A beautiful naked woman and the grotesquely crushed body of a man mysteriously appear in the main gallery of the Musée d’Orsay, the famed Paris art museum. There’s no trail of blood and no external clues. The man is naked and has no I.D.—but the body appears to have been crushed by tremendous external forces. The man’s fingerprints turn up nothing: he doesn’t seem to have ever existed.
The only clue Paris detectives have is a fleeting glimpse of someone else on the museum’s surveillance video. Someone who looks identical to the museum’s own assistant director, Susanne Bruante, a woman with a sterling reputation in the art world. And a rock-solid alibi, but one she may not want to make public: Susanne is involved with the museum’s own executive director, a married man, a relationship meant only to further her own career.
With Inspector Michèle Crossier of the Police Judiciare on her trail, Susanne finds herself a prime suspect in a murder mystery that grows more bizarre by the hour. Who is the mystery woman, if it isn’t Susanne herself, and where is the woman hiding? Where did the body come from, and how could it have been crushed within the museum without leaving any other evidence behind? And how does the apparent murder tie in with Susanne’s news-making and controversial theory about a certain nude model in the nineteenth century—a theory that, if proven, could make Susanne’s career?
Forced to come up with answers or face more scrutiny from the police, Susanne must call in favors from some of the people she’s loved and left, including an old boyfriend who happens to be doing research…on time travel.
A PORTRAIT IN TIME, a Brighton Publishing release, is available in digital and paperback formats from most major on-line retailers. Please contact me here; by email at NovelistCharlesJSchneider@yahoo.com; or on FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/charlesjschneider.fictionauthor) with questions, opinions, feedback, or input of any kind related to my fiction novel.
NUDE RECLINING: an unsigned family portrait featured in my novel. The model is Christiane Dugat (my grandmother) circa 1947.
Curious? For more information on this painting and its relevance to A PORTRAIT IN TIME, feel free to engage me remotely in email correspondence.