Art expert Emma Kelly arrives at the Metropolitan Museum to meet with disgraced philanthropist Boyle York only to learn he has been murdered. His body and a nearby masterpiece are splattered with blue paint. In the following days, works of art around the world are attacked with the same paint, which Emma believes has something to do with the Virgin Mary. Emma’s husband, Elliott Baldwin, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York City field office, isn’t convinced but appreciates her expertise.
Following a lead, Emma travels to her other home in Bath, England and continues her search for one of the most famous Nazi-looted paintings. When a diver hired to explore a sunken Nazi submarine is murdered with the same weapon used to kill Boyle York, Emma wonders if the art crimes on three different continents are actually an attempt to trip her up.
Emma races against the clock to countries with Virgin Mary apparition sites in an attempt to save the world’s most beloved artwork. Can she convince the Vatican to disavow the perpetrators and stop the attacks and bring justice to the mastermind behind them before it’s too late?
Lane Stone recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, THE COLLECTOR:
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
So far, all of my books have been cozy mysteries. I have another coming out later this year. This was an opportunity to push myself. I’m drawn to thrillers with a strong and complicated woman protagonist. I also love the high stakes and the pace of a thriller.
Without spoilers, are there any genre conventions you wanted to upend or challenge with this book?
I knew I wanted to bring readers a protagonist who was truly outrageous. I wanted to avoid some of the overused ways we show a protagonist is tough or flawed. How did I do?
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
You won’t find the big ‘why’ on the book jacket. I’m not going to spoil the book by sharing it here, but I will say that I think readers will end up loving Emma in spite of her unorthodox life choice.
Lane Stone, her husband, Larry Korb, and their standard schnauzer, Cordy, live in Alexandria, Virginia during the week and Lewes, Delaware on the weekend. When not writing, she enjoys characteristic baby boomer pursuits: traveling (she went to Antarctica in March 2022) and volunteering for good causes. She serves on several boards.
THE COLLECTOR is her first art thriller. Her other series are the Pet Palace Mysteries and the Tiara Investigation Mysteries.
She has a post-graduate certificate in antiquities theft and art crime. And is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She is represented by Dawn Dowdle at the Blue Ridge Literary Agency.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.