Title: A Forgery of Roses
Author: Jessica S. Olson
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Mystery
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: March 29, 2022
Myra Whitlock has a gift. One many would kill for.
She’s an artist whose portraits alter people’s real-life bodies, a talent she must hide from those who would kidnap, blackmail, and worse in order to control it. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone.
But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son. Desperate, Myra ventures to his legendary stone mansion.
Once she arrives, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. Someone dangerous lurks within these glittering halls. Someone harboring a disturbing obsession with portrait magic.
Myra cannot do the painting until she knows what really happened, so she turns to the governor’s older son, a captivating redheaded poet. Together, they delve into the family’s most shadowed affairs, racing to uncover the truth before the secret Myra spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.
From Sing Me Forgotten author Jessica S. Olson comes a gothic fantasy murder mystery perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Erin A. Craig.
Myra Whitlock is a Prodigy. That means she can paint someone’s portrait and then use it to alter their appearance in some way. Under the current Governor, Prodigies are illegal. Myra’s Mom, who was a Prodigy too, and her dad have disappeared. Myra is left to look after her ill sister on her own. When the Governor’s wife approaches Myra with a proposition that will give her a huge paycheck, she can’t resist. The Governor’s wife wants Myra to paint her son, who has secretly died, and bring him back to life. Myra has never brought anyone back to life, but it isn’t as easy as fixing a small injury on a portrait. She discovers a murder mystery which puts her life, and her sister’s life, at risk.
This book reminded me so much of Stalking Jack the Ripper and The Picture of Dorian Gray, two of my favourite books. The idea that a portrait can alter a person’s real appearance is fascinating. Pictures can show things on a person that they don’t notice themselves. This talent that Myra had was useful at times but also dangerous because it can harm a person as well as heal them.
I was completely shocked at the ending. The final twist was not what I expected at all. There were hints at the end of the possibility of a sequel and I hope there will be one because I loved this book!
A Forgery of Thorns is an exciting fantasy mystery!
Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book.
What to read next:
Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
About the author:
Jessica S. Olson claims New Hampshire as her home but has somehow found herself in Texas, where she spends most of her time singing praises to the inventor of the air conditioner. When she’s not hiding from the heat, she’s corralling her four wild—but adorable—children, dreaming up stories about kissing and murder and magic, and eating peanut butter by the spoonful straight from the jar. She earned a bachelor’s in English with minors in editing and French, which essentially means she spent all of her university time reading and eating French pastries. She is the author of Sing Me Forgotten (2021) and A Forgery of Roses (2022).
Have you read A Forgery of Roses? What did you think of it?