The Flanders Panel

( 24 )

Overview

A fifteenth-century painting by a Flemish master is about to be auctioned when Julia, a young art restorer, discovers a peculiar inscription hidden in a corner: Who killed the knight? In the painting, the Duke of Flanders and his knight are locked in a game of chess, and a dark lady lurks mysteriously in the background. Julia is determined to solve the five-hundred-year-old murder, but as she begins to look for clues, several of her friends in the art world are brutally murdered in quick succession. Messages left...

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The Flanders Panel

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Overview

A fifteenth-century painting by a Flemish master is about to be auctioned when Julia, a young art restorer, discovers a peculiar inscription hidden in a corner: Who killed the knight? In the painting, the Duke of Flanders and his knight are locked in a game of chess, and a dark lady lurks mysteriously in the background. Julia is determined to solve the five-hundred-year-old murder, but as she begins to look for clues, several of her friends in the art world are brutally murdered in quick succession. Messages left with the bodies suggest a crucial connection between the chess game in the painting, the knight's murder, the sordid underside of the contemporary art world, and the latest deaths. Just when all of the players in the mystery seem to be pawns themselves, events race toward a shocking conclusion. A thriller like no other, The Flanders Panel presents a tantalizing puzzle for any connoisseur of mystery, chess, art, and history.

A fifteenth-century painting by a Flemish master is about to be auctioned off. Hired to clean the painting, a young art expert in Madrid discovers in an X-ray an inscription hidden in the corner, setting off a sophisticated whodunit around the European art world. Film scheduled for 1994.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
PRAISE FORTHE FLANDERS PANEL
“Paradoxes and puzzles abound.A sleek, sophisticated, madly clever chamber mystery about chess, life, and art.”—THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
San Francisco Examiner
Perez-Reverte is a master storyteller. His characters become so lifelike that they feel like old friends.
NY Times Book Review
A sleek and sophisticated chamber mystery...madly clever.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156029582
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/10/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 178,022
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

ARTURO P+REZ-REVERTE is an internationally acclaimed author whose books have been translated into nineteen languages in thirty countries and have sold more than three million copies worldwide. He was born in 1951 in Spain, where he still lives.

MARGARET JULL COSTA has established herself as the premier translator of Portuguese literature into English today.

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Table of Contents

I The Secrets of Meister Van Huys 1
II Lucinda, Octavio, Scaramouche 31
III A Chess Problem 49
IV The Third Player 68
V The Mystery of the Black Lady 87
VI Of Chessboards and Mirrors 103
VII Who Killed the Knight? 126
VIII The Fourth Player 136
IX The Moat at the East Gate 152
X The Blue Car 177
XI Analytical Approaches 196
XII Queen, Knight, Bishop 214
XIII The Seventh Seal 237
XIV Drawing-room Conversation 248
XV Queen Ending 266
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

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4 Star

(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2006

    Awsome

    The main theme of this book is things are not always as they appear. The Flanders Panel makes this theme apparent from the start. In 1990, Julia, an art restorer from Spain receives a painting named The Game of Chess by Pieter Van Huys and she sets to work on it immediately. Through an ultraviolet light she discovers a hidden message 'Quis Necavit Equitem' or ¿Who killed the knight?¿. From there the story unfolds uncovering more questions along the way. Arturo Pérez-Reverte, demonstrates his skillful artist like skill for an almost mind controlling form of writing. It sucks the reader through many complex what ifs and maybes until the incredible climactic end that is bound to send your head spinning. I found this book particularly suited to me because it encompasses many of my personal interests such as chess, music, world languages, and world cultures. I also enjoyed the depth and apparent knowledge that the author displayed. It almost demands a psychoanalytical way of thinking. One example of this is when Julia, her friend César, and the person who owned the painting being restored, Munoz, discuss the painting in relation to Bach. ¿This composition consists of two halves, each of which is repeated. The tonic note of the first half is G and it ends in the key of D. ¿Bach suddenly makes us jump back to the beginning, with G as tonic again¿¿It¿s like a continuous loop¿¿( Pérez-Reverte 205). I find the depth of his literature utterly astounding. Because of the depth and density of Arturo Pérez-Reverte¿s writing I was constantly looking things up and as a result learning a great deal about subjects ranging from Chess to art and even the thought process of a killer. The Flanders Panel is just an absolute treasure trove of cultural, historical, and worldly information. My recommendation is greatly dependent on the knowledge of the reader in the main topics already discussed. The book is overflowing with intellectual phrases that are key to understanding and enjoying it in its entirety. However, great knowledge of chess is not necessary because most of the key points are explained through the main character, Julia who lacks of chess experience. My final feeling is that the reader must be at least interested in the arts to enjoy this book. If you don¿t like the arts this is not the book for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2013

    I have this in an old tattered paperback, and love it. One of m

    I have this in an old tattered paperback, and love it. One of my pleasures. My students do not disturb me if they see me reading this one at lunch.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Much ado about not much

    The author has fallen in love with the sound of his own voice. The book is laden with extravagantly "literary" passages supposedly to create mood or drama. Instead, they are just tiresome. Perhaps we're being subjected to a screenplay. The focus on chess is quite interesting and the detective work involving the painting is well done. However, the present day story is absurd.

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  • Posted July 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good read, disappointing ending.

    I have read a couple of books by this author, and each left me disappointed with the endings. The historical and artistic elements are incredibly interesting, and the book is really suspenseful; I honestly couldn't put it down. But the ending was such a disappointment! It made me sorry I spent time and money on the book, which absolutely never happens to me. Really. The writing throughout is so good, but the ending feels like an after thought. It seems like this is a recurring problem I have with this author, and unfortunately, I will not read any more of his work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2009

    highly recommended

    i loved this book

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  • Posted April 29, 2009

    The Flanders Panel

    The book The Flanders Panel there is drama, murder, and logic. The main character Julia is a paint restorer in Spain. She comes a cross an unusual painting and using ultra violet light came across an inscription hidden from the naked eye. The inscription says 'Quis Necavit Equitem' which means who killed the knight.
    During the story Julia uses the help of many friends and experts to receive information on the painting by Victor Van Huys as well as solve the mystery lying within. While she is doing this she comes in contact with the mystery player and she is roped in to playing the game where it left off in the painting. During this game some of here friends are murdered and it is up to Julia and her friends to find out who it is.
    The story is a drama in the sense that it keeps on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what the mystery player will do next. The clues the author gives the characters are in chess terms and you have to use logic to find out who will be killed next and who the killer is. The murders shake up the game it makes it more serious for Julia. "'This isn't a game Julia' he said 'and don't forget that'" The Flanders Panel. New York: Harper Collins, 1994. During her journey she changes emotionally. She goes from being little girl like into a grown woman. During the story you get to go on a chess adventure and learn the strategies and the story behind the game "'But the next logical move by Black, after losing his pawn on d5, would be to put the white king in check again by moving the Black knight on d1 to b2.'" The Flanders Panel. New York: Harper Collins, 1994.
    I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in chess, mysteries , murder mysteries, or like to be puzzled and surprised. Because in this game the people you least expect could be the most dangerous. This book was fantastic and thoroughly enjoyed. "A Beguiling Puzzle- A Game Within A Game Within A Game - Solved In Perplexing But Entertaining Fashion."- The Philadelphia Inquirer. This statement is one hundred percent true!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2007

    Very, very disappointing

    I had high hopes for this book because of the reviews but I was sorely disappointed. I expected an interesting story line filled with twists and turns. Instead, the mystery behind the painting is solved within the first few chapters and the rest of the story is about who keeps killing the main character's friends (as if you couldn't already figure it out.) There wasn't enough to the historical mystery for me. It was dull and predictable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2005

    an intelligent literary mystery

    Well translated, to the point where you don¿t realize it is a translation. Starting with the preparations of a 15th century painting up for auction, the book develops into a historical puzzle about a murder gone unsolved. The painting itself is of a chess game, and in the opening pages we discover that there is a question embedded in the painting that has no answer. The art restorer becomes fascinated and decides to solve the mystery and find the answer to the question. Secrets left long unattended have a way of creating problems when attention is focussed on them, and the same proves true in the book. People start dying, and the need to solve the mystery becomes pressing. Making use of much chess strategy, the story is very compelling when you are interested in art and love and play chess. I got caught up in the story and found the book impossible to put down. By far my favorite of all of Perez-Reverte¿s books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2001

    Deliciously Thrilling...

    The canals of Perez-Reverte's mind seem to almost twist upon themselves in this novel. The reason Perez-Reverte is a master of this genre is because his books are so well-written and appear so well-researched. I was especially struck by Julia, the 'main' character - she is quite engaging and intelligent. You will be absolutely swept up into the Flanders painting depicted in these pages, and strung along on the journey to uncover its secrets. Anyone looking for rich, thick literary mysteries should definitely pick up this yummy book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2009

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted December 10, 2008

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    Posted July 23, 2010

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    Posted October 7, 2010

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted February 1, 2011

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    Posted November 14, 2008

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    Posted July 2, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

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