Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Still Lives” as Want to Read:
Still Lives
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Still Lives

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  1,439 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
A young editor at a Los Angeles art museum finds herself pulled into the disturbing and dangerous world of a famous artist who goes missing on the opening night of her exhibition

Kim Lord is an avant garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as fam

Hardcover, 275 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Counterpoint Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jeffrey Keeten
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: artists, mysteries
”For the four years I’ve lived in Los Angeles, the Rocque Museum has been my workplace and my university, offering me a degree in contemporary art and the cosmopolitan life---brilliant as the blues in a Sam Francis painting, decadent as a twenty-four-karat cast of a cat testicle. Most days pass in a pleasurable blur of words and pictures. Most nights I hate to leave my little office, especially on April evenings like this, when I can look over my mess of proofs, out to the greening city, and ima ...more
Diane S ☔
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The glittering world of art can be at once insightful and nasty. Set in L. A at a prestigious gallery that is having money problems, a new show featuring the avant garde, often shocking Kim Lord. Her latest installations are paintings of women who were mudered in Los Angeles, including Nicole zBrown Simpson and the Black Dahlia. Lord uses her own face and body but the manner of death is prominently and sometimes graphically displayed. Maggie, a copy editor and proof reader for the museum, has ro ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: botm, i-own-it, 2018
This was a pretty disappointing read. The description made it sound like a book that was right up my alley. And while everything mentioned in the blurb does in fact happen in the book, it's not told in as thrilling of a way as you might expect. In fact, for a 275 page book, the first 100-150 pages or so are fairly unexciting. Things happen and you (sort of) get to know the characters, but it's not very engaging.

Another issue I had with this book was that I never felt like I was able to understan
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery, thriller
"Still Lives offers its readers a combination of entertainment and brilliance. It's at once profound and suspenseful, the ending had me gasping in surprise!. The book as a whole asks important questions about art and representation and how we, as a culture, objectify and endanger and victimize women.

Maria Hummel has written a remarkable, relevant, and necessary novel."—
Kim Lord is an avant-garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibitio
Book of the Month
Why I Love it
by Sarah Bedwell

In the world of mystery novels, there’s an elephant in the room that no one’s talking about: society’s fascination with violence against women. Don’t get me wrong, I love this genre, but sometimes I find myself wanting a little more feminism to go with all the female victimhood. Luckily, I found this in Still Lives, a suspenseful, splashy story about fame, sex, and how our culture views women’s bodies.

Kim Lord is a prominent and provocative artist whose new show—a se
Meredith B
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Stars!

Thank you to Counterpoint Press for sending me a free finished copy of Still Lives!

This book's subject matter is unlike anything I've read before. It centers around the art community which frankly I don't have much knowledge of. Ultimately this book is a mystery about a missing person but the way the author wove in the Art community was very interesting.

Kim Lord is a famous artist and it's her opening night of a her new exhibit. She takes on a tough subject when it comes to her art: abus
Cindy Burnett
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Still Lives is a fascinating read set in Los Angeles that focuses on the disappearance of an up-and-coming artist right before the opening night of her exhibition. The book is significantly darker and more grim than I usually tolerate, but the originality of the plot and the subject matter kept me reading at a furious pace to find what was going to happen next.

Maggie Richter works as an editor at the Rocque Museum and has mixed feelings about Kim Lord’s exhibition, self-portraits of Lo
Jessica Woodbury
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, crime-mystery
When a crime novel is set in a very specific place or time or industry, it can sometimes feel more like a gimmick than something where the story flows organically from it. But in STILL LIVES, more than any novel about art in my recent memory, the gallery and the art all feel alive and honest. Perhaps the thing that's bothered me most about novels about art and artists is the way the reader just has to accept that the art is vibrant and interesting, often it fails to appear that way on the page. ...more
Jessica Sullivan
“Never look for the what. Find the who. Who gets hurt. Who gains. Whose life will never be the same.”

I’ve seen some reviews lamenting that this isn’t the thrilling page-turner they expected, and that’s true, it isn’t. It’s more of a slow burn noir about the LA art world, with a missing woman at the center.

On the opening night of her new museum exhibition featuring self-portraits in which she depicts herself as famous murdered women, artist Kim Lord disappears.

Maggie Richter, who works at the mus
Andi  (Booklovinmama25)
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kim Lord, a feminist icon and avant-garde figure creates her disturbing self-portraits based off of famous murdered women such as the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy and Nicole Brown Simpson. But things start turning around when Kim Lord doesn’t show up to her opening night and is presumed missing. Suspicions of her disappearance revolve around her boyfriend Greg Shaw Ferguson. With a culture that fetishes violence against women, Still Lives digs deeper into the art's world and it's darkest secrets. ...more
Anna At A Wondrous Bookshelf
Everyone seems to be giving this book at least 4 stars but in reality just like art is subjective so are books. I really, and I mean, really struggled with this book at least until 60% of the story. It’s not that it is a badly written book, it was just boring and slow. The other half of the book gets a bit better but the ending did not wow me and by the time I was done with the book I was tired of reading it.

I’d like to thank Edelweiss for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my hon
Review to come
Jamie Canaves
A Mystery in the Modern Art World
An interesting read which used art to speak about violence towards women. Maggie Richter is an editor for an LA museum who is currently working with the rest of the staff to save their museum with this one, hopefully great, art show. The artist of the show is Kim Lord whose exhibit is paintings of famous crime scenes where women were murdered that she has painted herself into. The problem is Kim Lord has disappeared on opening night. I’d say the first half of the
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
This suspense novel takes place in the world of art. It may sound like a strange setting but I can assure you that this is a real page turner that will have you racing to the end.

Kim Lord has a new show opening at a small museum in LA. Though we never meet her in the novel, we know all about her art. Her new show depicts women who have been murdered at the scene of their murders. It's a violent unsettling show but one that has all the needed requirements to be very popular. The novel starts on o
Dec 13, 2017 marked it as dnf-arcs  ·  review of another edition
(Review copy received via Edelweiss. Sampled. Included in my newsletter 15/05/18)

A provocative artist disappears just as her new exhibition opens, and a young museum staffer is pulled into the mystery.
Will I finish reading it? I'm really disappointed in the vibe Still Lives is giving me: it reads like chick-lit, which is fine but not what I expected or wanted. I've read two chapters and they're mostly just the protagonist mooning over her ex. Don't think I will be going any further with this one
Casey Frank
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was excited to see this book as a Book of the Month selection a month before the official publication date. After my box arrived I ended up reading the book in just a couple of sitting across two days as it was compelling, and a nicely compact story at a little under 300 pages.

There's something about the air of the story and the amateur sleuth at the center of the story that it reminded me of Pessel's "Night Film." Maybe it's because in both books horror is at the center of art, and it comes w
Dana Mackey
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Hello from The Strand! I can spend hours in this book store. It's one of my favorites. This book, however, is not one of my favorites. It hasn’t technically been released yet, but BOTM used it as a May selection. Basically, a famous artist goes missing on the opening night of her museum exhibition and Hummel’s narrator (Maggie) gets really, really involved. She puts herself in near-death scenarios…for what? Hummel tells us that Maggie’s ex-boyfriend (Greg) became a suspect in the artist’s disapp ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Still Lives is a crime thriller set in the art world. Artist Kim Lord disappears on the night of her opening at the gallery where Maggie works. Kim's painting were unique self-portraits of herself as famous murdered women. Maggie becomes increasingly involved in the investigation as her ex-boyfriend Greg had been dating Kim. I loved the details of Kim's art and the art business. I think the very well drawn out art world setting added so much to this story.

Thanks to Counterpoint Press for provid
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Honestly. One of the worst books I have read this year. However it is not for a lack of trying. I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters and the story never seemed to get off the ground. I was really disappointed because I was looking forward to reading this and it was a let down.
I skimmed half the book just to figure out what happened at the end.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Los Angeles was the lure to read this book for me. I lived a bus ride away in the 1980 and 1990s, so I wanted the atmosphere. I got that and also a very hard to put down mystery too. I have been reading it all day and have just finished it.

Maggie Richter is working a modern art museum in down town Los Angeles like the author and that gives authenticity to her description of the city's art scene and what it was like to work there. She had not prepared for this career but landed in it because of
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I have some mixed feelings on the writing of this book, but it captured my imagination in a good way. I especially like the Los Angeles noir theme it has going on. The characters were likable and the story was interesting. I loved the museum and art world background and the many mentions of provenance! I did feel the writing had some continuity problems and gaps, but would recommend it.
May 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this -- I love a good mystery -- but I just found it really unconvincing, especially the big reveals and all the details to be tied up at the end.
Ashley Murphy
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
Too many words. All over the place. And just boring. An interesting concept, but it just felt flat.
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A biting commentary of allegory on society's way to view women, their autonomy, their sexuality, their very personhood. It is the first time I've read a book that addresses the fears I feel when traveling alone, and that I felt when I lived alone also. A constant fear of who can you trust.

I was going to give this book four stars due to the anticlimactic feeling to the ending of the book, but then I reconsidered as I thought about the story and the commentary on the value of women's lives as obj
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I always have to thank Goodreads for giving me the opportunity to win books. And this book is no exception.

Sometimes I have a hard time giving a book a rating and rating "Still Lives" by Maria Hummel was one of those times. I almost didn't finish the book, because it took forever to feel a real interest in getting to the end. Of course, I know nothing about art and/or the art world, so the "art" interest wasn't there for me. The portraits of the women was a draw, because violence against women i
Alex Miklos
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
While reading Still Lives, (lives pronounced like wives) I was completely on edge and immersed in the story that I couldn't put it down. I needed to know what was going on and who was responsible. While reading, I was also double checking that I locked doors because I was a little freaked out and it had me second guess.
Pamela Glass
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book has received some bewilderingly high reviews. I was surprised at how slowly this "thriller" moved. It wasn't a difficult read by any means, and as a person with interests in art and it's strange intersection with capitalism, as well as feminism and the incredibly high numbers of acts of violence against women, it seemed like a really promising premise. Sadly, I found reading it a chore.

Hummel goes into such intricate detail describing very famous murders and kidnappings, not just once,
Rachel Christine
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller

Let me preface this review by saying that this book was a breath of fresh air compared to so many other thrillers out there. I feel like "domestic" thrillers have become the trend lately thanks to Paula Hawkins and Gillian Flynn, and frankly, I'm getting bored with them. The few I've read this year (The Wife Between Us, The Woman in the Window, The Perfect Mother) have all been fine, but nothing that's blown me away. I'm also tired of the "unreliable" female leads in these books ... it seems
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Richter-Weikum
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Similar book vibes: The Last Equation of Isaac Severy, Gone Girl

I was immediately drawn to this book upon reading the description. A missing woman within the art world with a feminist message? That sounds right up my alley. I'm also a fan of any book that chooses to make the setting another character. And while I did overall enjoy the story, the book felt a little too disjointed for me to become completely enveloped in Maggie's story and the mystery of Kim Lord.

There are some beautiful quotes i
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bella Vita Book Club: Still Lives 1 1 Jun 04, 2018 08:39AM  
Book of The Month: Still Lives 4 18 Jun 01, 2018 10:14AM  
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »