I just got off the phone with a customer who purchased a high end art book from us. We chatted some about the scuplture's body of work and how it has increased rapidly in value over the years. Our customer mentioned that he used to collect fiction but got out of the market when the costs got too high which brought us to discussing how he picked the art he is collecting now. He stated, "I only collect works by artists who have died. This way I know there is a finite number of items to be purchased and their value will only rise." (Obviously this formula works in the fiction world too but one never argues with a paying customer!) So, it got me to thinking. How many GREAT murder stories have been plotted around the concept of ending an artist's career ahead of schedule simply to bring up the value of the killer's collection and which writer has crafted the most convincing or unusual story to support it. I just got the urge to do some reading along that line so any suggestions very much appreciated! -Thanks, Michelle

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Comment by Sandra Ruttan on April 20, 2007 at 12:14pm
Michelle, I'll look for that story - I know I have the magazine here. It was in a Storyteller 3 or 4 years ago... maybe longer. I think I still lived in Vancouver when I read it.

And I am really looking forward to Anchorage. They have this great shop there with a chocolate waterfall and the greatest gifts and t-shirts. Kevin got a shirt there that said "Moose in Black II - Protecting Alaska From The Scum of the Universe" and we got my niece and nephew "Harry Otter & The Alaskan Squidfish Tournament" t-shirts there. It was a fun place to go shopping.
Comment by Heirloom Bookstore on April 20, 2007 at 9:38am
Thanks Sandra! If you can think of the title, that would be great. I keep thinking I read something that had the "artist murder for profit" concept but can not pin it down. Seemed an older series set in the 20's. ( Read the book when a child, found it in the public library.) I read just about anything I could back then, the joy of free time!

Glad to see you are signed up for Alaska! -M
Comment by Sandra Ruttan on April 20, 2007 at 9:15am
I can't think of a book at the moment, but there was a short story I read a few years ago, in a Canadian short story magazine, where the artists were gaining fame and making a decent living until they suddenly 'disappeared' in a presumed plane crash and were eventually declared dead. It was set in the Northwest Territories, and that contributed to the believability aspect, because in remote areas planes can go down and not be found.

Of course, the value of the remaining art works skyrocketed, and in the story you did find out they'd staged their deaths to make a killing... but I think only the readers found out, they weren't caught. That part I don't remember.

Even if you have early works that go out of print and don't re-release the book with later success that original book can be worth a lot. Rankin's THE FLOOD used to list for thousands of pounds, because there were so few of them in print. I recall him saying in an interview once that people were paying more for one copy than he made off the book himself, which was why he eventually re-released it, so fans didn't have to mortgage the house to get their hands on it.

Okay, getting away from the original question...

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