“Powerful . . . Fascinating . . . Truman absolutely amazes.”—Atlanta Journal & Constitution
When the senior curator at Washington's famed National Gallery finds a missing painting by the Renaissance master Caravaggio, he mounts a world-class exhibition—and plots a brilliant forgery scheme that will stun the art world.
“A thrilling chase.”—Publishers Weekly
But an artful deception suddenly becomes a portrait of blackmail and murder—as gallery owner and part-time sleuth Annabel Reed-Smith and her husband go searching for clues in the heady arena of international art and uncover a rare collection of unscrupulous characters that leads all the way to Italy.
“Highly recommended . . . One of [Margaret] Truman's best.”—Booklist
About the Author
Margaret Truman has won faithful readers with her works of biography and fiction, particularly her ongoing series of Capital Crimes mysteries. Her novels let us into the corridors of power and privilege, poverty and pageantry in the nation's capital.
She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Clifton Daniel, distinguished journalist, author, and editor. They have four sons and two grandchildren.
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Excerpted from "Murder at the National Gallery"
Copyright © 1997 Margaret Truman.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In Murder at the National Gallery, Margaret Truman examines the character flaws that can make a relatively mild-mannered, relatively good man, Luther Mason, turn to crime. We get to meet his cold mother, his ambitious ex-wife, his controlling girlfriend, his spoiled son, and also the delightful Annabel Reed-Smith, commissioned by the Vice-President¿s wife to work with Luther on the National Gallery¿s prestigious exhibit of the tempestuous Italian painter Carivaggio¿s work. It¿s Annabel that helps to solve the mystery. We get to experience her joys and trials as an art gallery owner. We travel with her to Italy and learn about the amazing collections of magnificent art that exist in that country. We also hold our breath when Annabel gets mixed up in Luther Mason¿s crazy schemes and comes close to losing her life. In my opinion, Murder at the National Gallery started slow. However, I felt happy that I stayed with the story because it heated up nicely as it progressed until I felt very grateful for the wide range of characters, an insider¿s look into the world of fine art forgeries, behind the scenes at the Capital, the Italian mob¿s connection with fine art, and a suspenseful mystery.
Margaret Truman¿s Capital Crime series remind me just a bit of Jessica Fletcher. Just how many murders can one person be present for? Does Jessica attract murders somehow? Even though the premise ¿ an amateur sleuth, Annabel Reed-Smith, who is always in the right place to investigate ¿ is quite faulty, Truman¿s books are generally well-written and fun to read.Not so much this one, though. Murder at the National Gallery sports a number of murders, but investigates none of them. Only one takes place at the Gallery, and it occurs very late in the book. The plot revolves around a curator¿s naïve attempt to discover a lost work of art, then forge it and steal the original. At least four sets of antagonists launch counterplots, which overwhelm our would-be thief and eventually span the globe. National governments get involved, and international peace is threatened! Of course, only Annabel, our sleuth, can step in and make everything right again. Overall, this one didn¿t pass the credibility test, and there wasn¿t enough investigation to make up for it.