- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 4804 KB
- Print Length: 259 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Traveling Life Press (22 June 2016)
- Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01EVVS0RI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 69 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
The Lover's Portrait: An Art Mystery (Zelda Richardson Mystery Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 259 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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"Alderson alternates between 1942 and 2015 in this gripping mystery that explores the provenance of artwork that was hidden from the Nazis during World War II and reappears in 2015... As the narrative unfolds and the truth is revealed, the suspense is intensely magnetic and the characters equally captivating." - BookLife Prize, 2016
"Alderson delivers a mystery novel not quite like most. It’s not about stolen paintings, but about lives that were stolen. The flashbacks added depth to the plot that brought all the threads together to a wonderful conclusion. The Lover’s Portrait is a well-written mystery with engaging characters and a lot of heart. The perfect novel for those who love art and mysteries!" - Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
"Zelda is an engaging heroine and the other characters are well drawn. The historical context of the war and the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands give the novel a darker side but a very interesting one. Amsterdam is powerfully evoked in peace and in war. Highly recommended." - mystery author Harriet Steel
"Alderson has a knack for excellent description and anyone travelling to Amsterdam or who knows it well will recognize and enjoy the way she brings the city vividly to life... Recommended for all those who enjoyed the film The Woman in Gold and with an interest in art history and the Second World War." - historical fiction / mystery author Victoria Blake
"Such a treat to get immersed into not only a terrific art-themed mystery, but to be able to virtually look over the shoulders of characters charged with the responsibility of returning art to families who lost masterpieces in WWII. Great detail and engaging characters." - mystery author Ritter Ames
"A vibrant, authentic depiction of Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. Alderson does a magnificent job of bringing the past to life as she weaves an intriguing mystery full of suspense." - mystery author Daniella Bernett
“Firmly set in Amsterdam, this enjoyable mystery explores the darker world of misappropriated and stolen art works during World War II. A good insight, via fiction, into the dark world of stolen artefacts, well researched and written with a good pace... Setting is delightful. There are many more passing references for a bit of literary wanderlust to enjoy throughout the book. She has captured the very Dutch nature of the city and clearly knows it well.” - TripFiction--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. Her love of travel, art, and culture inspires her ongoing mystery series, the Adventures of Zelda Richardson. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels.
In Down and Out in Kathmandu, Zelda gets entangled with a gang of smugglers whose Thai leader believes she's stolen his diamonds. The Lover's Portrait is a suspenseful "whodunit?" about Nazi-looted artwork that transports readers to wartime and present-day Amsterdam. Art, religion, and anthropology collide in Rituals of the Dead, a thrilling artifact mystery set in Dutch New Guinea (Papua) and the Netherlands. Her short story set in Panama and Costa Rica, Holiday Gone Wrong, will help fans better understand this unintentional amateur sleuth's decision to study art history and give new readers a taste of her tantalizing misadventures.
The Lover's Portrait was Chill With A Book's January 2018 Book of the Month, chosen as one of TripFiction's 10 Favorite Books set in Amsterdam, and won the Silver Cup in Rosie's Book Review Team 2017 Awards, Mystery category. The Lover's Portrait also won a Chill With A Book Readers' Award, Readers' Favorite 5 star medal, was one of The Displaced Nation magazine's Top 36 Expat Fiction Picks of 2016, and came in at 14 in BookLife's 2016 Prize for Fiction in the Mystery category. It was also one of Women Writers, Women's Books magazine's Recommended Reads for April 2017.
Her travelogue, Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand, is a must-read for those interested in learning more about - or wishing to travel to - Nepal and Thailand. It was also awarded a Readers' Favorite 5 star medal.
Learn more about Jennifer and her books on her website (http: //www.JenniferSAlderson.com), Facebook (http: //www.facebook.com/JenniferSAldersonAuthor), Twitter (@JSAauthor) or Goodreads (https: //www.goodreads.com/JennifeSAlderson).--This text refers to the paperback edition.
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It contains everything I love in a book; World War II history, mystery, murder, secrets and lies, deception and greed.
Basically this magnificent story set in Amsterdam, centres around lost and stolen art works during World War II, and its recovery. The dual timeline between present day and WW2 leaves plenty of hints which all come together in the end.
So brilliantly written and researched, this book had me hooked from beginning to end.
It opens with a flashback to 1942, with a man named Arjan trying to stay one step ahead of Nazi Oswald Drechsler by keeping art treasures out of the hands of the Gestapo. These flashbacks are intermittent throughout yet involving, balancing what is occurring in the present with slowly revealed glimpses into the past. Zelda Richardson is a likable protagonist easy for the reader to embrace, because she’s far from perfect, yet resilient. Thanks to Professor Marianne Smit, who has encouraged her, she gets an unpaid internship at the Amsterdam Museum. Her boss Bernice Dijkstra, and the stern curator Huub Konjin enlist her aid in helping with the website tied to the Stolen Objects exhibition. The translations from Dutch to English are a mess. It seems a dream assignment for young Zelda, who views the museum as a kind of Camelot. It is through her eyes that the reader gets a wonderful sense of living in Amsterdam.
Zelda is soon at odds with Huub, however, when two separate claimants step forward to claim one of the paintings even before the exhibit has opened. In the background, Konrad Heider has been searching religiously for his family’s paintings. The difficulty of proving prominence for both Rita Brouwer, and Heider’s client, Karen O’Neil, is a tricky one, however. After a day escorting Rita around Amsterdam, enjoying her company as she shares with Zelda her memories of this part of the world during the war, Zelda is convinced of Rita’s genuineness and becomes her champion. This places her at odds with Huub, who clearly is ready to grant the overbearing Karen rights to the painting. Zelda cannot understand why, or why Karen is spending so much money to claim a relatively worthless painting.
There are secrets and intrigue here, and when Zelda oversteps her assignment by speaking with a relative related to the search for documentation, it sets in motion unexpected violence, as the past reaches out to the future. Sixty-five paintings, forty-five crates, and war-time homosexuality and blackmail make for intrigue and a touch of danger amidst a colorful backdrop. More and more, as Zelda attempts to be Rita’s champion, she places in jeopardy the Master’s program she so covets so that she can become a curator and work at exhibition design. On the personal front, Zelda’s boyfriend Pietro seems to be using her, and ignoring her, while her pal Friedrich, with whom she has no romantic feelings, is always there to help. He operates quadrocoptors and small drone planes by remote control as a hobby, and this will come into play as Zelda tries to discover what one of the claimants is really up to.
The mystery surrounding the painting, Irises, and its provenance is augmented by the wonderful atmosphere of life in Amsterdam. The heroine and her sidekick are likable and the reader wants them to succeed. The narrative itself is fairly breezy, flowing and unfolding naturally, even within the flashbacks. The last third of the book is quite exciting, with a sprinkling of danger, and a dash of violence. The conclusion to the mystery is very satisfying, suggesting promise of other adventures for Zelda. All in all, this appears to be a very fine mystery series.
If I have a caveat, it is that Zelda did not take the romantic direction I’d hoped for, and where the story-line appeared to be heading. Perhaps with this being a series, the author felt that Zelda being too entangled romantically would smother options in upcoming books, but it would have been charming, in my opinion. It is a very minor quibble, however. The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery by Jennifer S. Alderson is a wonderful read for fans of the genre, and is much more enthralling than its breezy narrative and cerebral subject matter — a museum, works of art — suggests. Highly recommended!
As an artist, mystery-lover and follower of Philip Mould (BBC1’s Fake or Fortune, Antiques Roadshow), I was immediately drawn in by this novel. Zelda is a wonderful protagonist – educated, intelligent and plucky. I was riveted from the first page and, as I followed the story, looked up the artists and paintings mentioned, keeping the images beside me for reference. The author certainly knows her subject and, having been to the exciting city of Amsterdam, I found her vibrant descriptions of its museums and galleries and especially the history of the city, spot on.
The Lover’s Portrait is a thrilling travelogue of intrigue, detection, and quite unput-downable.
Top international reviews
Beautifully told, the story of Zelda's search for art stolen from Dutch owners in World War II comes to life. While a work of fiction, Ms. Alderson's meticulous research makes for a rich learning experience. It is a breathtaking tale.
Another five star hit from this author.
American art history student Zelda Richardson is serving an internship with a prestigious Dutch art museum overseeing the return of certain works. She's charged with researching one painting with two very different claimants. The story flows seamlessly between contemporary Amsterdam and 1940s Amsterdam as Zelda uncovers not only a love story and the depth of friendship, but the fear that flourished in occupied Netherlands. Zelda's research skills allow wartime Amsterdam to surface like a pentimento and by looking closely at the past through the present, she solves a decades-long mystery and brings closure to questions that have haunted a family since the war. It is a book that will live with the reader for a long time.
I loved this book so much that I bought a copy for all of my friends. Satisfies on all levels.
The story moves at a great pace, keeping the reader fully engaged in Zelda's quest for the truth. The characters are well-developed and very believable. Zelda, as the main protagonist, is flawed and realistic, while the antagonist is both intelligent and cold-hearted, and is therefore very easy to dislike. This is paralleled in the 'historical' characters in the story: the protagonists are likeable and genuine, both oppressed for different reasons, while the author has very effectively characterised their NAZI antagonist as cruel and vindictive through his own motivations and actions without resorting to any typecasting or cliche. Throughout the novel, the author succeeds in using the natural empathy of the reader to drive their interest and engagement in the characters and plot without the reader being aware of any such positioning.
As the novel draws to a close, Anderson pulls the various story lines together into a neat and satisfying conclusion, albeit tinged with sadness and regret.
5 stars for 'The Lover's Portrait'.
Read it. You're sure to enjoy this fantastic book.
I like that Zelda is a normal person doing the best she can for others and that she is not cast as stupid or neurotic. The intriguing, fast-paced story filled with vivid descriptions makes it difficult to put this book down, but when you need a refill…. I contacted the author to review her books. 5*
Rituals of the Dead #2 – This is my first read by this author and I found it interesting. The storylines flip back and forth between 2017 and 1962. This made for an intriguing suspense although it was easy to figure where the missing person ended up.
The characters were interesting enough to keep me immersed in the pages, along with the author’s easy to read writing style. The descriptions were well done as was the dialog and thought patterns of the characters. I found this book somewhere but when I contacted the author to review Marked for Revenge, I read it first since it turns out this is a series. 4*
Marked for Revenge #3 - This book begins with her thesis being critiqued and three months into a new job at a new location. An interesting story of art theft and revenge, which had enough of the real world mixed with the fiction to hold the reader’s attention until the last page.
The descriptions are well done, the storylines believable and interesting, and the characters and their dialog were also well done. One of the Dutch laws about stolen art blew my mind, but I understand the reasoning behind it. I found this book on Booksprout. 4*
The protagonist, Zelda Richardson, is a resilient, gutsy, ethical art history student who just might be in over her head when her search for truth entangles her in a 70-year-old web of stolen paintings, blackmail, and murder.
The author’s exemplary research into art works stolen by the Nazis during World War 2 is evident. However, she does not overdo facts; but rather, she seamlessly weaves the thought-provoking information into her tale.
I highly recommend “The Lover’s Portrait” for artists, art lovers, history buffs, historical novel fans, and anyone else looking for a well-written, enjoyable read.
I have not yet read Ms. Alderson’s first novel, “Down and Out in Kathmandu,” but halfway through “The Lover’s Portrait” I knew I wanted to read more of Ms. Alderson’s work, and so I ordered a copy and am looking forward to the read.
Oswald Drechsler (Nazi) would never find these.
7/18/2015, Netherlands, Amsterdam Museum. Ms. Bernice Dijkstra (project mgr.) were going to interview Zelda Richardson (unpaid intern, U of Amsterdam MS; museum studies, BA; American art history).
The Stolen Objects: Unclaimed Paintings & Sculptures in Dutch Museum Depots exhibit is about to open.
Huub Konijn (IT, Jewish Historical Museum Sr. curator) was introduced to Zelda.
Amsterdam Museum conference table. Bernice Dijkstra, & Huub, were meeting with Bernice, Karen O’Neil, & Konrad Oswald Gotthard Heider (Karen’s lawyer, Heider, Schmidt & Weber Law Firm founding Partner).
Ms. O’Neil is not Arjan van Heemsvliet (gay) legitimate granddaughter.
Leo de Boer is currently reviewing her claim.
What does Mrs. Rita Brouwer (Margriet Verbeet) know?
Officer Eenhuizen (30, Amsterdam PD) came to investigate the ransacking of Zelda’s apartment.
She rattled off the name of Pietro Moretti (BF, gigolo), who lived with his parents in Florence, Italy.
Arjan’s letters had been taken also. Zelda had been translating them into English.
Gerard’s house had broken into & torn apart.
6/26/1942, Philip Verbeet, & Arjan were having the impossible task of packing 65 paintings into 45 crates.
It was Colonel Oswald Drechsler (Nazi’s Ministry of Culture) job to make sure the German PPL got to see the world-renowned art work.
9/1/2015, Café De Jaren’s. What were Rita Verbeet, & Zelda Verbeet discussing?
I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Only an honest one.
A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. Wow, a very well written historical fiction book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great adventure movie, or better yet a mini TV series. A very easy rating of 5 stars.
Thank you for the free Traveling Life Press; LisaatManybooks; Amazon Digital Services LLC.; book
Tony Parsons (Washburn; MSW)