Book Event

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Art of the Crime

The Art Thief by Noah Charney will make you wonder if the painting you are admiring in a museum is really the great masterpiece it purports to be or is it really a forgery made by a master craftsman? After reading this book, one would hard pressed to not be suspicious of the authenticity of the artwork in a museum. The author brings us into the world of art thefts and forgeries, where great masterpieces are cleverly stolen by knowledgeable and crafty thieves who may actually be respected scholars who are well versed in the tools and methods used in art theft and forgery. Charney assembles an intriguing cast of characters such as an eccentric art professor and a comical French inspector who always seems to be eating gourmet meals. Charney, who is an art scholar and consultant on the prevention of art crime, utilizes his experiences to create this fascinating tale. Charney mixes in true accounts of art crime in with his fictional tale, such as the still unsolved theft of thirteen works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. After reading this novel, you will never look at a painting the same way again.

If you are interested in other novels about art thefts and forgeries, you might want to check out books by Aaron Elkins, Jonathan Gash, and the Vicky Bliss mystery series by Elizabeth Peters. In the future, I'll be reviewing a new book entitled The Forger's Spell, which is about one of the most masterful art forgers in history, Han van Meegeren.

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