Guest Chick: Nupur Tustin

Please help us welcome Nupur Tustin, author of the Joseph Haydn Mystery Series, to Chicks on the Case! We are so delighted that she’s here today with a special sneak peek–an introduction to her forthcoming series featuring Celine Skye. 


Two Chicks; One Deadly Secret

Pssst . . . Can you keep a secret? I’ve had this on my chest for nearly a year now, and I really need to unburden myself.

Last spring, I solved the Gardner Museum heist. You’ve heard of the theft, haven’t you?

Thirty years ago, in the early morning hours of a March morning, two men dressed as cops—some say they were in security guard uniforms—persuaded the night guards at the Boston museum to let them in.

Once in, the men proceeded to take thirteen of the museum’s treasures, including an exquisite Vermeer and two or three Rembrandts. Boston police were the first to respond, and then the FBI took over the case.

But the leads—no matter how promising—always fizzled out, and the agents—no matter how talented—came no closer to discovering the mastermind behind the theft. The art seemed to be irrevocably lost.

Until last spring when my psychic friend Celine Skye and I pieced together what really happened. We don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle, and so far we’ve only recovered two of the thirteen pieces stolen.

Yes, I know, neither the FBI nor the Gardner Museum have issued press releases about the happy event. But that’s the way we wanted it.

You see, the elusive, dangerous mastermind of the Gardner Museum heist is still out there. He’s been after the Gardner’s lost treasures for as long as the Feds. Thieves being thieves, not all of the stolen goods made their way into his hands. So the less he knows about the leads we’ve developed, the better.

Celine, unfortunately, has already caught his attention. Although I doubt he has any idea how powerful her visions can be.

Ah! I see I’ve whetted your curiosity. You’re dying to know what we’ve recovered and what we’ve found out so far. You’re in luck. I need to share our story with someone, and you’ll do.

But  . . . shhh . . . please promise to keep this to yourself.

How did it all start? How did Celine get involved?

Last March the FBI hotline received not one, but two viable tips about the Gardner’s stolen treasures. A week later, a stranger from Boston walked into the Delft Coffee & Wine Bar. The owner of the bar, Dirck Thins, had employed Celine seven years ago to serve as marketing manager for the bar and the Mechelen winery. Both are located in the picturesque city of Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County.

That evening, shortly before she noticed the Boston stranger, Celine’s visions of death returned. Someone would die. Celine knew that. Most likely it would be a violent death. Her first interpretation of the vision was that it was her turn this time.

What an awful realization to have!

It was only the stranger’s odd remarks about the long-ago art theft that distracted Celine from the shock.

But, several hours later, when her eyes jolted open at two in the morning—her heart thudding violently—she knew someone else was in danger. She raced to the Delft.

But nothing in Celine’s visions could have prepared her for what she found.

Dirck lying face-up in the bar, brutally garroted to death with a piano wire, burn marks on his face. Who had done this? Why? And did a stranger’s comments about a long-forgotten heist in Boston have anything to do with a murder in a Paso Robles bar?

The answers are in a secret book entitled Master of Illusion. If you’d like to know when and where you can get your hands on a copy, go to and sign up—ostensibly to receive three stories set in Haydn’s Austria.

But you and I both know you’ll be entering a  chamber of secret knowledge. Be warned, though, the details you receive could put you in harm’s way.

And if you choose to join our circle, you must promise never to tell anyone what we share with you.


A former journalist, Nupur Tustin relies upon a Ph.D. in Communication to paint intrigue and orchestrate mayhem in her fictional worlds. She’s the author of the Joseph Haydn Mystery series, which have been praised by bestselling authors such as Anna Lee Huber, Emily Brightwell, and Kate Kingsbury.

Master of Illusion is her first contemporary mystery novel and the first in the Celine Skye Mystery series.

Three Free Short Stories: Receive three free mystery stories by signing up to Tustin Mystery Circle at

The Haydn Mysteries are available at:


B& N Nook:




About Master of Illusion:

When death arrives in Paso Robles, so do clues to an infamous art heist in Boston. . .

For seven years, psychic Celine Skye has led a life free of visions in quiet Paso Robles. But now the visions are back. Along with a dodgy customer from Boston.

Celine has always been able to sense death. But not even she can foresee her employer Dirck’s murder. Finding his corpse in the wine bar he owns is bad enough. Grappling with the suspicion that Dirck’s death could be connected with the Gardner Museum heist is even worse.

As Celine struggles to make sense of the psychic clues she receives, there’s just one question in her mind: What exactly did Dirck know about the Gardner Museum heist to get himself killed?

21 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Nupur Tustin

  1. Thank you so much for visiting us today! Your new series sounds fascinating.

    Did you need to do a lot of research about the heist?

    And did you only use “known facts” in the novel regarding the heist or did you allow yourself some creative license?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Liz, Karen, Marla, and Mark, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I love heists, too! And when I heard about the Gardner Museum Heist several years ago, I was intrigued. I already had a character in mind for a new series. I new her employer had been murdered, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out where to go from there. Until I learned of the Gardner theft in 1990.

    Hard to be believe, it’s still unsolved!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Thanks, Leslie! This was a fun book to research and write–I loved immersing myself in the lives of the artists whose works were unfortunately stolen. And it was absolutely thrilling to read about different art heists and the way art detectives like Charley Hill have managed to solve them.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Nupur, welcome to Chicks! What a great post. I’m totally intrigued. LONG ISLAND ICED TINA, my second Catering Hall Mystery, will revolve around an art heist, so I totally immersed myself in reading about that. The Gardner theft is fascinating and so frustrating. Congrats on the new series!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Ellen! Art heists are so fascinating to read about. Unfortunately museum security around the world still appears to be lax enough for thieves and conmen to take advantage of. What’s wonderful, though, is the way art detectives approach and solve these crimes. It’s the little details that can be so useful in bringing things to a resolution.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I live in the Boston area—it extends up here to NH, ha—and this heist is still a frequent topic of discussion. Hard to believe those guys were in there for 81 minutes. Did you see that a van Gogh was stolen the other day near Amsterdam? Your new series sounds just awesome, Nupur—huge congrats, and thanks for adding a little intrigue to our day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I enjoy reading about psychic criminal investigators like Noreen Renier, too, Barbara! It’s so fascinating that the psychic mind can provide insights and clues that law enforcement can then follow up on–just as they would if they received tips from any other witness.

      You might like the television show Medium. It’s based on the work of Alison DuBois, a psychic who, I believe, worked for the DA’s office in Arizona.

      Liked by 1 person

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