Cover image for The death of Blue Mountain Cat
The death of Blue Mountain Cat
Dymmoch, Michael Allen.
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Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1996.
General Note:
"A Thomas Dunne book."
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Native American artist Blue Mountain Cat has a style described as "Andy Warhol meets Jonathan Swift in Indian country." When he's murdered at an exclusive showing in a posh art museum, Detective John Thinnes has no shortage of suspects. Targets of the artist's satire included a greedy developer, a beautiful Navajo woman, and black-market antiquities dealers. And some of the museum's patrons were outraged by his work. Even the victim's wife merits investigation: The death of Blue Mountain Cat sends her into shock but doesn't keep her name off the long list of suspects.

Thinnes drafts psychiatrist Jack Caleb to guide him through the terra incognita of the art world, and the investigation turns up a desperate director, a savage critic, a married mistress, and shady dealings by the artist's partner. Adding to the tension is pressure on the detective to close the high-profile case. Thinnes and Caleb connect several apparently unrelated deaths as they follow leads from Wisconsin to Chicago's South Side and the mystery's explosive conclusion.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Fans of Dymmoch's debut, The Man Who Understood Cats, will applaud the return of Chicago psychiatrist Jack Caleb and police detective John Thinnes, but the uncommon sleuthing duo are at a disadvantage in this protracted and often plodding case. The ultra-refined Caleb is at the opening of an art exhibit by Native American artist Blue Mountain Cat when the artist, a former patient of Caleb's, is fatally stabbed. The dead man's works, which used sacred objects to decry the exploitation of Indian land and peoples, offended both the exploiters and Native Americans; his material success and his recent marriage to a wealthy socialite earned him the enmity of others. Other, less prominent Native Americans are killed as Caleb and Thinnes pursue the murderer, confronting a high-powered developer, the artist's scheming agent, a nasty critic and the manufacturers of art reproductions. Meanwhile Thinnes copes with a hostile, ineffectual superior while Caleb, whose male lover died five years earlier, attempts a relationship with a handsome young reporter. Dymmoch's intriguing characters are ill-served by this formulaic plot. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Blue Mountain Cat, a wildly controversial native American artist, winds up dead at his own art museum show. Chicago detective John Thinnes asks psychiatrist Jack Caleb to help with the investigation, which turns up a number of suspects. An excellent second to The Man Who Understood Cats (LJ 5/1/93). (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.