Telling Lies (ISBN: 978-1-60381-843-8, 270 pp., $14.95), by Cathi Stoler, features two dynamic female sleuths whose case brings them up against unscrupulous art dealers, foreign spies, and greedy businessmen. The action takes place in Florence, Italy, and New York City.
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“Cathi Stoler takes readers on a suspenseful transatlantic journey of deceit, betrayal and heroism. There is a new crime writer on the block, with a fully realized cast of characters and all the mayhem they can bring.”
—David Simon, Creator of Treme & The Wire
“Cathi Stoler establishes herself as an author to watch.”
—Camille Noe Pagán, author of The Art of Forgetting
“Telling Lies is a gripping, suspenseful read packed with memorable characters and deft twists and turns.”
—says Judith Kelman, Winner of the 2002 Mary Higgins Clark Award for Best Suspense novel
“A priceless painting stolen during WWII, a man missing on 9/11, and a love affair gone awry—add up to a thriller not to be missed!”
—Robin Hathaway, Author of Sleight of Hand
“Don’t be surprised if you find yourself booking a trip to Italy when you reach the last page of this satisfying thriller.”
—Peggy Ehrhart, author of the Maxx Maxwell mysteries
“This is an exhilarating art investigative thriller with several neat twists. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Jeff and laurel bump into each other and never slows down. Filled with action, but containing a strong cast, readers will want to know why Jeff decided to be dead while Laurel obsesses over the case to the point that trust becomes an issue. Readers will relish Cathi Stoler’s taut tale of deception.”
—Harriet Klausner, the Midwest Book Review
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 paternal grandparents emigrated from southern Italy,” says author Cathi Stoler. “They never learned to speak English very well. Visiting them for Sunday dinner was more of a chore than a joy, as it was very difficult to communicate. When I grew older, I decided that I wanted to see Italy and understand where my family had come from and the culture they’d brought with them. I visited a few times and really fell in love one summer when my husband, daughter and I decided to spend a month in Tuscany. I prepared for the trip by studying Italian for a year before and was happy I did. Being near Florence, we visited its many museums and galleries, including the magnificent Uffizi, where the first scene of my novel takes place.”
Native New Yorker Cathi Stoler started out as a fashion copywriter and later moved into advertising, where she developed award-winning campaigns for clients such as The New York Times, Folgers’ Coffee, DuPont Lycra, and the Marriott Marquis hotel. Telling Lies, her first full-length work of fiction, was selected as a finalist in the Brighid’s Fire Books Fiction Contest. Two other novels in this series are in the works. A short story, “Out of Luck,” will soon appear in the upcoming Sisters in Crime Anthology, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices. A member of Mystery Writers of America as well as the New York Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Cathi posts regularly on the www.womenofmystery.net blog. She lives with her husband, Paul, and their cat, Merlin, in Manhattan. You can find her online at www.cathistoler.com.
Telling Lies is available in Kindle ($4.95) and paperback editions on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon Japan, and at select Barnes & Noble and independent bookstores. Bookstores and libraries can order by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or through Ingram or Baker & Taylor. Other electronic versions can be purchased on Smashwords, BN.com or at any of the major online ebook stores.
Keep reading for an excerpt:
“Are you okay?” Concern crept into Aaron’s voice.
“Did that man I bumped into look familiar to you?”
“No. Not at all.”
“Are you sure?” Laurel stopped in the middle of the street, forcing other pedestrians to move around them.
“I haven’t seen him before.” Aaron answered thoughtfully. “Maybe he works in one of the shops here.” He gestured toward the riverfront street they were on and the crowded Ponte Vecchio Bridge beyond. The area was a tightly packed mix of jewelry, clothing and gift stores, and stalls, and street vendors that was always teeming with people. “Or maybe you noticed him at one of the tourist attractions. Does it matter?”
Laurel ignored his question. Instead, as they continued along the crowded thoroughfare, she frowned and bit her lower lip, mentally recalling the quick glimpse she’d gotten of the man. Well dressed in a fitted navy blue suit. Dark eyes under heavy brows. Black hair worn a bit long. A purposeful stride, shoulders pushed forward as he walked away. “I was wrong,” she murmured more to herself than to Aaron. “He’s not an Italian. He’s an American, even though the few words of Italian he spoke to me were flawless.” She nodded her head as if agreeing with her own assessment.
“Laurel,” Aaron began in a questioning tone, “what difference does it make? He was just some stranger you bumped into.”
“No, he’s not a stranger.” She grabbed his arm as she stopped dead in her tracks. “I know him,” She turned abruptly and started running back through the throngs toward the Uffizi.
“Wait! What are you doing?” Startled by her behavior, Aaron began to follow her, trying to catch up.
“I know him. And he’s been dead for the last eight years,” she tossed over her shoulder as she turned a corner and disappeared from view.