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Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.

The Art Forger

The Art Forger - B.A. Shapiro Based on a real life, still unsolved art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, The Art Forger manages to include more details about brush strokes and forgery techniques than I knew existed in a gripping story of artistic obsession. Claire Roth is a struggling young artist, blacklisted by the art establishment for a perceived crime against one of their darlings. She pays her bills by copying famous works of art for an above board online retailer. Then she makes a devil's bargain by agreeing to forge one of the stolen paintings, a Degas masterpiece, in exchange for having her own work shown in a prestigious gallery owned by Aiden Markel, a man she has feeling for. Claire knows what she is doing is illegal, but like many characters in the book whose motivations complicate the plot, Claire for a time allows herself to be convinced that what she personally wants supports greater good. When Claire comes to suspect that something is not quite right about the painting Aiden has given her to copy, her investigation leads her to research the museum where the painting was hung, the museum's colorful, world traveling founder Isabella Gardner, and the life and techniques of the artist Degas. Interspersed between chapters told from Claire's point of view are lively nineteenth century letters about Degas and the European art scene of the time from Isabella Gardner to her beloved niece.