The Case of the Missing Botticelli
by Marilyn Baron
GENRE: Cozy Mystery/Contemporary/Suspense
In this cozy mystery, American art history major Hadley Evans joins an art detective agency in Florence, Italy, working for Massimo Domingo, once a major player, now the Inspector Clouseau of the art world.
Determined to save the flailing agency and prove her worth, Hadley and her sexy carabiniere boyfriend, Luca Ferrari, take on a mysterious client behind her boss’s back. While hot on the trail of a missing masterpiece, they discover a hidden cache of stolen Nazi art in a Venetian villa and encounter a dangerous enemy with a link to an evil past.
Hadley wrote down the phone number, and her jaw went slack when she heard and inscribed the rest of the message.
“Tell him it’s about a missing Botticelli. It’s urgent.” A shot of adrenalin coursed through Hadley’s veins. Sandro Botticelli. Her favorite artist in the whole world. Creator of the Italian masterpiece, Nascita di Venere, The Birth of Venus, the ancient Goddess of Love, dated circa 1484. She wasn’t aware a Botticelli painting was missing. “Is there any additional information you can give me? The name of the painting? The provenance? Capito. I understand the need for utmost secrecy. We can set up a meeting, and I’ll make sure Signore Domingo will be there.” She jotted down some more notes. “Piazzale Michelangelo? At sunset?”
Hadley tilted her head and chewed on her bottom lip. That was a strange destination for a business meeting. Although it offered the most scenic view of the city, perched atop a hillside overlooking Florence, meeting at a park after dark was reminiscent of a murder scene in a film noir. Where the heroine, Hadley, would later be found, dead, her virtue compromised, and her throat slit. She would have to get Luca to drive her up on his motorcycle and stay out of sight while she conducted her business. Was the female caller from a museum? A high-end gallery? An auction house? Was she an art or antiquities dealer, or a wealthy private individual, or was she representing a government agency? And, if so, which government? Enemy or ally? She would soon find out.
It is always an honor when an author requests a blogger to review her book. Ms. Baron does not disappoint with this book. I learned some things about art and it’s fascinating when an author really does her research on the subject of her book. I watch the show where the Monument Men are still trying to find the stolen art that the Nazis stole, hid, etc. So I came into the book with a working knowledge but I also love art. My favorite painter is Monet but I digress.
Hadley is a great character. She never wavered to what she wanted out of her life and went for it. Of course, her douche of a boyfriend had to come back into play but I understood why Ms. Baron brought him back. Hadley had to figure out if it was King Charles or Luca for her. Now, there are romantic elements in the book since it’s really not the focus, however, it’s an important element of the book. Luca can hold her own with Hadley, not to mention his dog, Botticelli. Ms. Baron does an excellent job of bringing Florence, Milan, and Lake Como into the story. They are supporting characters in the book. I just wished she talked more about the food, but that’s just me. 😉
The suspense/mystery plot is perfect. The book is about two separate cases, which I liked. They both set the tone for more mysteries with Massimo, Hadley, Greda, and Luca. Not to mention more Italy. Hadley more than holds her own with the mysteries that she is involved in. She has spunk and intelligence in spades.
I can’t wait to see what other adventures/mysteries are in this series. I miss Hadley already. And Luca. Plus, I would like a follow-up to the two mysteries. Ingrid, Isabella, and the prince.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres from women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy. She’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, and Paranormal/Fantasy Romance. She was also The Finalist in the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) in the Romance Category for her novel, Stumble Stones, and The Finalist for the 2018 GAYA Awards in the Romance category for her novel, The Alibi. Her latest novel, The Case of the Missing Botticelli: A Massimo Domingo Mystery, released January 24, 2022, is her 28th work of fiction. A public relations consultant in Atlanta, Marilyn is past chair of Roswell Reads and serves on the Atlanta Authors Series Committee. To find out more about what Marilyn writes, visit her website at: www.marilynbaron.com/
Marilyn Baron Social Media Links:
Personal Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/marilyn.baron.5?ref=bookmarks Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Marilyn-Baron-286807714666748/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Marilyn-Baron/e/B008PJFQPC%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
Instagram: Marilyn Baron (@marilyn.baron.5)
Pinterest: (1230) Pinterest
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
Marilyn Baron will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.