“The Book Artist” A Hugo Marston series By Mark Pryor: Review/Giveaway

by Sandra Murhpy

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review and links to purchase it.

Hugo Marston, FBI, works as security and more for J. Bradford Taylor, U.S. Ambassador to France. Marston’s not a fan of some of the Parisian social events they have to attend, like tonight’s cocktail party. It’s even worse when he’s asked to escort one of the guests. Picturing an older woman who doesn’t trust cabs, he’s surprised to find the guest, Alia, is a young artist—and in the middle of an argument with an American man. When the dust settles, Hugo and Alia decide to have dinner rather than attend the party.

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The next night is an exhibition of Alia’s work at the Dali Museum. She creates sculptures out of books—chairs, tables, bookshelves, and more, all out of books. The titles often spell out a poem or quote. Marston, an avid book lover, is intrigued.
Image Source Seventh Street Books

When a murder occurs at the opening of the exhibition, Marston should be inside, protecting the Ambassador. Instead, he was called outside to aid his “frequent companion,” Claudia, who was out on a run, in spite of being ill. She’s collapsed nearby and asked for Marston. As a result, he’s locked out of the museum until he can call in a favor from another detective.

It’s in his best interest as well as the Ambassador’s, to find the killer or at least help with the case. His help is welcomed with lukewarm enthusiasm at best.

Equally pressing, if not more, Marston’s former partner, Tom Green, is in Amsterdam, tracking a killer from their past as partners. Why Amsterdam? It seems the reason would be to split Marston and Tom so the killer can eliminate them one at a time.

Tom is impulsive and more likely to get himself in a bind than Marston who is methodical and cautious in most cases. With a number of suspects in the museum murder, most of them having limited access to the area where the death occurred, a suspect in custody who is most certainly innocent, the Ambassador to guard, and Tom running amok with a killer close at hand, Marston hardly knows where to turn first.

This is book eight in the thriller series, although the first I’ve read. I enjoyed the twists and turns, red herrings and clues, misdirection and slight of hand Pryor delivers to the page. Marston is a complex and likable character, enough to make me want to read the previous seven books as well. Escort the Ambassador, meet an artist, have dinner, attend the exhibition, track some killers—it’s all in a day’s work for Marston.

To enter to win a copy of The Book Artist, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "artist,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 27, 2019. US residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. And if entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up this week.

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won't see coming.


  1. Sounds terrific, please enter my name in the draw. Thanks! crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  2. I really liked the description of "The Book Artist". Sounds like a great read.

  3. Love this series. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. So glad to have discovered this series!

  5. Sounds interesting.


  6. Ooh, this sounds interesting. Haven't read any of these before.

  7. I love Hugo Marston. This series is awesome!! Can't wait to read this one....and perhaps meet the author again....in Paris!


  8. Thanks for the chance! JL_Minter (at) hotmail (dot) com


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