Monday, September 19, 2011

Telling Lies by Cathi Stoler

Book Description:
How many lies does it take to get away with murder? Magazine Editor Laurel Imperiole is vacationing in Florence, Italy, with Aaron Gerrard, Chief of Detectives of New York City's 13th Precinct Identity Theft Squad. A chance encounter brings Laurel to a startling realization: she's just bumped into a dead man: Jeff Sargasso, an art dealer and husband of a close friend who supposedly died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. When he vanished, Sargasso had been brokering the sale of a priceless masterpiece that was lost during World War II to CEO Alfred Hammersmith and billionaire Miayamu Moto. Hammersmith perished along with Sargasso on 9/11, and it is believed that the access codes to the $15 million deposit--ten percent of the asking price--died with them. Could Sargasso have faked his own death to steal the money? The painting's whereabouts are unknown. Laurel enlists the help of private detective Helen McCorkendale, and together they follow the threads that lead from Florence, Italy, to New York. On the way, the women tangle with Israeli Mossad agent Lior Stern and several stop-at-nothing collectors. All are determined to have the painting for themselves. Ignoring Aaron's advice, Laurel puts their volatile relationship in jeopardy. As Helen and Laurel search for Sargasso, the painting and the money, they find themselves enmeshed in a sinister skein of lies that could end in death.

My Thoughts:
This was an intriguing read. Laurel, a magazine editor, is on vacation and in a museum all the way across the ocean in Italy when she runs into an old acquaintance. Nothing really shocking until she realizes, she realizes Jeff supposedly died in the 9/11 attacks! Now, she has to discover the truth of what happened, where some serious money has disappeared to and how it all centers around art. Using a PI friend, Helen, Laurel investigates all that is going on while her boyfriend, a NYC Police Officer and his FBI friend take the investigation on from a different angle.
I enjoyed Laurel's character. She was a strong, confident and a bit impulsive. Honestly, she did take a bit of warming up to, but I did grow to like her very much! The 'supporting' characters are entertaining. I liked the different aspects of the investigation and the fact that Laurel's character was driven by the need to find the truth for her friend as Jeff was a friend's husband. It shows loyalty. I thought the author did a great job with the 9/11 portion of the book. It wasn't central to the book but the tragedy did play a major role in the set up. There was action, mystery and plenty of entertainment in this book!
I rate this a 4/5. It was a good read and I'm ready to see more from this author.

Thank you to Tribute Books for the review copy of this book. I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.


  1. Ashley, I'm glad that Cathi's writing kept you entertained and that you're eager to read more from her. We appreciate your support of her first book and for hosting a stop on the "Telling Lies" blog tour.