top of page



Anchor 1

“Halt’s fictional rendering of this luscious material has won When Death Imitates Art raves from critics.”

  ---Will Green Kirkus Interviewer, New York

P. D. Halt takes you to a dark side of the German art scene in trendy 80s Cologne, with her debut suspense novel, When Death Imitates Art.

Cologne, West Germany, 1980

Amanda Lee, a young American gallery owner, discovers the murdered body of her business partner, Marlene Eichler. Hours later, she finds a painting depicting the scene down to the jagged knife wounds and splattered blood. She offers to help the police identify the artist/killer, but learns that she’s a prime suspect, along with her partner’s ex-husband. Thrown together by circumstance, she finds herself falling deeply in love with him even though her senses scream beware.


She soon realizes how little she knows about Marlene as she wades through the murky waters of her past—illicit affairs, a tumultuous marriage, and underworld connections. Now Amanda must confront the mind-numbing truth and the terror of a brutal demise as she stumbles across her own death painting.

Available From:

Thank you! Watch your inbox

A luscious mélange of art, love, and murder.




P. D. Halt, who lives in Manhattan, is now a full-time novelist after a successful career in advertising. She wrote award-winning campaigns in New York including Nothing Beats a Great Pair of L’eggs and shot commercials in Paris for Ives Saint Laurent. She expanded her knowledge of avant-garde art during a stint at an ad agency in Düsseldorf, Germany in the early 1980s, which later led to the plot for her debut thriller, When Death Imitates Art.

Halt is a member of International Thriller Writers.


Halt’s assistants, Bubbles and Jasmine, on surveillance.

“Don’t start believing your own press releases, dear boy.
Remember, I’m the one who wrote them.”

            –Dieter Becker, Art Critic



“Next time you have an auto accident, don’t call Homicide.”

            –Polizei Unter Kommissar Rudolf

Some Reviews from Kirkus, Killer Nashville, Amazon and Facebook

Selected as one of the Kirkus Best 100 Books 2020

Halt’s fictional rendering of this luscious material has won When Death Imitates Art raves from critics. Kirkus Reviews praises the novel’s “edgy atmosphere” and “richly developed characters,” calling it a “chilling story [that’s] hard to put down,” and Death was chosen as a finalist for the 2019 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award. Halt’s prose conjures up a heady blend of desire and horror with subtle literary shadings.
Will Green, Kirkus Interviewer

Kirkus Starred Review

"In Halt's debut mystery, an art gallery co-owner is sent a painting depicting her slain…and then the scene plays out for real. Readers will find this chilling story hard to put down. The author, who once lived in Germany captures the edgy atmosphere of that country's art and club scenes in the '80s, and she offers richly developed characters along the way.
Kirkus Starred Review


Finalist for the 2019 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award Set in the art world of 1980’s West Germany, P. D. Halt’s debut thriller, When Death Imitates Art, is a fast-paced novel of art, power, murder, and intrigue.

Sheila Sobel,
Author and Killer Nashville Reviewer

Amazon 5-Star Reviews

A quick read that is both suspenseful and descriptive. ...

I was guessing all along who the murderer was, but I was surprised in the end. The book piqued my curiosity about Germany and the art world. Glen Graffeo

Clever and gripping. The plot is fast-paced and full of intrigue. The author transported me to 1980s Germany with the many wonderful descriptions and the clipped dialogue. I enjoyed the ride immensely. Saralyn Richard, Award-winning Author


When Death Imitates Art. A great, quick read --felt like I was reading a movie. Really puts you in Germany in another time and another place. Philip W. I couldn't put it down.

I couldn't put it down. Diane S. Gripping, fast-paced and drenched in suspense

P.D. Halt provides an intriguing glimpse into the dark side of the art world. "When Death Imitates Art" captures the reader's attention on page one and doesn't let go. Daniella Bernett, Author Great mystery novel

I thoroughly enjoyed the glamour of the art world in Germany in the 80’s. The author did an excellent job of character development and the ending was a surprise. A fun read for anyone who wants to escape today’s reality. Susan Birenbaum Five Stars

That it kept you in suspense till the end. Very well written! Janette L. Bird A GREAT READ!!!

LOVED this book! It was full of suspense, intrigue, travel, fashion and of course, art. It's yummy!! Can't wait for the next one by this wonderful writer! Susan Cody

Facebook Reviews

To me, this book is scrumptious

I am a secret admirer of glamorous German cities and all of the author’s subject matters, art, art dealers, mystery, romance, murder and fashion, not necessarily in that order. Billie T.

Terrific read

The setting -- the art world and the rarified milieu of Cologne -- the colorful characters and the pace contribute to a not-to-put-down book. . .while leaving me in delicious suspense over which one of the suspects was the actual killer!! Brilliant! The art gallery background makes this sophisticated mystery particularly timely and intriguing. Penelope Karageorge, Author


 “It is nothing a good shot of vodka cannot cure.”

            –Marlene Eichler, Partner Lee-Eichler Gallery


Say Hello Here Too

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon

If you want to talk about art, I am an avid museum-goer. If you want to talk about mystery and suspense, I’m your gal. If you enjoy the book, and I hope you do, let me know. Write about whatever you want, but please make it good news. This is a happy place.

Thanks! Message sent.


Book me into a Swiss spa, Greta. It’s time for a new husband. 

-Helga Demuth

© 2022 by P.D. Halt
bottom of page