Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Adventures in Art: Newer Crime & Mystery Fiction Involving Art and Antiques

The Good Thief’s Guide To Paris: A Mystery / by Chris Ewan
Charlie Howard leads quite the double life: he’s a crime writer who’s also a professional burglar. One evening following a Paris book signing, a drunken Charlie spills his secret to a fan and, with some encouragement, agrees to show him the tools of his other trade by breaking into what he thinks is the man’s apartment. But it isn’t. The apartment actually belongs to someone possessing a seemingly useless painting which Charlie’s new acquaintance wants to get his hands on. (MYS EWAN)

The Bellini Card: A Novel / by Jason Goodwin
In Istanbul in 1840, Yashim is a Turkish eunuch who works behind the scenes at the behest of the Sultan investigating any mischief that might arise within the diplomatic community. Recently Yashim and his Polish emissary friend Stanislaw Palewski have accepted an assignment to look into a missing 15th century portrait of Mehmet the Conqueror done by Giovanni Bellini. The painting, a prized relic of the Sultan’s court, is thought to be in Venice which is where Yashim and Stanislaw must travel to find it. (MYS GOODWIN)

Among Thieves / by David Hosp
Attorney Scott Finn thinks he’s just helping to acquit his client Devon Malley of involvement with a recent clothing store burglary. But when some of Malley’s cronies begin turning up dead, things start to look a little fishy until Finn learns that Malley was involved in an infamous art heist from twenty years ago in which over $300 million worth of paintings were stolen and never recovered. Now the hunt for a killer also becomes a search for the missing artwork. (MYS HOSP)

Our Lady of Immaculate Deception / by Nancy Martin
Meet Roxy Abruzzo, a Pittsburgh local who’s as sassy as she is savvy about art and antiques. The owner of Bada Bling Architectural Salvage, Roxy soon finds herself in quite the predicament when she steals a pricy sculpture from one of the city’s wealthiest residents, the recently murdered Julius Hyde. Though she has a perfectly good reason for the heist, her little escapade sets off a slew of mayhem as Roxy must outwit the police, the estate of the late Mr. Hyde and even members of her own family to escape prosecution. (MYS MARTIN)

Painted Ladies / by Robert B. Parker
Boston Private Investigator Spenser has seen a lot of strange cases, but nothing remotely similar to his current assignment: to provide security during a private ransom exchange at local art museum for a stolen painting. Having been hired by art professor Dr. Ashton Prince, Spenser suspects something’s amiss as soon as he meets the cagey old scholar and knows something’s up when the exchange mysteriously falls through and the painting remains stolen. (MYS PARKER)

Murder In The Abstract / by Susan Shea
An art preservationist and chief fund-raiser for the Devor Museum in San Francisco, Danielle “Dani” O’Rourke is hosting a gala one evening when a young artist falls to his death from Dani’s office window. With no other leads to go on, the police have fingered Dani as a chief suspect and without a solid alibi, having been indisposed at the time of the fall, Dani must find the real culprit before it’s too late. (MYS SHEA)

The Same River Twice / by Ted Mooney
What do a Parisian fashion designer, an American independent filmmaker and the Russian Mafia have in common? They’re all after a particularly pricey collection of smuggled Russian folk art. It’s a high-stakes game which turns deadly before it’s all through in this caper set in the early 1990’s just after the fall of the Soviet Union. (FIC MOONEY)

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