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THE STRANGE CASE OF THE DUTCH PAINTER
Historical Private Investigator Mysteries
BY TIMOTHY MILLER
“A fine tale, stylishly written.” — Booklist
Paris, 1890. When Sherlock Holmes finds himself chasing an art dealer through the streets of Paris, he’s certain he’s smoked out one of the principals of a cunning forgery ring responsible for the theft of some of the Louvre’s greatest masterpieces. But for once, Holmes is dead wrong.
He doesn’t know that the dealer, Theo Van Gogh, is rushing to the side of his brother, who lies dying of a gunshot wound in Auvers. He doesn’t know that the dealer’s brother is a penniless misfit artist named Vincent, known to few and mourned by even fewer.
Officialdom pronounces the death a suicide, but a few minutes at the scene convinces Holmes it was murder. And he’s bulldog-determined to discover why a penniless painter who harmed no one had to be killed–and who killed him. Who could profit from Vincent’s death? How is the murder entwined with his own forgery investigation?
Holmes must retrace the last months of Vincent’s life, testing his mettle against men like the brutal Paul Gauguin and the secretive Toulouse-Lautrec, all the while searching for the girl Olympia, whom Vincent named with his dying breath. She can provide the truth, but can anyone provide the proof? From the madhouse of St. Remy to the rooftops of Paris, Holmes hunts a killer—while the killer hunts him.
What one word best describes you?
What are you passionate about these days?
Italian art is still my passion, especially the greatest master of all time, da Vinci. Scientific attribution and authentication of artworks is my mission.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
That I speak seven languages, five fluently. And Russian is not one of them.
You just won a huge lottery what is the first thing you’d buy?
The Mona Lisa. You did say a huge lottery, didn’t you? Or perhaps I could simply steal it. I know something about that now.
Who should play you in a film?
Do you mean kinetoscopes? Why would anyone play me in that? It’s a toy, not worth a grown man’s time. I have been told, however, that I resemble the talented Italian actor, Eduardo Majeroni. He could play me on stage. Or perhaps the American actor, William Gillette.
Do you play any sports?
I fenced in my university days, of course, but I had more facility at throwing knives. It’s all in the eye. And a supple wrist, of course, a painter’s wrist.
What would we find under your bed?
I haven’t the least idea. For that you would have to ask my wife or more likely her maid. Or my daughters, who are always hiding “treasure” in one place or another. Then they pretend too forget it, and “discover” it a few days later.
What is something you want people to know about you?
My name is not Ivan Lermolieff. That’s only a nom de guerre hung on me by Vernet—or can I say Sherlock Holmes? My real name is—oh, perhaps I should stick with Lermolieff. Which is actually an anagram of my mentor’s name. More or less.
Tell us about your greatest achievement.
The literary works of Leonardo da Vinci. Which I presented to Queen Victoria.
What was the scariest moment of your life?
When I saved Sherlock Holmes from certain death at the hands of a killer. But perhaps we should not speak of that.
Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?
It’s in the unconscious details that the man reveals himself, as my mentor Morelli told me. Or was it Holmes?
If you could apologize to someone in your past, what would you say?
I’m sorry, but one should never apologize. Except to his wife. At least once a day.
About Author Timothy Miller…
Timothy Miller is a native of Louisiana and a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans. The Strange Case of the Dutch Painter (Jan. 18, 2022; Seventh Street Books) is his second mystery that features none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most beloved character — Sherlock Holmes.
Miller has directed and designed lighting for plays in New Orleans and Chicago. The feature film of his screenplay At War with the Ants won a Silver Remi Award at Houston’s Worldfest. His screenplays have placed in several contests including five times as a semifinalist in the Academy’s prestigious Nichol Fellowship. He has taught English in Milan and has written for the Italian design magazine Glass Style.
Links to Timothy’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
Thanks, Timothy, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!