My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Art historian, Jonathan Argyll and his lady-love, a member of Rome’s art theft squad, the beautiful and clever Flavia di Stefano, are embroiled in investigating a murder in Venice. A member of the prestigious Titian Committee, whose primary function is the authentication of works purported to be by that great master, is found murdered. Before Jonathan and Flavia can solve the mystery, more deaths occur, and with Flavia’s job on the line, and the future of the Art-Theft Squad in jeopardy, Jonathan and Flavia are in a race against time to solve the crimes.
This is a tale told with a light and humorous touch, and the principal characters, Jonathan, with his very British, reticent, bumbling ways, and Flavia, with her quick-witted, sharp intelligence, are both charming. This may be light reading, but is a delightfully literate and amusing read.
Recently I reviewed The Dream of Scipio by this same author. It is almost beyond belief to me that these two books are by the same author. Scipio is a dark and complicated tale, of great intellectual depth. The series of detective stories, all featuring the same characters, of which The Titian Committee is one, are light hearted and amusing rather than dense and thought provoking. Nevertheless, Iain Pears is a brilliant author, in whichever style he chooses to write.
Abigail's Christmas is a holiday story about Abigail who goes looking for a tree on Christmas Eve, and ends up with the man of her dreams in a sleigh in the Rockies --- with a wedding in the offing! Is it real? Is she dreaming? Or is it just Christmas magic?