A Swallow Press Book
“In a crowded field of art history whodunits, this first novel stands out … Jenna, an unabashed sleuth both on and off the job, is a fresh new voice. A great pick for fans of Iain Pears and B.A. Shapiro looking to expand their geography.”
“Engaging and atmospheric.”
Bay Area Reporter
“A pleasant diversion for a plane ride to the reader’s own adventure.”
“In her stellar debut, Nancy Tingley combines art, murder, and Southeast Asia into a compelling tale. Deftly plotted and expertly executed, Tingley’s novel will keep readers up late at night. Jenna Murphy is a curator worth rooting for. We will be hearing more from this talented newcomer.”
Sheldon Siegel, author of Special Circumstances
When the alluring, eleventh-century Cambodian stone head of Radha, consort to Krishna, shows up at the Searles Museum, young curator Jenna Murphy doesn’t suspect that it will lead her to a murder. Asian art is her bailiwick, not criminal investigation, and her immediate concern is simply figuring out whether the head is one famously stolen from its body, or a fake.
When a second decapitation happens—this time of an art collector, not a statue—Jenna finds herself drawn into a different kind of mystery, and the stakes are life or death. It turns out that the same talents for research and for unraveling puzzles—the bread and butter of an art historian—have perfectly equipped her to solve crimes. She’s certain the sculpture provides clues to help her solve the case, which takes her to Thailand and Cambodia. But the collectors, dealers, and con artists of the Bangkok art world only compound her questions.
A Head in Cambodia is the fiction debut of noted Asian art expert Nancy Tingley. Readers will delight in the rarified world of collecting, as well as getting to know Jenna, an intrepid and shrewd observer who will easily find her place among V.I. Warshawski, Kinsey Milhone, and other great female sleuths.
Nancy Tingley is an independent art historian and consultant with a specialty in Asian art. She has worked extensively in the art world and as a museum curator. Most recently, she curated Arts of Ancient Viet Nam: From River Plain to Open Sea, jointly organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The Asia Society, New York.
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