Title: The Art Forger
Author: B.A. Shapiro
Length: ~350 pages
Where Bethany’s Copy Came From: Indy Library Story used book sale
Plot Basics: Artist Claire Roth works in making reproductions of famous painting because the art world has shunned her after a scandal. When she’s offered an opportunity to reproduce (or maybe forge) a Degas stolen in the famous Isabella Stewart Gardner museum heist and get back in the art world’s good graces, she takes it. But the truth about the painting and its origins may be more complicated and Claire attempt to escape scandal may put her in the middle of a new one.
Banter Points: I saw this book on the Indy Library Store’s honor cart at work and I had to buy it. Art heists? Forged paintings? How could it not be good? That said, it sat on my shelf for a year or more before I actually got it read.
The Art Forger is definitely on the literary end of the mystery genre. The book is as much about Claire as it is the actual heist and forging. If you’re looking for a book that reads like an episode of White Collar, this isn’t it. But, if you’re looking for a smart crime novel with interesting characters and/or happen to like art, this book is for you.
Bummer Points: Shapiro repeats a bit of information early on about forgery, techniques and some of Degas’ history. It’s noticeable, but fairly easy to skip over and get back to the good bits.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Could quite possible sneak into the Top Ten of 2015 for me. I’d been waiting to read it for so long and it didn’t disappoint.