The Lover's Portrait

The Lover's Portrait : An Art Mystery

4.18 (184 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A portrait holds the key to recovering a cache of looted artwork, secreted away during World War II, in this captivating historical art thriller set in the 1940s and present-day Amsterdam.

When a Dutch art dealer hides the stock from his gallery - rather than turn it over to his Nazi blackmailer - he pays with his life, leaving a treasure trove of modern masterpieces buried somewhere in Amsterdam, presumably lost forever. That is, until American art history student Zelda Richardson sticks her nose in.

After studying for a year in the Netherlands, Zelda scores an internship at the prestigious Amsterdam Historical Museum, where she works on an exhibition of paintings and sculptures once stolen by the Nazis, lying unclaimed in Dutch museum depots almost seventy years later. When two women claim the same painting, the portrait of a young girl entitled Irises, Zelda is tasked with investigating the painting's history and soon finds evidence that one of the two women must be lying about her past. Before she can figure out which one it is and why, Zelda learns about the Dutch art dealer's concealed collection. And that Irises is the key to finding it all.

Her discoveries make her a target of someone willing to steal - and even kill - to find the missing paintings. As the list of suspects grows, Zelda realizes she has to track down the lost collection and unmask a killer if she wants to survive.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 310 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17mm | 417g
  • English
  • 9083001113
  • 9789083001111
  • 31,857

Review quote

"Alderson alternates between 1942 and 2015 in this gripping mystery that explores the provenance of artwork that was hidden from the Nazis during World War II and reappears in 2015... As the narrative unfolds and the truth is revealed, the suspense is intensely magnetic and the characters equally captivating." - BookLife Prize, 2016

"Alderson delivers a mystery novel not quite like most. It's not about stolen paintings, but about lives that were stolen. The flashbacks added depth to the plot that brought all the threads together to a wonderful conclusion. The Lover's Portrait is a well-written mystery with engaging characters and a lot of heart. The perfect novel for those who love art and mysteries!" - Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

"Zelda is an engaging heroine and the other characters are well drawn. The historical context of the war and the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands give the novel a darker side but a very interesting one. Amsterdam is powerfully evoked in peace and in war. Highly recommended." - mystery author Harriet Steel

"Alderson has a knack for excellent description and anyone travelling to Amsterdam or who knows it well will recognize and enjoy the way she brings the city vividly to life... Recommended for all those who enjoyed the film The Woman in Gold and with an interest in art history and the Second World War." - historical fiction / mystery author Victoria Blake

"Such a treat to get immersed into not only a terrific art-themed mystery, but to be able to virtually look over the shoulders of characters charged with the responsibility of returning art to families who lost masterpieces in WWII. Great detail and engaging characters." - mystery author Ritter Ames

"A vibrant, authentic depiction of Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. Alderson does a magnificent job of bringing the past to life as she weaves an intriguing mystery full of suspense." - mystery author Daniella Bernett

"Firmly set in Amsterdam, this enjoyable mystery explores the darker world of misappropriated and stolen art works during World War II. A good insight, via fiction, into the dark world of stolen artefacts, well researched and written with a good pace... Setting is delightful. There are many more passing references for a bit of literary wanderlust to enjoy throughout the book. She has captured the very Dutch nature of the city and clearly knows it well." - TripFiction
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Rating details

184 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
5 45% (83)
4 34% (63)
3 15% (28)
2 5% (9)
1 1% (1)
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