The Raphael Affair

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9780007229178: The Raphael Affair

First in the Italian art-history crime series featuring English dealer and sleuth Jonathan Argyll, from the author of the best-selling masterpiece 'An Instance of the Fingerpost'.

Flavia di Stefano is the kind of Italian beauty that art dealer Jonathon Argyll doesn't normally get to meet in his line of work. But, it turns out, all he had to do was get caught breaking into one of Rome's churches – for Flavia is the Art Theft officer tasked with interviewing Jonathon. A strange way to meet, perhaps, but then Jonathon has an even stranger tale to tell.

His claim that the church contains a lost classic, hidden under another painting, is treated with cautious scepticism. But when the picture first vanishes, then turns up in the hands of a British art dealer claiming it's a newly discovered Raphael, it's clear there's more to it than meets the eye. When vandalism is followed by murder, it's up to Jonathan and Flavia to discover just how much more – a quest for the true nature of a painting with a lethal history…

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Praise for ‘The Raphael Affair’:

‘An impressive first, promising much.’ The Times

‘Good, clean art scam fun…plot layered as forger’s paint; Italophiles and gallery gazers will love it. A felicitous first.’ Guardian

‘Ingenious…a good read.’ Daily Express

‘Clever thriller… Pears balances politics, love and danger nicely, in a plot that has a cunning and satisfactory outcome.’ Sunday Times

Praise for the Jonathan Argyll series:

‘You don’t have to know much about art to enjoy Iain Pears’s Italian mysteries. Like a good teacher, he shares his passion unobtrusively and flavours his lessons with wit.’ Val McDermid

'Pears is a delightful writer, with a light, ironic touch.' Mail on Sunday

From the Back Cover:

When English art historian Jonathan Argyll is caught breaking into a church in Rome, he has an astonishing story to tell. He claims that the church contains a genuine Raphael, hidden under a painting by Mantini. Further investigation reveals that the painting has disappeared . . . to reappear later in the hands of top English art dealer, Edward Byrnes.

Soon Byrnes is able to unveil the Raphael before an amazed world. But how has he found out about the hidden masterpiece? And there is also the curious matter of the forger whose safety deposit box contains highly suspicious sketches.

Then a hideous act of vandalism is perpetrated. Murder is to follow . . . and General Bottando of Italy's Art Theft Squad faces the most critical challenge of his whole career.

"Pears is a delightful writer, with a light, ironic touch."
FRANCES HEGARTY ' Mail on Sunday'

"Iain Pears has a superior line in this kind of tale"
'Guardian'

"You don't have to know very much about art to enjoy Iain Pears's Italian mysteries. Like a good teacher, he shares his passion unobtrusively and flavours his lessons with wit"
VAL McDERMID

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