Still Lives by Maria Hummel

Still Lives

Kim Lord is an avant-garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others—and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women.As the city’s richest art pat...

Details Still Lives

TitleStill Lives
Release DateJun 5th, 2018
PublisherCounterpoint Press
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller

Reviews Still Lives

  • Maxwell
    This was a pretty disappointing read. The description made it sound like a book that was right up my alley. And while everything mentioned in the blurb does in fact happen in the book, it's not told in as thrilling of a way as you might expect. In fact, for a 275 page book, the first 100-150 pages or so are fairly unexciting. Things happen and you (sort of) get to know the characters, but it's not very engaging.Another issue I had with this book ...
  • Jeffrey Keeten
    ”For the four years I’ve lived in Los Angeles, the Rocque Museum has been my workplace and my university, offering me a degree in contemporary art and the cosmopolitan life---brilliant as the blues in a Sam Francis painting, decadent as a twenty-four-karat cast of a cat testicle. Most days pass in a pleasurable blur of words and pictures. Most nights I hate to leave my little office, especially on April evenings like this, when I can look ove...
  • Larry H
    3.5 stars.The Rocque Museum was one of Los Angeles' hidden treasures—an art museum for art lovers and collectors more than for tourists. While this set the institution apart, this also took a toll on its finances. Everyone is desperate for a hit exhibition, including the founder's daughter, who is tired of bailing out the museum and the director, who is worried about job security.They think they've found it in Still Lives , an exhibition by ar...
  • Diane S ☔
    The glittering world of art can be at once insightful and nasty. Set in L. A at a prestigious gallery that is having money problems, a new show featuring the avant garde, often shocking Kim Lord. Her latest installations are paintings of women who were mudered in Los Angeles, including Nicole zBrown Simpson and the Black Dahlia. Lord uses her own face and body but the manner of death is prominently and sometimes graphically displayed. Maggie, a c...
  • Paromjit
    Maria Hummel immerses us in the art world of Los Angeles, a corrupt city of dreams and ambitions, mythic in its glamour and legendary in its violence in this Noir thriller. Kim Lord is returning to the contemporary art scene after 1o years away, with a controversial but arresting exhibition of still lives portraits of famous murders of women such as Nicole Brown Simpson, Chandra Levy and the Black Dahlia. Kim Lord herself portrays each murder vic...
  • Elyse Walters
    “Not every woman fantasizes about being a sex slave or starlet or murder victim! Some of us just want to get sucked into a good novel and grow our own tomatoes one day when we have more time”. How might you feel if your ex boyfriendopens up an Art Gallery.... offers you a dream job ...then begins shacking up with *Kim Lord*....whose ‘every’ painting, “is so powerful it makes your eyes bleed”. .....who also happens to be a ‘no show...
  • Beata
    Still Lives tells a story of Kim Lord, an artist who works in L.A. and who has a disturbing and provoking idea of presenting female murder victims in her works. She disappears, and Maggie Richter, a copy editior working for a modern art museum, embarks on a trail to discover the truth: is Kim's disappearance part of her artistic vision or is there a possibility that something terrible happened to her? This thriller is rather slow-paced, however, ...
  • Barbara
    3.5 starsThe main character in this literary mystery is Maggie Richter, the 28-year-old copy editor and assistant publicist for the Rocque Museum in Los Angeles. As the story opens, the Rocque is having its 2003 Grand Opening for a show called 'Still Lives', which features paintings of real-life female murder victims. The twist is that the artist, Kim Lord, depicts herself as the murder victim in every gruesome picture. Among others, there are pa...
  • Jenny
    Still Lives takes the reader on a mystery set in the L.A. art world.A famous artist, Kim Lord, goes missing on the opening night of her exhibit, "Still Lives."The exhibit is controversial because the portraits are of famous women like the Black Dahlia, Nicole Brown Simpson and other murdered women.There is definitely a lot of buzz and talk around the exhibit. When no one can find Lord on opening night, Maggie Richter, one of the museums editors, ...
  • MaryBeth's Bookshelf
    Kim Lord is a famous artist with a very controversial show about to open when she mysteriously disappears. Editor Maggie Richter finds herself sucked in to the scandal as she tries to figure out what happened to Kim, while struggling to reconcile with her own demons.I had a lot of hope for this book - set in Los Angeles, art world, scandal....but, something just didn't click with me. I could not get into the story or the characters. I am clearly ...
  • Victoria
    Make your life about the things and the people that matter to you, the ones worth saving. Keep them well and let the dead go. The dead already know their ending.A literary mystery surrounding the disappearance of an enigmatic painter set in the world of museums and galleries drew me to this story, but it was the author’s writing that kept me reading. Hummel manages to infuse the narrative with a noir quality as she exposes the underbelly of Los...
  • Meredith B. (readingwithmere)
    4 Stars!Thank you to Counterpoint Press for sending me a free finished copy of Still Lives!This book's subject matter is unlike anything I've read before. It centers around the art community which frankly I don't have much knowledge of. Ultimately this book is a mystery about a missing person but the way the author wove in the Art community was very interesting.Kim Lord is a famous artist and it's her opening night of a her new exhibit. She takes...
  • Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    You can find all of my reviews here!1/5 – DNF at pg. 234 (85%)TW: mentions of graphic crimes against women and murderWell, here we are. Another DNF review from me. And I was so sure that I would like this book!The basic premise of this is that Kim Lord is an artist. She exploits people for her exhibits. This time, she exploits women who were murdered in horrible crimes. Nicole Brown Simpson, The Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, and many others. The ...
  • Sarah
    "Still Lives offers its readers a combination of entertainment and brilliance. It's at once profound and suspenseful, the ending had me gasping in surprise!. The book as a whole asks important questions about art and representation and how we, as a culture, objectify and endanger and victimize women. Maria Hummel has written a remarkable, relevant, and necessary novel."—Kim Lord is an avant-garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in ...
  • Lou
    Still Lives is a refreshingly original take on the contemporary thriller set in glamorous Los Angeles. It focuses on the disappearance of controversial artist Kim Lord and uncovers some of the darkness hidden behind the scenes of the LA art world. There are plenty of surprises and I found myself completely immersed in the story and the wonderful setting. If you appreciate intriguing thrillers that are both chilling and disturbing, you will find m...
  • Umut Reviews
    I'm afraid I have to agree with a lot of reviews mentioning the same points that are missing in this book. I loved the cover and the premise. I found it very original, and still find the set up quite cool. An artist who plans a controversial exhibit where she painted the well known women victims, who had terrible deaths. And the night of the exhibit, she doesn't show up. So, what happened to her?I loved the gallery, art, artist dynamics. I though...
  • Pamela Glass
    This book has received some bewilderingly high reviews. I was surprised at how slowly this "thriller" moved. It wasn't a difficult read by any means, and as a person with interests in art and it's strange intersection with capitalism, as well as feminism and the incredibly high numbers of acts of violence against women, it seemed like a really promising premise. Sadly, I found reading it a chore.Hummel goes into such intricate detail describing v...
  • Cindy Burnett
    4.5 starsStill Lives is a fascinating read set in Los Angeles that focuses on the disappearance of an up-and-coming artist right before the opening night of her exhibition. The book is significantly darker and more grim than I usually tolerate, but the originality of the plot and the subject matter kept me reading at a furious pace to find what was going to happen next. Maggie Richter works as an editor at the Rocque Museum and has mixed feelings...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    When a crime novel is set in a very specific place or time or industry, it can sometimes feel more like a gimmick than something where the story flows organically from it. But in STILL LIVES, more than any novel about art in my recent memory, the gallery and the art all feel alive and honest. Perhaps the thing that's bothered me most about novels about art and artists is the way the reader just has to accept that the art is vibrant and interestin...
  • Jessica Sullivan
    “Never look for the what. Find the who. Who gets hurt. Who gains. Whose life will never be the same.”I’ve seen some reviews lamenting that this isn’t the thrilling page-turner they expected, and that’s true, it isn’t. It’s more of a slow burn noir about the LA art world, with a missing woman at the center.On the opening night of her new museum exhibition featuring self-portraits in which she depicts herself as famous murdered women,...
  • Meranda
    Honestly. One of the worst books I have read this year. However it is not for a lack of trying. I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters and the story never seemed to get off the ground. I was really disappointed because I was looking forward to reading this and it was a let down. I skimmed half the book just to figure out what happened at the end.
  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    Artist Kim Lord is a high-profile name in the art world and the Rocque Museum is excited about her latest exhibition, Still Lives, which depicts the artist as famous murdered women like Black Dahlia and Nicole Brown Simpson.The musuem's staff editor, Maggie Richter, watches the wealthy art patrons arrive at the Rocque on opening night with a feeling of dread.  Her ex-boyfriend, the aspiring gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, is now dating Kim Lord an...
  • Patricia Williams
    This was a really good read, given to me by a friend. It was a mystery. First it was "where is she" and then it was "who killed her". I did not even begin to figure it out until it was told in the story, the "who done it". The story is told by someone involved in the whole story. It's about an artist who does not show up for her show at an art museum in LA. lots of things going on but very well written. I will definitely read this author again.
  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    I'm quickly coming to realize that books about possession or art just don't work for me all that well. While this one is centered around a missing artist and the behind the scenes of where she could possibly be, the underlying world of art and what people consider art just does not interest me. At one point, I thought this was going to go in the direction of Exhibit Alexandra and I was going to be REALLY MAD about it. Thankfully it did NOT. For t...
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    Picked up this audiobook on Hoopla. It was a botm pick previously, so I thought I’d give it a try. But, like many contemporary murder mystery/thrillers, I found the story unrealistic, plot thin, and characters ridiculous. I don’t understand why women in these stories all make such bad decisions. This one was a disappointment for me, and I’m starting to think that this just isn’t my genre.
  • Roman Clodia
    "She also says that unless women artists simultaneously inhabit the roles of artist and subject, the art world will never escape the prison of the male gaze" This may not be the first book to make literary capital out of the juxtaposition of contemporary art, sexualised violence against women and murder, but it weaves its themes together with considerable deftness to create something that is immensely readable while constructed on a foundation of...
  • Susan
    This is a thriller with a very interesting setting. The main character, Maggie Richter, works at the Rocque Museum in LA. This is an art gallery, where the newest, Gala opening, is for the artist, Kim Lord’s, latest exhibition. The exhibition, ‘Still Lives’, involves artworks, presenting famous, female, murder victims. Maggie has mixed feelings about this exhibition; not only because of the theme of the paintings, but also because Kim Lord ...
  • A Wondrous Bookshelf
    Everyone seems to be giving this book at least 4 stars but in reality just like art is subjective so are books. I really, and I mean, really struggled with this book at least until 60% of the story. It’s not that it is a badly written book, it was just boring and slow. The other half of the book gets a bit better but the ending did not wow me and by the time I was done with the book I was tired of reading it. I’d like to thank Edelweiss for p...
  • Robert Blumenthal
    This novel is one of those very literary thrillers which is immersed in the modern, contemporary art world. Maggie is a copy editor who works for a modern museum in Los Angelos. They are about to put on an exhibition by Kim Lord where she paints herself as various women in history who were murdered (e.g., Nicole Simpson Brown, the Black Dahlia, etc.). Kim doesn't show up for her premiere, and the plot continues to where Maggie is trying to find o...