A Fine Art Mystery Series


 A Fine Art Mystery Series

from Award-Winning Author Paula Darnell


Artistic License to Kill - Book 1 in A Fine Art Mystery Series

Artist Amanda Trent, accompanied by her beloved golden retriever Laddie and her persnickety calico cat Mona Lisa, is determined to start a new life after her husband divorces her to marry a younger woman, but it isn't easy.

After a disastrous interview at the prestigious Roadrunner Gallery in Lonesome Valley, Arizona, far away from her previous home in Kansas City, Amanda's afraid that she'll fail at her new career. But her prospects begin to improve when she's accepted as the newest member of the cooperative gallery.

Then, on her very first day, she discovers Janice, the stern director, has been murdered right in the art gallery, and the Roadrunner's members, including Amanda herself, become suspects. Which gallery member murdered the unpopular director? Or was the killer an outsider with an ax to grind?


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Vanished into Plein Air - Book 2 in A Fine Art Mystery Series

Who wouldn't want to make a living from her favorite pastime?

Although sometimes self-doubt creeps in along the way, artist Amanda Trent has been striving to do just that, ever since her ex-husband dumped her for a younger woman and she moved to Lonesome Valley, Arizona, to start a new life. So when her friends from the Roadrunner Gallery urge her to join them and world-renown artist Ulysses Durand in a plein air paint-out, she hesitates, fearing that she might not be able to complete a painting in the four-hour time limit.

But everything goes smoothly at the public open-air event—until Ulysses's wife goes missing and he asks Amanda for her help. Has his past come back to haunt the famous artist? With a little help from her nemesis, cranky Lieutenant Belmont, the support of her friends, and the companionship of her furry feline Mona Lisa and her lovable golden retriever Laddie, Amanda tracks a killer who's determined to strike again unless Amanda can save the day

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Hemlock for the Holidays - Book 3 in A Fine Arts Mystery Series

As Lonesome Valley kicks off the holiday season with its annual parade, artist Amanda Trent embraces the Christmas spirit, happy that her family will be coming to town to celebrate the season with her and her loyal pets, Laddie, a friendly golden retriever, and Mona Lisa, an independent calico cat.

Amanda has just one nagging concern: her art sales have stalled, so her checking account is starting to look a bit puny. Her financial woes pale, though, in comparison to her concern when several people eat carrot bars laced with hemlock at the high school's arts and crafts fair, resulting in one unlucky man's death. Was the poisoning an accident, or did someone with evil intent deliberately spike the sweet baked goods?

Leads the police follow don't pan out until Amanda puts the puzzle together. But, sometimes, knowledge can be a dangerous thing. . . 

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Make a Spooky Spider Halloween Decoration

 Making a spooky spider Halloween decoration is a quick and easy DIY project that can be created with pipe cleaners. 

CAUTION: The ends of pipe cleaners are very sharp, so I don't recommend this project for children.

Here's our finished spider "crawling" up the wall.
And here it is creeping along a tabletop.

To make your own spider, you'll need several pipe cleaners, and you may also want to use a three-inch long cardboard template to get started. Although six pipe cleaners are pictured below, I used nine for my finished spider.

The first step is to wrap one pipe cleaner vertically around the cardboard as pictured below.
Next, slide the pipe cleaner off the cardboard. This pipe cleaner forms the base of the body. Now attach one pipe cleaner to the body at a 90-degree angle, centering it on the body and wrapping each side around the body one time.

Attach three more pipe cleaners along the body in the same manner.
Next, wrap two or three more pipe cleaners around the body and head to secure the legs and make the body thicker.
I made the head a little thicker and rounder than the body. 
Once you're satisfied with the way the body and head look, it's time to bend the legs into shape. Bend each leg up in the middle, and arrange the legs so that they will support the spider when it's sitting on a flat surface.

And there you have it. Make as many of the creepy crawlers as you need for Halloween decorations.