Who would want to own a stolen painting, knowing that no one could ever know you own it? Or that you alone would be the only person who ever get to see it? This is the perpetual quandry in the theft of fine and famous art pieces and the background of this mystery. Based upon the famous thief of the "Mona Lisa" in 1911, Noah develops a personal story around the characters of the time and the ingenious way that the art was stolen. It is a fascinating story of Paris and also Italy during that period and how many artists made a living copying master works. Marquis Eduardo de Valfierno was a charismatic con man. As you read, you will see the mastery of the plot develop and you realize how easily an underworld can be tapped with the right connections and a little bit of money. This book while fiction is one of many written about this masterful crime. Ironically, it took 20 years before the painting was restored. You can Google for many articles on the real theft. The link about will take you to a Time Magazine article about it. I got this book out of the Thompson Public Library and it can be found in most larger library system catalogs. I highly recommend this book for the combination of great writing on a real life mystery that was ultimately solved and documented.
PS: Check the comment below for an outstanding blog and documentary on the theft. I was thrilled to have Mr. Medeiros comment and contribute. Check his blog. There are copies of original pictures and news articles from that time. The link needs to include the 'blogspot' part of the link or it will not work. Again thanks to Mr. Medeiros for adding richness to my humble effort.