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Private investigator Armand Arnolfini springs back into action as he engages a new array of baffling art mysteries in this second instalment in the Arnolfini Art Mysteries series. Continuing chronologically from his previous escapades, Armand teams up with his new wife, Andrea, to confront sly art forgers, black market racketeers, and ruthless killers, while seeking to recover great works of art and solve old mysteries surrounding famous architecture. Join the Arnolfinis as they hunt down Leonardo’s lost Leda and the Swan, works by the sculptor Jean Carpeaux, famous architects, engage in a double murder at the Poe Cottage Museum, and track down an unknown work by the shunned female Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi. Artemisia receives special attention in a chapter that brings personal meaning to the Arnolfinis’ own lives. Especially in today’s world of the #MeToo movement, Artemisia’s own rape and determination to win respect and equal treatment offers readers a poignant and powerful tale. Meanwhile, DiSilvio’s rich narratives and colorful characters bring together five linked cases to form one sweeping novel of Arnolfini’s perpetual quest to save great works of art from falling into oblivion. Entertaining and enlightening, Arnolfini Art Mysteries 2 is handsomely accompanied by photos of famous paintings and illustrations by the author/artist, making this series a visual feast as well as a riveting collection of art mysteries. (TopShelf Winner for Best Cover Art)
The Arnolfini Art Mysteries' by the prolific writer Rich DiSilvio is a collection of six all too short stories featuring Armand Arnolfini, a former FBI agent in the disbanded Art Crimes division and supposed descendant of the groom in Jan van Eyck's 'Arnolfini Marriage' portrait. Set in the late 70s and very early 80s, the stories are mainly told in 'real' time, with only one an account told over dinner. The collection is handsomely illustrated with many works of fine art pertaining to some of the stories, as well as pictures of artefacts and buildings featuring in others. Arnolfini, now a highly regarded private investigator in the art world, with particularly detailed knowledge of Renaissance and Baroque art, is faced in each story with a different crime requiring his expertise and powers of deduction. 'Armand had come across all sorts of thieves in his career', the author tells us. 'Some were seasoned thugs with deadly connections, while others were penny ante novices or disgruntled artists seeking revenge or justification for their unnoticed talents'. T The thugs with deadly connections in question are former Nazi plunderers of priceless assets during WW2, a period of history closely studied and written about by the author. Alongside the sometimes violent crime thriller element of the book, a love interest develops from the third story onward, when Armand meets Andrea St John, curator of a museum he is called in to help. She proves to be the perfect companion in both his work and private life. I especially liked the stories centred around fine art theft and forgery and learnt a lot from them, so I'm hoping to read more in any further stories the author might pen in future, this time perhaps with a husband and wife team conducting the investigations. A highly recommended read. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
SHORT STORIES II is the 2X Gold Award-winning collection of mysteries, thrillers and historical works from multi-award-winning author/artist Rich DiSilvio. Also included are three short narratives from his acclaimed Tales of Titans series. This exciting volume debuts two intriguing mysteries featuring the dapper and clever private eye, Armand Arnolfini, as he investigates baffling art-related crimes entailing forgery and theft, a spine-chilling tale about John Vagis, a moving and edifying tale of two airmen during the Korean War with an unexpected twist, historical narratives featuring such notables as Augustus Caesar, FDR, and Winston Churchill, as well as other engaging tales. For those not acquainted with DiSilvio’s larger works, this edition makes a fine introduction to the mysterious, historical, and thrilling mind of the author.