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Landscape of Lies Hardcover – January 9, 1989
From Publishers Weekly
When someone tries to steal a medieval painting long owned by her family, Isobel Sadler turns for help to London art gallery owner Michael Whiting. She is amazed to learn that the picture, titled Landscape of Lies , is a "puzzle map" whose nine male figures each symbolize priceless silver relics that were squirreled away by monks when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. Isobel and Michael--who, naturally, fall in love--set out to find the treasure, but an obsessed academic who will stop at nothing, not even murder, stays a few steps ahead of them. Watson, who proved himself a master of the art-world thriller in The Caravaggio Conspiracy , has turned out an amiable entertainment that is more a self-indulgent exercise than a suspense novel. The path to the silver is strewn with red herrings and arcane clues involving Botticelli, the Bible, horticulture, classical lore and medieval iconography.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
After foiling a determined burglar's attempt to steal an apparently valueless 16th-century painting, Isobel Sadler enlists the aid of art dealer Michael Whiting. Soon convinced the picture reveals the location of long-lost sacred treasures worth millions, the two compete with the mysterious, increasingly ruthless burglar to solve the painted puzzle first. As Michael and Isobel cross London and the countryside, art history, budding romance, and deepening suspense merge in a credible journey related with sustained literariness, refinement, and polish. A wonderful, charming offering from the author of The Caravaggio Conspiracy .
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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This is a first-rate, fascinating tale. Pick up a copy!
It's a must to have the dust jacket though - it is a copy of the painting that turns out to be a treasure map. Without it, the book wouldn't be half as fun as you wouldn't have a clear reference of the compents of the painting. I referred to the dust jacket many times for clarification of what each clue really looked like.