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.

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A luscious mélange of art, love, and murder.




P. D. Halt left her native Virginia for New York when she was 21, where she joined the mad men of advertising. She wrote award-winning campaigns in New York and shot commercials in Paris for Yves Saint Laurent. Interpublic offered her a job in Germany which led to life-changing experiences and the plot for her debut thriller,
When Death Imitates Art.


Halt now lives in Manhattan with her two literary cats Bubbles and Jasmine and is a member International Thriller Writers.


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

            –Dieter Becker, Art Critic


Why submit a concept?

Behind the urgent and well publicised challenges facing our frontline workers today, there exists an abundance of complex service, system and human experience challenges that have arising or worsened as a result of Covid-19. These challenges prevent our frontline staff doing their jobs efficiently and effectively and they impact patients comfort, experience and safety. To find answers and propose solutions will require empathy, creativity, innovativeness, grit and agility. And this is why we have put this call out to the design and innovation community. Here are 5 reasons we think you or your team should consider submitting a concept; 1/ We know designers have been eager to help during this crisis, but did not have a means. This an opportunity to help by sharing your ideas and having those ideas seen and acted on. 2/ The 3 identified briefs highlight complex and difficult challenges, but there is huge opportunity to identify solutions to hat can have and meaningful and impact. 3/ We are committing to implement any solution that our experts and frontline staff believe will make an difference. 4/ We have secured funding to run feasibility and validation on selected concepts. The designer(s) involved will be invited and supported to progress the project. 5/ We are strong advocates of design in healthcare and see this as an opportunity to build a strong case for Human-Centered design to be a key component in our health service. You can be part of this.

Who should submit a concept?

This call is open to all members of the design and innovation community, from students to professionals. We welcome entries from across all disciplines of the design and innovation. Multidisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged, but they should include at least one designer.

What do we mean by a concept?

Speed trumps perfection. Perfection is the enemy of good when it comes to emergency management" Dr Mike Ryan World Health Organisation COVID-19 is putting our healthcare system and those working in it under intense pressure. For this call we are not interested in perfection, we are interested in speed, new thinking and new ideas. We encourage submissions that identify a real problem, big or small, frame in an interesting way and propose an implementable concept that might just solve it or have some impact on it.

Our Commitment

For each of the three briefs, we will select two projects that the judges feel could make the biggest impact. One from the student category and one from the professional. Here are our commitments we are making to you, your team or your company and also to the people we aim to help; We have secured sufficient funding to further develop and implement your solutions. We will work with you to get your solution working and helping those at need as soon as possible. We will recognise you and your idea publically both when awarded for being selected and at such a time that it is implemented. You will be given the opportunity to showcase your idea to senior HSE management and in doing so support our belief that human-centred design and healthcare can .

What is the evaluation criteria?

This call aims to inspire designers and innovators to propose concepts to 4 challenge areas that have been identified as important by frontline healthcare workers. Due to the urgency of Covid-19 situation, we are seeking submissions that are implementable immediately, but were also open to be challenged and inspired by what is possible. All submission will be evaluated by our expert panel according to the following criteria; Research & insights In the absence of field research, how was the challenge investigated? Are the insights compelling and how do they inform the concept? Are the insights grounded in human needs? Creativity & Innovation Does the concept present something new, interesting or even surprising? Will add value to the challenge area and can we show evidence? Have the insights and concept been presented in a compelling/understandable manner? Potential for Impact Will the concept have a positive impact on the staff and or patients? Will it improve the lives/jobs of Healthcare staff / patients an lead to a more positive experience? Concept viability & feasibility Does the concept consider and demonstrate an understanding of the real world constraints (e.g. costs, training, maintenance, implementability etc.). Does the concept make use of existing tools, skills, infrastructure or technology? Could the concept be rolled out across the Healthcare system?

What are the submission elements?

Submitted concepts should be presented over 4-5 digital boards, demonstrating the details and features of the concept and the story of its development. The presentation boards should be saved as a high resolution, print ready PDF in landscape format. Entrants may interpret the instructions as they see fit. 1 x Final presentation board The presentation board should quickly capture our attention and explain the concept to a broad audience. This board should include a compelling ‘hero image’, concept name and a short paragraph describing the problem being solved and the and solution being proposed. 2 - 3 x Boards detailing the concept, development process and insights These boards should describe the features, details and development of the concept. The boards should respond to the four evaluation criteria sections. 1 x A3 Written description of the proposed concept This board should take the reader through the key aspects of your project. Together with visuals, the board should describe; The specific problem being tackled and its impact. (50-100 words), The process of how you investigated the problem and developed insight (50-100 words) The driving insights, their origin and why they matter (50 - 100 words) The concept you have proposed and how it could go towards tackling the challenge. Next steps regarding how this concept might be validated


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

            –Polizei Unter Kommissar Rudolf


Sheila Sobel, Author

Killer Nashville Reviewer


Amanda Lee is not having an easy time of it. After giving up her life in the United States for romance and a new life in Germany, everything begins to unravel. When Amanda’s fiancé dumps her, and with her New York life behind her, she forges ahead and creates a new life for herself by partnering with wealthy divorcée, Marlene Eichler, in opening a new art gallery. Just when Amanda is happy again and believes her new life to be firmly established, she is viciously attacked, her gallery partner is brutally murdered and again, her life begins to unravel, only this time, the consequences could be deadly. Not only is Amanda the prime suspect in Marlene’s murder, but she also discovers that she too, is a target. 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. P.D. Halt, a native Virginian, and veteran of the advertising world lives in New York and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

Congratulations on this 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. Great scene as Amanda fights her way out of the evil one's clutches...while leaving me in delicious suspense over which one of the suspects was the actual killer!! Brilliant! (I did not guess) The art gallery background makes this sophisticated mystery particularly timely and intriguing. I wish you much success with When Death Imitates Art.

Penelope Karageorge

Journalist, Author, 



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

            –Marlene Eichler, Partner Lee-Eichler Gallery


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

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

-Helga Demuth

© 2020 by P.D. Halt