Who is the mysterious woman in the Matisse drawing, Woman in a Blouse, Dreaming? What secrets is she hiding? Chloe Rea grew up with the Matisse sketch and believes the woman in the famous Rumanian blouse is her grandmother. But the sketch now belongs to Adam Jensen, who inherited it after his brother’s sudden death in the south of France. Now Chloe wants the sketch back, but someone else is willing to kill for it. When a prominent art dealer in Toronto is murdered, Chloe and Adam flee to France to walk in the footsteps of Matisse and the beautiful Russian named Lydia Delectorskaya, an orphan who became Matisse’s muse, model, caregiver, administrator, and companion for twenty years. Her remarkable story, set amid the darkness and treachery of wartime Nice, holds the key to a missing masterpiece.
This charming mystery gives off the warmth of the great Matisse's famous shades of Nice blue. And that's the point. Rehner, a Toronto writer, takes the novel's Toronto heroine on the hunt for a painting by the master that's gone, yes, missing. The sleuthing covers much geography, from Toronto to Paris and the Cote d'Azur. And, with the agency of flashbacks, it travels into the past life of Matisse himself. The mystery's not bad; the insights into Matisse and his work are even better.