ARC Review | Tarnished Gold (Cantor Gold Crime #2) by Ann Aptaker




Title: Tarnished Gold (Cantor Gold Crime #2)
Author: Ann Aptaker
Genre: LGBTQIA, Mystery/ Thriller
Publishing date: 14th September, 2015
Published by: Bold Strokes Books, Inc

My Rating: 4/5 stars  


*ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


New York City, 1950. Cantor Gold, art smuggler and dapper dyke-about-town, hunts for a missing masterpiece she’s risked her life to bring through the port of New York. She must outsmart the Law that wants to jail her; outrun the dockside gangsters who would let her take the fall for murder; and outplay a shady art dealer, his lover, and a beautiful curator who toys with Cantor’s passion. Through it all, Cantor must stay out of the gunsights of a killer who’s knocking off rivals for the missing masterpiece—and stay alive to solve the mystery of her stolen love: Sophie de la Luna y Sol.

A Cantor Gold Crime

My Take:

The story starts off mid-action, catching your attention hanging to the book like the book opening to Cantor hanging on a freighter. I was hooked the moment she dived and got a nasty cut on her chin. Who doesn’t like risk-takers and dare-devils? I sure do! 😛

Screenshot_2015-09-13-21-28-26-1Set in 1950, it shows how difficult it was for people with different sexual orientation than what the society was used to. How people had to hide who they were because the Law thought they were wrong. The book addresses that problem pretty well. Not over-doing and definitely not trying to affect your mindset. Cantor puts it bluntly and I totally agree with her.

The thing that I liked about this book is that despite being labeled as LGBTQIA it doesn’t only talk about the difficulties of being gay but puts equal focus, in fact more focus on the mystery and thriller category it falls under. Like every other mystery/ thriller where there is a little mention of romance, this book has it too. The normalcy with which the main character Cantor being a lesbian is portrayed is what we need with this world. It’s just there, you don’t need to poke the shit out of the subject. I loved how Cantor handled every situation.

The mystery is plain laid, not even for a second seems forced or set up. Although I am not a fan of books that are written in first person present tense, several elements of the story made up for that. The love Cantor has for her missing love interest- Sophie, the confident persona she carries, her wits, her sarcasm, everything about her makes her an interesting character. The story effortlessly holds together. 😀

Like it happens every time I read a mystery/thriller, my mind worked over-drive, trying to pin suspicions on the behavior of characters, trying to read between lines and trying to find the killer and solve the mystery. And a story turns out good if the author has played right with your curiosity.  The line below confirms how I fell prey to what the author was trying to do, I fell for the bait and doubted the person writer wanted me too. 😛 Screenshot_2015-09-13-21-29-50-1

As soon as Cantor got the same suspicion as me, I moved on find another scapegoat. 😛

Cantor not only has the police but also the gangsters at her back to find the killer. The killer who killed her sweet old lady client. Cantor’s compassion for the old lady is touching. The lady has had a touch life, losing her family to the Nazis and escaping them, when she finds a little something to hold on to, she is killed and Cantor is the last person seen with her. More deaths follow, suspicions are aroused, and risks are taken. A simple yet entwined mystery goes a long way. 😉

I am not even counting the knowledge of paintings and art presented in this book. It still makes a worthy read. 😀

Let’s look at somethings that I marked off for some or the other reasons, shall we? 😛 😛


I found this paragraph funny because, well, the kangaroo line was funny and even criminals have to fight against sexism to build a career.

Okay, so even though Cantor could outsmart all those thugs, gangsters, police and her high-society targets; she still had to face injustice just because she was a woman and to top it, a lesbian. Kind of funny, how people forget what actually makes a person what he or she is but focus on things that shouldn’t matter.

Screenshot_2015-09-13-21-29-12-1Here’s to taking the literal meaning of a figurative sentence. 😛


Here, the book has it’s share of life lessons. 😛 😛



All in all, it was a mystery well woven, kept my attention, was fast paced and did not disappoint me. 😀

Why would I pick it up?

Who doesn’t like a easy going, fast paced mystery? 😉 A good read for the before-bed time, when you sometimes need something mind challenging but not too challenging.


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