My Material Life

A Good Mystery

It is a cold and rainy late April day. A perfect day for a good book and I recommend this one, The Gardner Heist, by Ulrich Boser. The book is about a 20-year-old art theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. On March 18, 1990, two thieves made off with a number of pieces including works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Degas and Manet. The story Ulrich Boser tells works on so many levels – mystery (what happened to the paintings, where are they now?), history (Isabella Stewart Gardner and her museum), character study (art detective Harold Smith), and more. This is one that you won’t want to put down. I am especially happy that I found it (at my favorite institution – the public library) because I’ve been reading about a fictionalized version of the Gardner Museum in the Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn mystery series by Charlotte MacLeod. I love this series. Sarah is a very resourceful young woman who comes from an old Boston family. She is surrounded by some very eccentric and mostly elderly family members and of course, the handsome Max Bittersohn, art detective. In my favorite books from the series, Sarah runs an upscale boarding house in order to hold onto the family home. Good fun and highly recommended.


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