VISITORS to Bournemouth's Russell-Cotes Museum are invited to reconstruct a crime through paintings with its latest exhibition.

A Question of Guilt: A Crime Writer's Collection, opens in the newly refurbished galleries on Saturday, January 13 and features the private collection of crime writer Frances Fyfield.

Award winning Fyfield has written 24 novels featuring accidental murder, dental horrors, art theft, family feuds and other atrocities, leading to books of visual scenes which also emphasise the essential goodness of human nature.

She is also a collector of oil paintings, portraits and drawings by British artists, from 1890 to 1950.

Based around her eclectic private collection of Bloomsbury/British Modernist Art, including many anonymous painters, the exhibition is a showcase for British 20th century art, but is also styled as a "whodunnit" - each painting has its own potential story, while each character or scene may play a part in a wider story.

Fyfield has written the captions for the exhibition, inviting the audience to become the detective too, meeting victims, detectives, murderers, witnesses and mere onlookers.

The author said: "It is a joy and a delight to have 53 of the paintings I own on display at the same time in the glorious setting of the Russell-Cotes. They are taking a holiday from a Bloomsbury apartment and a seaside house in Deal, They love and deserve attention and will also enjoy the company of the Russell-Cotes paintings, too.

"British 20th Century faces in the main, representing most decades, they’re a lifetime devotion of mine, and I hope the audience will want to take at least one of them home."

The exhibition runs until Sunday, April 15, with a talk by Frances Fyfield on Friday, February 2 and a crime writers' panel on Thursday, March 15.