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Gallery Pieces: An Art Mystery Paperback – November 13, 2015
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"A deftly crafted masterpiece of mystery and suspense from first page to last . . . Very highly recommended for community library collections [and] personal reading lists of all mystery buffs."--Midwest Book Review
"A fast-paced mystery that's bolstered by excellent characterizations, a deft back story, and insider knowledge . . . A thoughtful, well-written, and well-developed novel about the art world that's an exuberant, satisfying read."--Kirkus Reviews
"A thoroughly absorbing and masterfully crafted mystery about stolen art, family and greed. . . . a master class in pacing and style .. . with prose that is both vivid and mesmerizing."--Best Thrillers Book Reviews
"Vivid, atmospheric, and completely believable. . . . Intelligent and unpredictable."--Indie Book Reviews
About the Author
Larry Witham is an author, editor, journalist, and artist. He has written fifteen books and was a finalist in the 2015 Pen Literary Awards for biography. Witham lives with his wife in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. This is his third novel.
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A must read for any art history and intrigue seeking reader. Many thanks to Black Sun Books who paid for an honest and professional review of this incredible book.
Julian Peale is working for Medici Studios tracking stolen art along with the FBI and NYPD. Russian art smugglers are targeted, but the sting operation doesn't work.
Julian is working diligently and it's taking him across the country and back...from New York to the Miami Art Fair, back to Manhattan and Brooklyn. He faces the Russian mob, forgers, and very wealthy people who will pay any amount for a painting of their choice.
It also leads to his own family history...paintings stolen in postwar Europe. His grandfather was a soldier who helped reclaim art that had been looted by the Nazis.
I am not an art enthusiast, I only know what I like when I see it. This book is not one I would have chosen on my own, but once started, I was loathe to put it down.
Julian is a bigger than life character. Having been a Naval Intelligence Officer and with an extremely large knowledge of art and its history, he comes across as very believable. Secondary characters lend a credible hand to the story.
This is a new author to me and I look forward to checking out his other books to see if they measure up to this one.
My thanks to the author and Word Slinger Publicity who furnished this book is exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
The author, Larry Witham, expertly guides the reader through the complexities of the art world and introduces us to the various players involved in the art scene. The investigation takes many twists and turns involving various dangerous and mysterious characters.
The crux of the story is the origins of the stolen art and the part played by the monuments men, one of whom was Peale's grandfather, in the retrieval of looted art from the Nazis and their ultimate fate once they reached America. In order to put the puzzle pieces together, Julian Peale has to investigate the involvement of the Russian mob, hipsters, hackers, art collectors, sellers and old friends.
I was impressed by the wealth of knowledge the author has in his subject material. In a book of this kind, where the author is so knowledgeable, there is the danger of slowing the pace with the minutiae of art theory and historical detail but Larry Witham manages to avoid this pitfall. He expertly balances the mix between fact and fiction and just gives the right amount of information to complement the plot. It certainly whetted my interest in learning more about art crime and the work of art experts who are trained to spot works of art looted during WWII.
I highly recommend this excellent, fast paced mystery. It won't fail to interest and entertain.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.