Art history meets mystery in this page-turner about an abstact expressionist painter who championed the work of modern artists at the WPA, but then disappeared. It falls to her niece to find out what happened. For fans of Sarah’s Key.
— Daniel Goldin
November 2015 Indie Next List
“With the same level of intrigue and attention to detail that drew readers to The Art Forger, The Muralist focuses on the early days of WWII and the dawn of Abstract Expressionism. Shapiro brings to life New York City artists Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, who are both inspired by the novel's brave and talented protagonist, Alizee Benoit. As these struggling artists find traction within their trade, Benoit attempts to bring awareness to the plight of European refugees and to defuse anti-Semitic politics in the U.S. through her art. Moving from past to present, readers will cheer for Benoit's grandniece, Danielle, who is researching her family history to find the truth about Alizee's mysterious disappearance and shed light on the sacrifices and contributions she made through art. Shapiro delivers another fascinating and compelling story.”
— Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
"Vibrant and suspenseful . . . Like The Art Forger, this new story takes us into the heart of what it means to be an artist." --The Washington Post
"B. A. Shapiro captivated us in 2012 with her 'addictive' novel The Art Forger. Now, she's back with another thrilling tale from the art world." --Entertainment Weekly
When Aliz e Benoit, an American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940, no one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who while working at Christie's auction house uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind works by those now-famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt?