‘Kill Them with Canvas’ is a portrait of murder

Murder is in the air in “Kill Them with Canvas,” the second in Green author Bailee Abbott’s Paint by Murder mystery series. The series is set in Whisper Cove, a tourist town on Chautauqua Lake, complete with a candle shop, bakeries, and a place that sells handmade kites.

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Chloe Abbington and her sister Izzie are now well established with Paint with a View, their art studio which hosts parties for groups, mostly women, who paint landscapes or still lifes while drinking wine and chatting. This week in late October, they are gearing up for an event sponsored by Chautauqua Sisterhood, a women’s civic organization, at a historic stone pavilion.

One of the ladies is the girls’ Aunt Constance, a demanding and emotional widow who is the president of the local Sisterhood chapter. Her brother, the Abbington girls’ father, describes her as “spoiled, self-absorbed and obnoxious”, but maybe she’s just anxious.

When things are going well, Chloe takes a bathroom break and comes face to face with Charlotte and Viola, the director of the Sisterhood North District. Viola tells Charlotte that three chapters are merged, including Charlotte’s. Charlotte is outraged by the loss of her position as branch president. The two women leave the building in anger.

The next morning, the sisters take the ferry across the lake to get supplies; on the way, they call Charlotte, who does not answer. When they arrive at the dock, they find the ferry pilot agitated after finding Viola’s body floating near the shore. Chloe picks up a knitted hat from the floor, and it turns out to be Charlotte’s.

Suspects abound, from Dewey, the pilot, to members of the Sisterhood. Charlotte’s daughter comes to town with sketchy plans to open a craft store next to the art studio and possibly start her trust fund. To defend Charlotte, Chloe reluctantly calls her ex-boyfriend from New York City an attorney, despite their breakup and despite her shaky relationship with the detective in charge of the case. It’s a plot-heavy plot with lots of red herrings, so the reader will want to pay close attention.

“Kill Them with Canvas” (320 pages, hardcover) is $26.99 from Crooked Lane. Bailee Abbott is also writing the mystery series Sierra Pines, about a bed-and-breakfast at a ski resort, under her real name Kathryn Long.

“An Unwitting Traveler”

Yoram Eckstein passed away in 2020, but his legacy lives on in “An Unwitting Traveller: A Memoir from the First 20 Years,” his gripping account of exile in Siberia during World War II.

Eckstein, who spent 37 years as a professor of geology at Kent State University, was born in early 1938 to a Jewish family that lived comfortably in Tarnów, in southeastern Poland. In September 1939, they decided to move east, but the Germans advanced. In June 1940, they were abruptly loaded into boxcars for a two-week train journey.

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Life in Siberia is as hard as expected. At the end of 1941, they were allowed to leave and made a perilous journey on a homemade raft, ending up in Uzbekistan.

Eckstein ends his memoirs with his university studies in Hungary. It includes a few eloquent poems, the last of which is signed “A former Polish Jew”.

“An Unwitting Traveler” (208 pages, softcover) costs $37 at online retailers.

Events

Loganberry Books (13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights): Nick McPherson signs his fantasy “Chosen: The New Order,” Saturday at 1 p.m. Thursday at 7 p.m., Alice Wong joins the Peculiar Book Club in a virtual discussion on “The Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life.” Register at loganberrybooks.com.

bookstore by the fireside (29 N. Franklin St., Chagrin Falls): Mark Darden signs “Elijah Goes to Cleveland,” 1-3 p.m. Sunday.

Visible voice books (2258 Professor Ave., Cleveland): Poets Brooke Nicole Plummer (“Flyover”) and Tony Brewer (“The Story of Projectiles”) read from their work, Sunday at 4 p.m.

Hudson Library and Historical Society: Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, talks about “The Radical Potter: The Life and Times of Josiah Wedgwood” during a Zoom event at 6 p.m. Monday. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Candace Nelson, Founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, talks about “Sweet Success: A Simple Recipe to Turn Your Passion into Profit.” Register at hudsonlibrary.org.

Hower House Museum (60 Fir Hill, Akron): Amanda Flower talks about “Because I Couldn’t Stop For Death,” a historical mystery in which Emily Dickinson’s maid solves a murder, Monday at 6:30 p.m. Reservations appreciated by not required; call 330-972-6909.

Kent State University (Tuscarawas County, Founder’s Hall, 330 University Drive Northeast, New Philadelphia): The One Book, One Community Project wraps up with two-time National Book Award nominee Deborah Wiles discussing and signing “Kent State,” 7 p.m. at 8 p.m. Monday.

Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library: The Online Author Talk Series continues with Bonnie Garmus, who will discuss her debut novel “Lessons in Chemistry,” about a 1960s female chemist who takes an innovative approach to a cooking show, during a virtual appearance at 2 p.m. hours Thursday. Register at smfpl.org.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma-Snow Branch, 2121 Snow Road): Marissa Meyer talks about her young adult fantasy “Cursed,” the sequel to “Gilded,” from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday. Sign up at cuyahogalibrary.org.

Stark County Public Library (Exploration Walkway, Lake Sippo Park, 5712 12e St. NW, Perry Township): Kimberly Kenney, author of “Stark County Food: From Early Farming to Modern Meals,” presents “The True Story of Thanksgiving,” 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday. Register at starklibrary.org.

Rodman Public Library (215 E. Broadway St., Alliance): Robin Yocum joins the Fogle Author Series, Wednesday at 6 p.m. Register at rodmanlibrary.com.

Braunschweig Secondary School (1483 Pearl Road): Novelist Mary Kay Andrews (“The Homewreckers,” “Ladies Night”) talks about her many books, Wednesday at 7 p.m. Sign up at medina.lib.oh.us.

Congregation B’Nai Jeshurun (27501 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland): The 2022-2023 Cleveland Jewish Book Festival kicks off with Israeli actress Noa Tishby, author of “Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth.” Admission is $36. Events are planned for five venues, along with virtual appearances; some are free. Early notice for a virtual appearance by Benedetta Jasmine Guetta, author of “Cooking Alla Guetta,” from 11 a.m. to noon on November 13. Sign up at mandeljcc.org.

Tuscarawas County Public Library (121 Fair Ave. NW, New Philadelphia): Marty Gitlin, author of numerous pop culture and sports books, presents “The British Invasion and American Answer: A Musical Journey,” 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday. Sign up at tuslibrary.org.

Gospel Bookstore (4900 Oak St., Berlin): Brandy Gleason signs “100 Things to Do in Ohio Amish Country Before You Die,” 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.

apple books (12419 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights): As part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoRiMo), the Writer in the Window event returns every Friday and Saturday in November, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. . 11-12 is Abby VanDiver, who also writes as Abby Collette.

Massillon Municipal Library (208 Lincoln Way E.): A local authors’ fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Bookstore of the learned owl (204 N. Main St., Hudson): Bob Walker signs his children’s book “Do Kangaroos Have Eyebrows?” 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Akron-Summit County Public Library (Maple Valley Branch, 1187 Copley Road): New Franklin resident Clarence Bechter discusses “The Time of My Life with Bubba’s Pampered Pedalers: 3000 Miles from San Diego, California, to St. Augustine, Florida,” about of the 52-day cycling trip he took in 2019 at the age of 67, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Register at akronlibrary.org.

Mac’s back (1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights): Joelle Presby debuts “The Dabare Snake Launcher,” featuring Marie Vibbert (“The Gods Awoke”) and Patrick Chiles (“Frozen Orbit”), from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Email information about local books and event notices at least two weeks in advance to [email protected] and [email protected] Barbara McIntyre tweets at @BarbaraMcI.

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