________________ CM . . . . Volume xxi Number 15 . . . . December 12, 2014


The Artful Goddaughter. (Rapid Reads: A Gina Gallo Mystery).

Melodie Campbell.
Victoria, BC: Raven Books/Orca, 2014.
127 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0819-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-0820-1 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0821-8 (epub).

Grades 9 and up / Ages 14 and up.

Review by Christina Pike.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


I was bothered, all right. I don't like things that don't make sense.

"So you think he had this in hiding? Why?"

Good question. Why would he hide a beautiful copy like this?

My stomach lurched up to my throat. I put the painting on the counter.

Then I went diving around the corner for my loupe.

"Hold the painting under the light, Nico. I want to check something."

Nico did as told. I trained my loupe on a certain spot.

"Shit. It's not there." I said a few more bad words as I straightened.

"What's not there, Gina?" Nico carefully placed the painting face up on the counter.

"Seb always put a little sign on his copies. A secret mark. He showed me years ago."

Nico caught my excitement. "Let me guess. You can't find it? It isn't there?"

I shook my head, gulping down bile. "This painting is the real thing."


Melodie Campbell writes her third book in the Gina Gallo mystery series, following The Goddaughter and The Goddaughter’s Revenge. Campbell's continues her characters and picks up on their lives where the second book had concluded. Gina is busy preparing to get married and still trying to separate herself from her mobster family. Campbell's book is an easy read with twists and turns that make it a thrilling page turner. The conflicts that are created are believable, as well as real. The story is complicated by Gina's family connections and desire to help make things right. Gina’s Great-Uncle Seb, an artist, leaves her a painting that was taken from an Art Gallery, and, in order to gain the second part of her inheritance, a mansion, Gina must return the original and take the fake Seb has painted. As could be predicted, things do not go smoothly.

     Campbell's characters are likeable because they have their flaws and are written as real people. The reader knows them because they are true to what Campbell began creating her first book, The Goddaughter. In The Artful Goddaughter, Campbell has advanced what the reader knows and has made the character more multi-faceted. The infusion of humour also balances the mystery and makes this book enjoyable.

     A good easy read.

Highly Recommended.

Christina Pike is the principal of St. Paul's Junior High in St. John's, NL.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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