To celebrate, I'm going to be doing a series of giveaways.
The first is for Circles of Confusion (Claire Montrose Series) - my very first published book! (As is the case for many writers, it was actually the fourth book I wrote. The first got no love, the second got me my agent and nice rejection letters from editors, the third got terse rejection letters from editors, and the fourth sold in three days. That's what you call an overnight success.)
What you can win
A signed paperback of Circles of Confusion. But it doesn't end there! I'll also send you the pashmina shawl (remember those?) I wore to a bunch of banquets when Circles was up for awards. This pashmina has been to the Anthony banquet at Bouchercon which served what was either really bad cous cous or really bad risotto. It has been to the Agatha banquet where it was at the same table at Laura Lippman. It has been to the Oregon Book Awards where I sat right next to someone who did win.
About the book
With the exception of having the power to reject salacious requests for vanity license plates, Claire Montrose leads a monotonous life. Then she inherits the possessions of her great aunt and finds a beautiful painting hidden for decades in an old suitcase. Claire takes it to New York, but an expert deems it a forgery. But is it really? Unable to trust anyone, Claire tries to stay alive long enough to find out the truth about the coveted piece of art and her pursuers.
What the critics said
Circles of Confusion—an artistic term—is a wonderful book! Amusing in voice, light and casual; it's an easy read. Henry spins an interesting plot.... Henry is adept at characterization.... This is a delightful book—I loved every minute of it! Henry humorously ends most passages with vanity license plate phrases, and in keeping with that vein, I have to say Circles of Confusion was GR8!" — Mystery News
"In her first novel, April Henry has created a cracker-jack plot that is intelligent, internally consistent and interesting. She has created an attractive protagonist and the tale is told in a strong voice that never drifts toward the cute. The art lore to which Claire is subjected in her search for the truth is thorough, fascinating and still doesn't interrupt the plot's pace and development." — The Drood Review
"April Henry, a 39-year-old Portland resident who works in corporate communications, is attracting attention as a new writer to watch with this fast-paced debut mystery." — Eugene Register Guard
"...Ms. Henry has designed a worthy plot, then added some unusual twists and turns.... Circles of Confusion supplies abundant entertainment and tremendous potential for the continuing Claire Montrose mystery series." — Mystery Reader
"A first time mystery novelist seldom strides onstage with more assuredness than April Henry. ... On the face of it, Henry's novel is of the popular mystery subgenre in which a spunky woman comes of age, realizing her personal potential by solving a crime. But Circles of Confusion is more than that—it's a deft and often witty story about art theft, historical guilt and the nature of memory and what is truly valuable in life. ... Such mysteries often settle for merely being cute. But Henry's artful writing elevates the story well above formula. Circles of Confusion is a galloping-fast read—smoothly written and bright with wit, but also tinged with somber reflections. There are good characters, a sense of consequences and a competence with shifting mood that's unusually skillful for a first novel. Henry's powers of description are formidable." — The Oregonian
"There are many plot twists, all neatly foreshadowed in earlier chapters of the book, and abundant clues unobtrusively planted throughout the narrative, as well as a splendid crash course in art history. But the most fun of all are the chapter endings, each one featuring a vanity license plate that needs to be deciphered....Want more? BYDBK" — The Denver Post
"An amateur sleuth with an unusual day job debuts in this lively, romantic mystery....An off-beat, vital first outing." — Publishers Weekly
"Circles of Confusion is tremendous fun. It's the most adventurous, humorous and romantic novel since Dame Agatha gave us The Man in the Brown Suit. You'll be spellbound by Claire's adventures and will also find yourself envying her romantic interludes. The superb ending will have you shaking your head and smiling at the same time. Brava, Ms. Henry, and thank you for some highly diverting entertainment." — Romantic Times Magazine
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