Art Mysteries

For sleuths who love art, these art mysteries will inspire you to create, solve and use your wits all at one time!

Street of the Five Moons

By Elizabeth Peters

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"Art historian Vicky Bliss may be blond and beautiful, but looks can be deceiving. She also has the brain of an Einstein, the reckless courage of a test pilot--and no one's more savvy about fine works of art. For example: the gold pendant her boss at Munich's National Museum is currently dangling in front of her. It's an exquisite replica of a Charlemagne talisman--and it was found, along with a note written in hieroglyphs, sewn into the suit pocket of an unidentified man lying dead in an alley. 

"There's a murderous puzzle to unravel-and Vicky will start by hunting down the master craftsperson who created the magnificent piece, even if the search carries her to the ends of the Earth. Instead, it's pointing her toward Rome, the most romantic city in the world. But it's also pulling her into a treacherous game of intrigue where the stakes could not be higher: Vicky's life!"

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The English Assassin

By Daniel Silva

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Sent to Zurich, Switzerland, to restore a painting owned by a reclusive millionaire banker, art expert and sometimes Israeli agent Gabriel Allon discovers his would-be employer murdered and finds himself back in the espionage game.
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The Ten Word Game

By Jonathan Gash

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Lovejoy cannot be said to have clean hands and a pure heart, flitting bee-like as he does from one flower of womanhood to the next, and straining the truth when necessary. But when it comes to the relics of history, be it a silver tea service or the gold buttons from Lord Nelson's second-best uniform coat, he cannot be topped. In The Ten Word Game, Lovejoy is hiding out from the law in a port city far from London. By a ruse, he is shanghaied aboard a luxurious cruise ship on its way to Russia. There a group of schemers feed him well, but hold him prisoner because they need his talents for their daring plan. They intend to steal Russia's legendary 'amber room,' wall panels and all, and sell it for ransom back in the U.K.
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The Tale Of Hill Top Farm: The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter

By Susan Wittig Albert

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The author of Peter Rabbit and other creature tales, Beatrix Potter is still, after a century, beloved by children and adults the world over. In this first Cottage Tale, Albert introduces Beatrix, an animal lover who has just bought a farm in England's beautiful Lake District. As Beatrix tries to win over the hearts of her fellow villagers, her animal friends set out to solve a mystery all their own.

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The Portrait

By Iain Pears

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An influential art critic in the early years of the twentieth century journeys from London to the rustic, remote island of Houat, off France's northwest coast, to sit for a portrait painted by an old friend, a gifted but tormented artist living in self-imposed exile. Over the course of the sitting, the painter recalls their years of friendship, the double-edged gift of the critic's patronage, the power he wielded over aspiring artists, and his apparent callousness in anointing the careers of some and devastating the lives of others. The balance of power between the two men shifts dramatically as the critic becomes a passive subject, while the painter struggles to capture the character of the man, as well as his image, on canvas. Reminiscing with ease and familiarity one minute, with anger and menace the next, the painter eventually reveals why he has accepted the commission of this portrait, why he left London suddenly and mysteriously at the height of his success, and why now, with dark determination, he feels ready to return.
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O' Artful Death

By Sarah Stewart Taylor

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"...a compelling and atmospheric cozy mystery that introduces Sweeney St. George, an art historian in Boston with a special interest in the art of death. Sweeney becomes interested in Byzantium, Vermont, an art colony that flourished in the late nineteenth century, when she comes upon a photograph of the striking gravestone of a girl who drowned, and may have been murdered, in 1890. The stone is in a tiny cemetery surrounded by other beautiful, if unremarkable, headstones, some dating back hundreds of years. But the unsigned sculpture that marks this young woman's grave is of extremely high quality and the artist is unrecognizable. Sweeney is soon hooked, not only on the mystery of who created the beautiful sculpture but also on the details of the events surrounding the girl's death."
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Die in Plain Sight

By Elizabeth Lowell

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When Lacey Quinn inherits the striking landscapes painted by her late, much-loved grandfather, she believes they are as good as anything hanging in museums with California Impressionists today. Against her own family's wishes, she sets out to prove it. But the paintings now in her possession are more than the work of a talented master. They are anguished voices from the grave...crying murder! Suddenly more curious than ever before about the life, career, and recent death of the enigmatic old man she loved but knew less about than she imagined, Lacey begins researching her grandfather's past--and is rocked almost immediately by a strange series of violent events. Someone wants to steal her inheritance, to reduce the paintings to unrecognizable ashes in a suspicious blaze. Someone wants to prevent Lacey from examining her grandfather's work too closely...by any means necessary.

Ian Lapstrake, a security specialist currently employed by the appraisal house Rareties Unlimited, has taken an interest in Lacey's inheritance...and in her. He is troubled by what he sees, so he becomes Lacey's shadow, as her search for answers leads them both down an ever-darkening road paved with lies, blood, and devastating secrets, weaving its way through a twisted and shocking family history. For clues to a series of horrific, unexplained murders may be hidden in the brush strokes-clues that have now indelibly marked Lacey and Ian for death.

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A Death in Vienna

By Daniel Silva

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Art restorer and sometime spy Gabriel Allon is sent to Vienna to authenticate a painting, but the real object of his search becomes something else entirely: to find out the truth about the photograph that has turned his world upside down. It is the face of the unnamed man who brutalized his mother in the last days of World War II, during the Death March from Auschwitz. But is it really the same one? If so, who is he? How did he escape punishment? Where is he now?

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Murder Is Art

By Bill Crider

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Dr. Sally Good is head of the English and Fine Arts Department at a community college on the Gulf Coast of Texas. It’s an easy-going place where the faculty is more likely to write articles for music magazines than pompous literary rags. A popular professor dies under suspicious circumstances – rumors veer between sexual hijinks and/or Satanism. Dr. Good must run the department – and find the killer.

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The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

By Lilian Jackson Braun

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The first appearance in hardcover of the first installment of the author's ever-popular series features the unusual detective team of award-winning reporter Jim Qwilleran and Koko, his brilliant Siamese cat, who penetrate the world of modern art to solve a mystery.

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