kind to you," Dottie said. "After all, she has family of her own, I believe. Didn't High Style magazine mention six children and various grandchildren?" "Not my own paintings," Lacey said, setting her teeth. "Granddad's." A legal brief slammed down on the patio table as Brody stood up. The family cat shot out from under Brody's chair and vanished into the lush undergrowth of the garden. "All over again," Brody said. "From the beginning." Lacey's chin came up. "You have a good legal mind. Do I really need to repeat it?" "What you need to do is convince me that I shouldn't--" "Not again, Dad. We've had this argument so many times we could speak each other's lines. For whatever reasons, you think your father's paintings aren't worth wall space. I do. I think he is--was--" She swallowed. His death two years ago was still fresh for her, still hurtful. Sometimes she still thought she saw him from the corner of her eye or across the street or turning down the aisle of the grocery store. "Grandfather was a very fine artist, equal to if not better than any of the California Plein Air Impressionists that are hanging in museums on both coasts. I believe in him. He believed in me." "Honey, I'm sure your father--" Dottie began. Lacey kept talking. "Without my grandfather I'd be trying to be something I'm not, a society woman instead of an artist. I don't ask you to support my choices with money or hugs. But, damn it, don't act like I need your permission, either. He left the paintings to me, not you. He died before I understood how much he meant to me. The least I can do is try to resurrect him from undeserved anonymity as an artist." "Still dying to do David Quinn: Biography of an Unknown Artist?" Brody asked. "I want to know where I came from. I love my family, but I don't fit in. My sisters do." She grinned wryly at her mother. "Two out of three ain't bad, right?" "Lacey," her mother said, hugging her. "We love you." "And I love both of you," she said, returning the hug. "But that doesn't mean we're the same kind of people. The older I get, the more like myself I get and the less like either of you. Grandpa Rainbow understood that. He understood me at a time when it meant . . . everything. Now I want the world to understand how great he really was... Die in Plain Sight . Copyright © by Elizabeth Lowell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Die in Plain Sight by Elizabeth Lowell All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.