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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
Portrait of a Murderer by Bob Seay is a cozy murder mystery set in Boulder, Colorado. Gabriella Alegré is a streetside painter who does well enough selling her portraits to support her share of the bills she shares with her friend Amara. After a wealthy benefactor, Avyanna Menken, commissions her to paint a family portrait with a hefty price tag, Gabriella and Amara visit Menken’s mansion but find her dead soon after they arrive. The death is considered a natural occurrence, as Menken had health issues, but some of her family isn’t convinced. Gabriella is employed by one of Menken’s daughters to complete Menken’s requested portrait, and after Gabriella notices potential motives for homicide in some of the family members, she decides to investigate as she paints the portrait.
It was clear that a book preceded this one, as the main character frequently thought about a murder she had solved, but Bob Seay didn’t slow down the story by overexplaining the first book in the series. The story was medium-paced and moved along well, while explaining enough about the pivotal characters to form an attachment to them. Information about painting and techniques was explained, giving more depth to Gabriella's character. As the mystery deepened, it was clear how Gabriella could see more details in the world around her, and her observations seemed credible. I encourage readers who enjoy cozy mysteries with female sleuths to flip through the pages of this entertaining novel.