Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Arts #Mystery Rituals Of The Dead by @JSAauthor

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Rituals Of The Dead by Jennifer S Alderson

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In Rituals of the Dead, Zelda Richardson, an American art history student living and working in Amsterdam, is again drawn into a strange mystery. Her accidental involvement in the mystery has the potential to threaten her life and the lives of selected people around her.

Zelda is working as an interim at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua. When a number of sealed crates from the early 1960s are discovered and opened in a public forum, the personal diary of Nick Mayfield, a well-known American anthropologist who disappeared at that time, is discovered in one of the crates. The Tropenmuseum decides to photograph the diary before returning it to the Mayfield family. Zelda is tasked with assisting with the photography and also with translating the diary into Dutch.

The reader embarks on an exciting journey with Zelda as she slowly translates the diary and learns Nick’s story in the months running up to his disappearance. She becomes embroiled in a ring of criminality from the 1960s that reached between Papua and the Netherlands. Zelda’s discoveries are most unexpected and could shake the Amsterdam art world to its core.

I enjoy Jennifer S. Alderson’s writing and have read the previous novel in this series. The author has a very good working knowledge of the art world and the value and appeal of various art works. I enjoyed learning about Papua during the 1960s and finding out about the art works created by the Asmat people. The author weaves this interesting information into her story without making it cumbersome and the reader is drawn into Zelda’s world in a very realistic and natural way.

I enjoyed learning more about Zelda and seeing how her character developed in this third book in the series. I felt that the author did a good job of showing some growth in her maturity and ability to cope with adverse circumstances.

Book description

Art history student Zelda Richardson is working at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua – the same area where a famous American anthropologist disappeared in 1962. When his journal is found inside one of the bis poles, Zelda is tasked with finding out more about the man’s last days and his connection to these ritual objects.

Zelda is pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, headhunters, missionaries, art collectors, and smugglers – where the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased.

Join Zelda as she grapples with the anthropologist’s mysterious disappearance fifty years earlier, and a present-day murderer who will do anything to prevent her from discovering the truth.

About the author

Hi! I worked as a journalist and website developer in Seattle, Washington before trading my financial security for a backpack. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, Europe and Central America, I moved to the Netherlands and earned degrees in art history and museum studies.

When not writing, I can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning my next research trip.

Jennifer S. Alderson

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Artefacts #Mystery Rituals Of The Dead by @JSAauthor

Today’s team review is from Chris, she blogs here http://cphilippou123.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading Rituals Of The Dead by Jennifer S Alderson

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Interesting mystery crafted well within the plot, with culture and themes running throughout the narrative (and just on the right side of preachy).

Zelda decides to relocate, but she becomes embroiled with a mystery surrounding some artefacts seems to spill into the present, with a team member being murdered. The questions mount and so does the tension…

The pace was good, the writing tight. The dual timeline, too, was handled well. The art, history, and suspense all blended well within the story, with no single element overcrowding the plot at the heart of the novel. The tension built well, and the ending … well, I’ll take a leaf out of the author’s book and build up the suspense… and let you find out for yourself. Recommended

*Thank you to the author for my free review copy via #RBRT.

Book description

Art history student Zelda Richardson is working at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua – the same area where a famous American anthropologist disappeared in 1962. When his journal is found inside one of the bis poles, Zelda is tasked with finding out more about the man’s last days and his connection to these ritual objects.

Zelda is pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, headhunters, missionaries, art collectors, and smugglers – where the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased.

Join Zelda as she grapples with the anthropologist’s mysterious disappearance fifty years earlier, and a present-day murderer who will do anything to prevent her from discovering the truth.

About the author

Hi! I worked as a journalist and website developer in Seattle, Washington before trading my financial security for a backpack. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, Europe and Central America, I moved to the Netherlands and earned degrees in art history and museum studies.

When not writing, I can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning my next research trip.

Jennifer S. Alderson

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT An Artifact #Mystery Rituals Of The Dead by @JSAauthor

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Rituals Of The Dead by Jennifer S Alderson

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Zelda Richardson is an adventurous heroine who loves to solve mysteries.  She needs to succeed in her placement as an intern at the Tropen museum in Amsterdam but the work involves Asmat Bis poles from Papua New Guinea, totems made for the spirits of the dead, whose evil looking faces seem to be leading her into danger.

Seven crates have been discovered unopened for 50 years in the archive depot of Rotterdam’s Wereld museum.  As Zelda and the more important staff from the museums observe, the crates are unpacked, revealing not just Bis poles, but also human remains of the head-hunting Asmat culture of what was then Dutch New Guinea.  But the most intriguing discovery is the leather-bound journal of Nicholas Mayfield, a wealthy American anthropologist who went missing in 1962.

Interspersed with Zelda’s transcription of the journal and her investigations, are passages from 1962, where we discover the frustrations and difficulties Nicholas had experienced while trading in Dutch New Guinea, hindered rather than helped by experienced Dutch anthropologist, Albert Schenk.  Albert is now Director of the Wereldmuseum and he seems to be a thoroughly unpleasant, arrogant individual.

Soon, Zelda is alarmed when two people close to her are murdered.  She continues with her task of transcribing the journal and researching the background of the Bis poles for an imminent exhibition, but she keeps information close to her chest and, at times, is unwise in those she chooses to trust.

This exciting story is also an education about a culture of which I knew very little.  The actions of colonial powers, the church and collectors of artifacts is called into questions but there is also our moral dilemma of whether to exhibit treasures from the past or return them to their source.  But don’t let this put you off; you will be on the edge of your seat wondering if Zelda will take one risk too many as well as wishing to discover what actually happened to Nicholas Mayfield.  A thoroughly good read.

Book description

Art, religion, and anthropology collide in Alderson’s latest art mystery thriller, Rituals of the Dead, Book three of the Adventures of Zelda Richardson series.

Art history student Zelda Richardson is working at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua – the same area where a famous American anthropologist disappeared in 1962. When his journals are found inside one of the bis poles, Zelda is tasked with finding out more about the man’s last days and his connection to these ritual objects.

Zelda is pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, headhunters, missionaries, art collectors, and smugglers – where the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased.

Join Zelda as she grapples with the anthropologist’s mysterious disappearance fifty years earlier, and a present-day murderer who will do anything to prevent her from discovering the truth.

All three mysteries in the Adventures of Zelda Richardson series are stand-alone novels, yet are even more enjoyable when read in order:
Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery (Book One)
The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery (Book Two)

About the author

Hi! I worked as a journalist and website developer in Seattle, Washington before trading my financial security for a backpack. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, Europe and Central America, I moved to the Netherlands and earned degrees in art history and museum studies.

When not writing, I can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning my next research trip.

Jennifer S. Alderson

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter