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The Last Judgement (Art History Mystery Series #4)
     

The Last Judgement (Art History Mystery Series #4)

by Iain Pears
 

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Iain Pears-who "exhibits quite a masterful touch at suspensfulstorytelling"*-has delighted fans and critics alike with his charming mystery novels featuring art dealer Jonathan Argyll. In The Last Judgement, Argyll agrees to transport a decidedly nondescript painting from a gallery in Paris to its new owner in Rome. But when his mission is plagued by robbery

Overview

Iain Pears-who "exhibits quite a masterful touch at suspensfulstorytelling"*-has delighted fans and critics alike with his charming mystery novels featuring art dealer Jonathan Argyll. In The Last Judgement, Argyll agrees to transport a decidedly nondescript painting from a gallery in Paris to its new owner in Rome. But when his mission is plagued by robbery and murder, Argyll must investigate the dark secrets in the painting's past-before someone tries to put him out of the picture for good.

Author Biography: Iain Pears is a journalist and art historian with a doctorate in art history from Oxford. He is the author of six Jonathan Argyll mysteries, The Discovery of Painting, and the bestselling historical novel An Instance of the Fingerpost.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The latest (mis)adventure of art historian Jonathan Argyll delivers its plot twists at a rapid clip right up to the closing pages, where Jonathan's lover, Flavia di Stefano of Rome''s Art Theft Department, cuts straight to the tale's core of murderous greed. Jonathan agrees to hand-deliver a small, undistinguished painting from a Paris art dealer to Arthur Muller, the buyer in Rome. But in short order, someone tries to steal the painting from Jonathan; Muller is tortured and murdered; a man carrying both Muller's and Jonathan's addresses is also killed; and French authorities demand that Jonathan return the painting, which might be stolen. While Jonathan restores the painting to its rightful owner, who turns out to be a hero from the French Resistance, Flavia discovers that Muller was obsessed with learning about his father-whose own wartime death and Resistance involvement were apparently less honorable. Graced with a sharp intellect and terrier-like tenacity, Flavia charges on, even when Jonathan's courage flags and the French powers-that-be are deliberately unhelpful. By giving his sleuths an ample supply of dirty little secrets to unearth and solve, Pears (The Bernini Bust) keeps them and his readers well occupied. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Jonathan Argyll, British art dealer and sleuth, delivers an obscure 18th-century painting to a Parisian dealer's client in Rome. The client, however, ends up dead. Argyll and his fiance, Flavia de Stefano, pursue the murderer as well as information about the painting. A solidly enjoyable series.
Emily Melton
Jonathan Argyll, British art dealer, and his amour, Flavia de Stefano, a member of Rome's art-theft squad, have decided to marry after happy months of living together. But first, there's business to tend to. On a buying trip to Paris, Jonathan is asked by a colleague to deliver a valuable painting to a client in Rome. He soon discovers that whoever is interested in this picture seems to wind up dead. The trail leads both Jonathan and Flavia from Rome to Paris and back, unearthing in the process a story that began with the French Resistance during World War II and has extended its tendrils to the present day, where familial jealousy, greed over an inheritance, and unrequited love provide the perfect motives for murder. In the odd moment when Jonathan and Flavia aren't detecting, they carry on a delightful courtship that provides nearly as much enjoyment as the surprising plot. A sophisticated, adventurous, and gripping story that is sure to hold wide appeal.
Kirkus Reviews
When will Jonathan Argyll learn? This time, the budding international art dealer with a nose for trouble volunteers to deliver a minor French painting to its new owner in Rome, only to find on his arrival that (1) the buyer, Arthur Muller, no longer wants it; (2) by the next day Muller's been tortured and killed; and (3) back in France, the canvas has been reported stolen. Even as Argyll's tracing the painting's ties to the ugly betrayal of a Resistance cell in wartime France, his unofficial fiancée Flavia di Stefano, of Rome's Art Squad, is getting ready, as usual, to save him from his own impetuosity—and from more of the worst judgment boasted by any fictional detective outside the funny pages.

Though the flashback to historical intrigue barely 50 years old is something of a novelty for Pears (The Bernini Bust, 1994, etc.), Argyll and Flavia's fourth is as densely plotted as ever.

From the Publisher
“A sophisticated, adventurous, and gripping story that is sure to hold wide appeal.”—Booklist

The Last Judgement is a joy for readers who enjoy a complex plot set to clever dialogue with the often nefarious goings-on of the international art market as a backdrop.”—St. Petersburg Times

“A witty, exceptionally brilliant puzzler.”—Sunday Times (London)

“The latest (mis)adventure of art historian Jonathan Argyll delivers its plot twists at a rapid clip right up to the closing pages. . .Pears keeps his readers well occupied.”—Publishers Weekly

“[Pears] writes clearly, persuasively and with a hand guided by touches of sentimentality as well as mischief.”—Chicago Tribune

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425171486
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
10/28/1999
Series:
Art History Mystery Series , #4
Edition description:
REISSUE
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
4.24(w) x 6.78(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“A sophisticated, adventurous, and gripping story that is sure to hold wide appeal.”—Booklist
 
The Last Judgement is a joy for readers who enjoy a complex plot set to clever dialogue with the often nefarious goings-on of the international art market as a backdrop.”—St. Petersburg Times
 
“A witty, exceptionally brilliant puzzler.”—Sunday Times (London)
 
“The latest (mis)adventure of art historian Jonathan Argyll delivers its plot twists at a rapid clip right up to the closing pages. . .Pears keeps his readers well occupied.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“[Pears] writes clearly, persuasively and with a hand guided by touches of sentimentality as well as mischief.”—Chicago Tribune
 

 

Meet the Author

Iain Pears was born in 1955. Educated at Wadham College, Oxford, he has worked as a journalist, an art historian, and a television consultant in England, France, Italy, and the United States. He is the author of seven highly praised detective novels, a book of art history, and countless articles on artistic, financial, and historical subjects, as well as the international bestseller An Instance of the Fingerpost He lives in Oxford, England.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Oxford, England
Date of Birth:
1955
Education:
Ph.D., Oxford University

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