I knew I should have written this review right after I read it! It’s now been two and a half weeks and I’ve forgotten a lot. And that is despite my friend on vacation reading it and asking me if it was worth it! I just told her to keep reading. I think she may have decided it wasn’t worth it…
If you like art and you like mysteries and even a bit of historical fiction, you might like this book. It has a touch of romance which was only half believable. It has a lot of Boston which was fun since I live near Boston.
I am a big fan of Impressionism, a fan of Degas and his ballet girls and a huge fan of John Singer Sargent. WAIT! that was in the other book I read, The Forgotten Garden. Sorry, coinky-dink theme connections, sort of.
So, this book is about Claire who is hired to copy a painting. Not just any painting but a Degas painting worth many millions that was stolen in the crime of the century. So the risks are high. A bit of a con game, a mystery, a who-done it, and a good girl trying to prove her innocence by outing a whole ‘nuther crime.
Especially odd or interesting – I couldn’t decide – were the imagined personal letters of Isabella Stewart Gardner, the eccentric art collector who originally owned the painting eventually stolen in the 1990s that our girl Claire was copying/forgering and thus a key element of the mystery. I have been to the museum twice since moving to Massachusetts and if I got anything at all out of this book, it is the desire to visit again very soon.
Three slices of pie.
For a bit more positive review, visit Kathy the BermudaOnion and read her thoughts.
* On page 100, Claire meets the art gallery guy at the Oak Room in the Copley Hotel. Nancy and I met Simon Van Booy in the very same Oak Room (click to see post/photo) in September 2011.