Clever and witty art history-mystery featuring scholar and sleuth Jonathon Argyll, from the author of the bestselling masterpiece 'An Instance of the Fingerpost'.
A tip-off without any names and a theft with no obvious motive - these are the apparently innocuous matters currently in the hands of Flavia di Stefano of Rome's Art Theft Squad. Flavia is able to disturb the looters of the monastery in San Giovanni but not catch them. And it's a good thing that nothing valuable was stolen because neither she nor art dealer Jonathan Argyll have a clue who the culprits were.
Maybe the truth lies with the item they did get away with - not the disputed Caravaggio the monastery is known for, but a curious icon of the Madonna that is said to have strange powers. Such claims are pure folklore, surely... but then a connection is made to a French dealer found floating in the Tiber a few days later and suddenly things don't seem so frivolous. Perhaps the icon was what the thieves wanted - and is it possible that its powers are miraculous enough to kill for?
Iain Pears was born in 1955, educated at Wadham College, Oxford and won the Getty Scholarship to Yale University. He has worked as a journalist, an art historian and a television consultant. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling An Instance of the Fingerpost and The Dream Of Scipio.He lives with his wife and son in Oxford.