A Portrait in Time



A contemporary thriller that delves deep into a surreal psychological drama complete with art, love, ancestry and time travel.

A beautiful naked woman and the grotesquely crushed body of a man mysteriously appear in the main gallery of the Musée d’Orsay, the famed Paris art museum. There’s no trail of blood and no external clues. The man is naked and has no I.D.—but the body appears to have been crushed by tremendous external forces. The man’s fingerprints turn up nothing: he doesn’t seem to have ever existed.

The only clue Paris detectives have is a fleeting glimpse of someone else on the museum’s surveillance video. Someone who looks identical to the museum’s own assistant director, Susanne Bruante, a woman with a sterling reputation in the art world. And a rock-solid alibi, but one she may not want to make public: Susanne is involved with the museum’s own executive director, a married man, a relationship meant only to further her own career.

With Inspector Michèle Crossier of the Police Judiciare on her trail, Susanne finds herself a prime suspect in a murder mystery that grows more bizarre by the hour. Who is the mystery woman, if it isn’t Susanne herself, and where is the woman hiding? Where did the body come from, and how could it have been crushed within the museum without leaving any other evidence behind? And how does the apparent murder tie in with Susanne’s news-making and controversial theory about a certain nude model in the nineteenth century—a theory that, if proven, could make Susanne’s career?
Forced to come up with answers or face more scrutiny from the police, Susanne must call in favors from some of the people she’s loved and left, including an old boyfriend who happens to be doing research—on time travel. (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)


I really enjoyed this book.  Though slightly skeptical at the beginning, I was sucked into the story and curious to see what was next.  Schneider does a fantastic job developing all his characters and portraying an unlikely scenario in a realistic way with the time travel.  The incorporation with the art world was well-done and added another level of depth to the characters and story.

It was not too serious, sexy, dynamic and refreshing. I’d highly recommend it.  Please note: despite being summarized as a mystery, the book has more of an emphasis on the science fiction aspect than a classical mystery plot line.  If you’re looking for a novel along the lines of Sherlock Holmes, this won’t be the one for you.

Please note, I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it?  Fans of a light mystery or science fiction without violence.

Enjoyed this review?  Read more in the author interview with Charles Schneider!

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