Wednesday, April 12, 2017

An Art Mystery

Ever since I read The Woman in Gold and all of Ritter Ames' art theft books, I have been intrigued by the art authentication process. The Lover's Portrait by Jennifer S. Alderson leads the reader on a merry chase.

Zelda Richardson needs a recommendation to get into the Museum Studies Master's program in the Netherlands. She has spent many fruitless years as a computer programmer in the United States and yearns for something more creative. She lands a job as an intern at the Amsterdam Historical Museum working on an exhibition of art stolen by the Nazis. Before long she is in the middle of two women claiming to own a painting by an insignificant artist.

Why are two women so determined to claim a painting by an unknown artist from the stolen art collection? The first woman tells the story of fleeing Amsterdam as a young child right before the Nazis occupied the city. 

American Rita Brouwer believes Girl With a Vase as it has been called, is one painted by her sister's
boyfriend Lex Wederstein and given to Rita's father. She is adamant that the woman in the painting is her sister Iris and the painting is called Irises for her sister and the flower. Before long another woman claiming to be the granddaughter of Dutch art dealer who was killed during the war claims the painting was his. Both seemed armed with the proper paperwork, but Zelda wants to believe Rita.

The narrative dips back and forth between current day and the past to explain the background of how the painting came to be hidden and why.  It is truly a treacherous and winding path to the truth and one of bravery and loyalty.

Thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. I hope Jennifer S. Alderson writes more books featuring Zoe Richardson. She is a headstrong, but determined character. For more books by Jennifer S. Alderson, click here.

1 comment:

JSA said...

Dear Christine of Map Your Mystery, thank you for writing this incredible review of The Lover's Portrait! I am honored and humbled by your words. The next installment, another art mystery set in Amsterdam and Papua New Guinea, is in the works. I love the concept of your blog and will go back now and read more posts! Have a wonderful week.