The Lover's Portrait: An Art Mystery
American art history student Zelda Richardson discovers clues to the whereabouts of a cache of missing masterpieces buried somewhere in Amsterdam, hidden away in 1942 by a Dutch art dealer who’d rather die than turn his collection over to his Nazi blackmailer. More
Silver Cup Winner of Rosie's Book Review Team Awards 2017 in the Mystery category!
Missing masterpieces, Nazi blackmailers and a pesky amateur sleuth.
When a Dutch art dealer hides the stock from his gallery – rather than turn it over to his Nazi blackmailer – he pays with his life, leaving a treasure trove of modern masterpieces buried somewhere in Amsterdam, presumably lost forever. That is, until American art history student Zelda Richardson sticks her nose in.
After studying for a year in the Netherlands, Zelda scores an internship at the prestigious Amsterdam Museum, where she works on an exhibition of paintings and sculptures once stolen by the Nazis, lying unclaimed in Dutch museum depots almost seventy years later.
When two women claim the same portrait of a young girl entitled Irises, Zelda is tasked with investigating the painting’s history and soon finds evidence that one of the two women must be lying about her past. Before she can figure out which one it is and why, Zelda learns about the Dutch art dealer’s concealed collection. And that Irises is the key to finding it all.
Her discoveries make her a target of someone willing to steal – and even kill – to find the missing paintings. As the list of suspects grows, Zelda realizes she has to track down the lost collection and unmask a killer if she wants to survive.
** One of The Displaced Nation’s Top 36 Expat Fiction Picks of 2016 **
“Gripping mystery…the suspense is intensely magnetic and the characters equally captivating “ – BookLife Prize for Fiction 2016, No. 14 in Mystery category
"The Lover’s Portrait is a thoroughly enjoyable read set in Amsterdam... Alderson has a knack for excellent description and anyone travelling to Amsterdam or who knows it well will recognize and enjoy the way she brings the city vividly to life... Recommended for all those who enjoyed the film The Woman in Gold and with an interest in art history and the Second World War." 5 stars - Victoria Blake, author of Titian's Boatman / Return of the Courtesan
"Such a treat to get immersed into not only a terrific art-themed mystery, but to be able to virtually look over the shoulders of characters charged with the responsibility of returning art to families who lost masterpieces in WWII. Great detail and engaging characters." 5 stars - Ritter Ames, author of the Bodies of Art mystery series
“Well worth reading for what the main character discovers—not just about the portrait mentioned in the title, but also the sobering dangers of Amsterdam during World War II.” – IndieReader
“Jennifer S. Alderson delivers a mystery novel not quite like most. It’s not about stolen paintings, but about lives that were stolen… The Lover’s Portrait is a well-written mystery with engaging characters and a lot of heart. The perfect novel for those who love art and mysteries!“ – Readers' Favorite, 5 star medal
“I highly recommend The Lover’s Portrait for artists, art lovers, history buffs, historical novel fans, and anyone else looking for a well-written, enjoyable read.” 5 stars – Pamela Allegretto, author of Bridge of Sighs and Dreams
“If you love history, a detailed mystery, and a lovely, yet not run of the mill heroine, then you will love The Lover’s Portrait.” 5 stars - Author and blogger Vicki Turner Goodwin
This amateur sleuth mystery describes the plight of homosexuals and Jewish artists in Europe during World War II, as well as the complexities inherent to the restitution of artwork stolen by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s. The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery draws on the author’s experiences gained while studying art history in the Netherlands and working for several Dutch museums.
Related subjects include: women sleuths, historical mysteries, cultural heritage, amateur sleuth books, murder mysteries, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), travel fiction, suspense, art crime, art theft, World War Two, art history.
EXTENSIVELY REVISED SECOND EDITION RELEASED ON JUNE 26, 2017.
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