Fiction books

At the palatial Hamptons estate of wealthy artist Alfonso Ossorio, Jackson Pollock’s masterpiece, Lavender Mist, is the crown jewel in a fabled collection of modern art. When Ossorio’s decision to sell the painting to finance his obsessive landscaping projects proves fatal, suspicion falls on members of his circle, among them Pollock’s widow, Lee Krasner, who has made no secret of her opposition to the sale. Number one on the list, however, is Ted Dragon, a former dancer who gave up his career to become Ossorio’s companion. He stands to inherit everything, including Lavender Mist. To clear his name and find the real killer, Ted calls on his old friend TJ Fitzgerald, a private investigator and the son of NYPD Chief Brian Fitzgerald and Detective Juanita Diaz. The whole family becomes involved in the search for Ossorio’s killer, untangling a twisted thread of betrayal, jealousy, and revenge. Book 4 in my Art of Murder mystery series.

When Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton’s corpse is discovered behind the easels of Manhattan’s famed art school, whispers in the art community say he had it coming. As Benton’s list of enemies lengthens to include the school’s instructors, Vietnam War protesters, and members of Andy Warhol’s entourage, one art student is ultimately painted as the murderer. The only problem: the suspect has vanished. Why would an art student murder Benton? And if he were innocent, why would he run? TJ Fitzgerald, son of Detective Juanita Diaz and Captain Brian Fitzgerald of the NYPD, discovers his classmate is the prime suspect and uses his own investigative skills to try and clear his name. But as TJ and his girlfriend work to unravel the clues, he begins to wonder if the police got it wrong and one secret may be the key to it all. Book 3 in my Art of Murder mystery series.

On the night of August 11, 1956, in a quiet East Hampton hamlet, Jackson Pollock crashed his car into a tree. The accident killed Pollock, the world-renowned abstract painter and notorious alcoholic, and his 25-year-old passenger, Edith Metzger…or did it? Metzger’s autopsy reveals that she was already dead before the crash. Was it murder? This shocking question draws vacationing Detective Juanita Diaz and her husband, Captain Brian Fitzgerald, of the NYPD into a homicide investigation that implicates famous members of East Hampton’s art community, including Pollock himself. Winner of the 2019 Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for Fiction: Mystery & Suspense. Book 2 in my Art of Murder mystery series.

When the acclaimed Cuban painter Wifredo Lam turns up dead in his Greenwich Village studio, officers Juanita Diaz and Brian Fitzgerald of the NYPD must investigate the crime. But what they find is much more gruesome than they ever could have imagined. Suspicion soon falls on a tight-knit circle of Surrealist refugees who fled Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, and Diaz and Fitzgerald must traverse the city, from Chinatown’s underworld to Spanish Harlem’s gangland, to find the truth. Did one of the artists’ bizarre parlor games turn deadly? Or is there something even more sinister afoot? Book 1 in my Art of Murder mystery series.