The noun “frame” made me think of the murder mystery by Dick Francis, IN THE FRAME.
As it’s described in GOODREADS,
“Charles Todd—a renowned painter of horses—is shocked when he turns up at his cousin Donald’s house for a weekend visit to find his cousin’s young wife dead on the floor—and Donald the police’s prime suspect. Determined to prove Donald’s innocence, Todd trails a set of clues from England to Australia to New Zealand, only to realize that someone is trailing him. Someone with every intention of taking him out of the picture for good… ”
All of Dick Francis’ novels have something to do with horses. In this one, it’s a painting of a horse.
and that made me think of other great detective novels which have something to do with paintings.
One of my favorites is an old one: A CLUTCH OF CONSTABLES by Ngaio Marsh. The Constables in the title are paintings by the 19th century British painter John Constable.
GOODREADS describes it by quoting from the novel:
“Five Days Out of Time…that was how the ad had described the Zodiac cruise on the “weirdly misted” English river. The passengers were the usual, unusual lot: a couple of unpleasantly hygienic Americans, an aloof Ethiopian doctor, a snooping cleric with a wall-eye, an artist running away from her success… But they were not all what they seemed. For Inspector Alleyn knew that one of them was the faceless “Jampot”—the ruthless killer who could take on any personality, whose thumb was a deadly weapon. The problem was, which one? Alleyn had five days to trap him, or the other passengers would pay with their lives—and one of those passengers was Alleyn’s wife! ”