July 1924. Sarah Cunningham, a young Modernist painter, arrives in Carmel-by-the-Sea from Paris to bury her older sister, Ada Belle. En route, she is shocked to learn that Ada Belle's suspicious death is a suicide. But why kill herself? Her plein air paintings were famous and her upcoming exhibition of portraitures would bring her even wider recognition.
Sarah puts her own artistic career on hold and, trailed by Ada Belle's devoted dog, Albert, becomes a secret sleuth, a task made harder by the misogyny and racism she discovers in this seemingly idyllic locale.
Part mystery, part historical fiction, this engrossing novel celebrates the artistic talents of early women painters, the deep bonds of sisterhood, the muse that is beautiful scenery, and the determination of one young woman to discover the truth, to protect an artistic legacy, and to give her sister the farewell she deserves.