portrait in time book coverReviewed by Jenna Arthur

If you love mystery, intrigue, history and out-there theories, you will love Charles J. Schneider’s A Portrait in Time. Set in Paris, the book opens with the grotesque scene of a mangled and crushed body  and a beautiful, naked, and mysterious young woman strewn about Paris’s most famous museum. Thrown through time, this beautiful young woman, Nicole, wakes up in the Musee d’Orsay naked, cold, scared and confused. Beside her is the mangled corpse of a man she does not remember. She realizes she’s neither in the same location nor in the same time she came from. Nicole suffers from amnesia; she only knows that she must hide away and figure out who she is and what events led up to her being left in a museum next to the grisly body of the strange man.

A glimpse of Nicole on a security camera starts this story off on its cross genre plot, using Nicole’s doppelganger – museum assistant director Suzanne Bruante – to frame a story that is both delightful and suspenseful. Ms. Bruante’s uncanny resemblance to Nicole makes her the prime suspect in the mystery man’s murder. She is forced to hide from the law while also utilizing past connections to find out who this mystery woman is and how the formless man came to be in the museum.

Can Suzanne find Nicole, find out her connection to the past and send her back to the right time? She must call on all of the ones she loves and has loved to answer these countless questions or face the police. But with Inspector Michele Crossier on the case, trailing behind, ready to apprehend her at any time, can Suzanne prove her theories and her innocence before the inspector catches up to her? Read this book to find out!

Though crossing genres is often unsuccessful, a twist ending and descriptive writing style make Charles Schneider’s A Portrait in Time a mind bending and attention getting novel from start to finish. If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes and other historical and detective novels you will find this a fun read.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Jenna lives in the bustling city of Pittsburgh, PA with her wife, her chihuahua Penny, her retriever Ella and her two beautiful cats. Along with her passion for reading and the literary world, she is also an artist, writer, environmental activist, creative coordinator and aspiring culinary genius. She believes there is nothing better to her then a good book, and lives one cover to the next.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Penguin Group. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.