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The Portait of Molly Dean: Book Review

The Portait of Molly Dean: Book Review

Title: The Portrait of Molly Dean

Author: Katherine Kovocic

Series? No

Rating: ★★★★☆

4 out of 5 stars

When I first started this book, I was hesistant because it’s not the kind of book that I would normally read. Usually I am all about fantasy and young adult fiction. But this book a historical fiction and mystery book was something that grabbed my attention after diving into the first couple of chapters. The suspense of the mystery at hand, made me remember the days when I would nonstop read Nancy Drew books.

Fun fact:

“When I was younger, I had a goal to read all of the Nancy Drew novels.”

tweet nancy drew

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this book. The descriptions, details and vocabulary that the author uses really helped me visualize the characters and the setting. One thing I didn’t like so much was that the book has some unnecessary cursing, that could have been left out and the story would have flowed the same.

The character Molly Dean is relatable and likable. She is an aspiring author who spends her days teaching (which is something she doesn’t enjoy). She feels as if she can’t really become a true writer until she breaks away from the Education Department.

What really drew me into the story was finding out that Mary (Molly) Winifred Dean was a real person. At the end of the book, the author, Katherine Kovocic, has an author’s note that details what parts and characters are real and what is fictional.

I stayed up into the wee hours of the night to finish this book and find out who was behind the murder of Molly Dean.

Book Description: 

An unsolved murder comes to light after almost seventy years…

In 1999, art dealer Alex Cayton stumbles across a lost portrait of Molly Dean, an artist’s muse brutally slain in Melbourne in 1930. Alex buys the painting and sets out to uncover more details, but finds there are strange inconsistencies: Molly’s mother seemed unconcerned by her daughter’s violent death, the main suspect was never brought to trial despite compelling evidence, and vital records are missing. Alex enlists the help of her close friend, art conservator John Porter, and together they sift through the clues and deceptions that swirl around the last days of Molly Dean.

Favorite quotes: 

“Their carriage exhaled a gaggle of commuters, only to catch its breath and replace them, a conjuring trick that left the casual observer wondering if these were really different people.”

“…to realise I should never trust anyone’s opinion but my own.”



Thanks so much for reading this book review!



Sarah June


*I received an ARC of this book free in exchange for an honest review.

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