Brandi Lynn Ryder was born in a small town in California's scenic Gold Country and raised on a steady diet of stories, from the local lore to Dickens and Poe. She began writing at a prodigious age, completing her first story at four and writing a novel at the age of nine: a mystery à la the Hardy Boys, called Treasure under the Nile (typed on her mother’s Smith-Corona and bound in cardboard and construction paper). Her adult writing is influenced by her many passions: art, philosophy, travel, literature, classic movies and all things European. She graduated summa cum laude from San Jose State University, with Honors in English, and now lives in the heart of Napa Valley where she draws inspiration from the stunning landscape, gourmet cuisine, the local beverage and her beloved cat, Murphy.
In Malice, Quite Close is Brandi Lynn Ryder’s first novel. She is currently working on a loose sequel, entitled Like a Guilty Thing, which is taken from Hamlet: "It started, like a guilty thing upon a fearful summons…" In this case, the summons is an invitation to an art exhibition sent anonymously to each of Robin Dresden's elite group of art students. When previously unknown works of the artistic prodigy Daniel Ekland surface five years after his death, they spell out events that each of the students—and Robin—would rather keep secret. Ultimately, the paintings unravel the riddle surrounding Daniel's mysterious death, in which everyone is more than a little guilty. The novel takes us deeper into Robin Dresden's world of art and illusion and the dangerous philosophies he passes on to his students, which have effects that even he cannot anticipate.
She would like to welcome you all to Devon— particularly the friends and family who have been so supportive while she disappeared inside
Praise for In Malice, Quite Close
“Quite a bit of fun. There’s murder! Deceit! Blackmail! . . . And soon enough there’s a dead body in the pool.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Ryder takes us down newfound paths in this uniquely told mystery.”—Suspense
“A mesmerizing read, Ryder’s first novel is assured and elegant.”
“An accomplished and darkly sensuous debut . . . At once a murder mystery, a vivid exploration of the art world and a meditation on the secrets we keep, Ryder’s novel is unlike anything else you will read this summer. . . . In Malice, Quite Close is a triumph. Ryder’s writing is as gorgeous as the many works of art she describes, and her characters—especially the twisted Tristan and tortured Gisèle—seem to leap right off the page. The novel’s many mysteries unfold carefully and beautifully, and readers will be trying to connect the dots until the very last page.” —BookPage
“Sophisticates of the contemporary art scene show a lethally sordid side in this superbly crafted murder mystery. . . . Lucid prose, snappy dialogue, and sharp characterization combine to limn a credibly realized world where life imitates art, facades are deceiving, and forgeries cast doubt on seemingly certain truths. The unraveling of the mysteries . . . turns on perfectly prepared surprises and unexpected twists that will have readers guessing, like the characters themselves, until the final paragraphs.”
“A modern gothic that emits a creepy glow . . . with a nicely subdued sense of menace and dark intrigue.”
“In her stunning debut, Ryder delivers an assured blend of eros, suspense, abduction, and art. Like a finely aged wine, In Malice, Quite Close lingers on the palette with flavors of Fowles, Nabokov, and Ian McEwan, yet it is entirely unique. Ryder sweeps the reader back and forth over two decades and across the continent, from San Francisco to New York and to a remote art colony in the Pacific Northwest in this compulsively readable novel of ideas, intrigue, and mystery.”—J. Sydney Jones, author of The Empty Mirror and Requiem in Vienna
“What a deft hand newcomer Ryder uses in telling this tale of an innocent muse caught in a web of artistic obsession. No one is wholly innocent, though, and every character has secrets in this extraordinarily well-plotted tale that holds its final revelations for the very last page.”—Cammie McGovern, author of Eye Contact and Neighborhood Watch