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Customer Discussions > Mystery forum

Art Mystery

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Initial post: May 24, 2008 10:02:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 24, 2008 10:25:42 PM PDT
S. Williams says:
Looking for mysteries in which art plays a central role. Movies like "The Thomas Crown Affair", "Entrapment" and of course, "The Da Vinci Code" are examples of what I would like to find in a book.

I have already ordered "Feint of Art" by Hailey Lind.


In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2008 10:16:46 PM PDT
I can't think of any adult fiction where the central theme is art other than those you mentioned. I do know of a Y/A book with art as the central theme of the mystery -- Chasing Vermeer. It is also a great interactive story that allows the reader to solve puzzles while reading.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2008 10:27:02 PM PDT
S. Williams says:
Thanks Nature Child. I have read Chasing Vermeer and Wright 3 to the kids, they loved them.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2008 5:31:46 AM PDT
DPS says:
I found these titles -- art novels and mysteries -- listed at ~ The National Gallery/London ~ website some time ago. They are no longer listed there, however, you may be interested in searching the titles for reviews at US/UK. Hope this is helpful.

The Painter by Will Davenport
ISBN: 000651460X

I Am Madame X by Gioia Diliberto
ISBN: 0743456807

Book of Evidence by John Banville
ISBN: 0330371878

The Secret Supper by Javier Sierra
ISBN: 0743276299

Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
ISBN: 1844080358

Portraits in Fiction by A.S. Byatt
ISBN: 0099429845

Other Side of You by Salley Vickers
ISBN: 0007165447

My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
ISBN: 0571212247

Still Life by A. S. Byatt
ISBN: 0099479915

The Dark Clue by James Wilson
ISBN: 0571202764

The Hound in the Left-hand Corner by Giles Waterfield
ISBN: 0747265410

The Lady and The Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
ISBN: 0007140916

The Maid's Request by Michèle Desbordes
ISBN: 0571210112

The Passion of Artemisa by Susan Vreeland
ISBN: 074726533X

The Portrait by Iain Pears
ISBN: 0007202776

The Sea House by Esther Freud
ISBN: 0141011076

The Untouchable by John Banville
ISBN: 033033932X

The Matisse Stories by A.S. Byatt
ISBN: 067976223X

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2008 7:44:40 AM PDT
S. Williams says:
Thanks DS - looks like an exhaustive list. I'll do some research.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2008 8:59:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2008 9:19:58 AM PDT
foxglove says:
Hi Stephen.
Iain Pears has a whole series built around the world of art. You will find them all on Amazon if you enter the author's name. I wish I could think of the names of some of them. This is a series with the same protagonist so it think they might be just the sort of thing that you are looking for. I'll let you know when something else comes to mind.

Ok Steven,
This is a few minutes later. The Art History Mysteries by Ian Pears are The Raphael Affair, The Bernini Bust,The Titian Committee,The Last Judgement, Giotto's Hand,Death and Restoration and the Immaculate Deception.

The Portrait is indeed about art but it is a stand alone.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2008 5:19:32 PM PDT
S. Williams says:
Very good suggestion foxglove, thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2008 7:06:31 PM PDT
foxglove says:
Thanks for your kind acknowledgement.

I actually found two more authors who have an art mystery series. The first is Nicolas Killmer who wrote a book that I am planning to buy and this is apparently the first book in a series. The second series I found I don't know anything about yet . The name of the author of this artist detective series is Hailey Lind but it is written by two sisters one of whom is an artist and the other is a historian.

If you do read any books in these series and are inclined to give feedback, I'd appreciate it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2008 12:06:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 26, 2008 12:11:57 AM PDT

I've read all of Hailey Lind's books and enjoyed them, so I'm glad you've already ordered Feint of Art.

You might also enjoy The Perfect Fake by Barbara Parker. The protagonist in this book a talented artist who is pressured to use his art skills to forge a rare 16th century map. The action moves around from Miami to London to Italy, giving it a very cosmopolitan feel (similar to Dan Brown's work). Ms. Parker had clearly done quite a bit of research on the topic of maps and forgeries; I found the book both entertaining and informative.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2008 4:37:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 27, 2008 4:40:22 AM PDT
DPS says:

I found a few more, however, they are not all mysteries:

The Art of Murder by Jose Carlos Somoza

Theft by Peter Carey

What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt

Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting by Siri Hustvedt

The Painted Kiss: A Novel by Elizabeth Hickey [I've read this; about artist Gustav Klimt - a novel, but you may be interested in reading it]

Novels below: about fictional artists; dated, but I understand, are still considered by at least one reader to be "brilliant."

The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham

The Horse's Mouth by Joyce Cary

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2008 7:09:25 AM PDT
S. Williams says:
Thank you Literary Lady, this looks intriguing.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2008 7:10:19 AM PDT
S. Williams says:
I'll certainly try to remember foxglove, thanks again.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2008 8:47:07 PM PDT
I am glad I was on the right track. I think there is a third book in this series as well. It looks like you have gotten quite a response and I am sure you will find something interesting to read next.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2008 5:26:00 AM PDT
Aquaria says:
If art is your thing, then this is the web page for you:

If you look at the top, you'll see that you can also find links for Museums and Galleries, if that's your thing.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2008 8:55:18 AM PDT
Jamie Lewis says:
there's also the early marcia mueller series- there were 3 books? joanna stark is the protagonist, i think. "there hangs the knife" is one and i've wished the series had continued. guess it depends on how central the art is. there's also the alix thorsen series - "nordic nights" is one, that are gallery based and charming. i know there were others where at least the central character is an artist but not perhaps art itself as central.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2008 2:07:01 PM PDT
A Listener says:
"The Flanders Panel", by Arturo Perez-Reverte. This should fit your criteria.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2008 4:36:23 PM PDT
Pegasus Books has just published Barbara Corrado Pope's Cezanne's Quarry. Set in Aix-en-Provence in 1885, it features Paul Cezanne as a major character, with clues to be found in his violent early paintings and in a love affair (historically true) that Cezanne had with a woman in Aix.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2008 5:02:21 PM PDT
Julia says:
How about a non-fiction art mystery?
The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr. It revolves around a search for a Caravaggio.
Good Luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2008 10:33:35 AM PDT
Gnomes Rule says:
How about Aaron Elkins' Chris Norgren art museum curator in Seattle, Washington series?

And then there's Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon an art restorer and Israeli secret agent series.

Sarah Stewart Taylor series features Sweeney St. George an art history professor specializing in representations of death in Byzantium, Vermont.

You also might want to try Derek Wilson's The Dresden Text featuring Tim Lacy a security expert who investigates crime and fraud in the international art world.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2008 4:35:48 PM PDT
I have a book out about an American Artist who moves to Paris,
please check it out-A Hotel in Paris-just released and is available on
My website has more information along with a book trailer.
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2008 6:29:06 AM PDT
If you're partial to LOL mysteries; try The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian by Lawrence Block.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2008 7:56:28 AM PDT
K. McNamara says:
If you're reading them to the kids, then I suggest From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, about two kids who run away from home and live in the art museum.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2008 7:49:34 PM PDT
K. James says:
Peter Watson's Landscape of Lies published by Felony and Mayhem. Very good!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2008 9:56:37 AM PDT
A. Platt says:
Peter Watson -- Landscape of Lies wonderful

Posted on Feb 13, 2010 10:53:17 AM PST
Counsel Of The Wicked
Riveting mystery about stolen WWII art treasures hidden by the Nazis in Argentina. Also available in a Kindle edition.
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Discussion in:  Mystery forum
Participants:  54
Total posts:  120
Initial post:  May 24, 2008
Latest post:  Jan 14, 2016

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