Madonna of the Apes
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Fred Taylor, a veteran of unspecified clandestine services that have caused him to spend hard times in Southeast Asia, finds himself at loose ends in Boston. A late-night chance encounter in the city's Beacon Hill area throws his lot in with eccentric art collector Clayton Reed. Reed has been tricked by a young man as unscrupulous as he is ignorant into examining and considering for purchase a collection of paintings whose presence in the U.S. seems, at best, informal.
Fred, sensing Reed's naiveté in matters of personal security, volunteers to guarantee that security at the same time as Reed's acumen as a connoisseur astounds Fred. How could Reed just walk away from the situation with what he later gloatingly describes as "a prize worth more than the gross domestic product of Bulgaria."
What Reed has purchased appears to be a painting by one of the most important artists of the Italian Renaissance. But is it what it seems? Can The Madonna of the Apes be a forgery? How did it come to be, so quietly, in Boston? These questions propel Reed and Fred into an increasingly murderous tangle, guided only by the assurances of a sequence of art dealers who lie as easily as they withhold the truth about the painting, its true nature, and its history.
Nicholas Kilmer is the author of five previous Fred Taylor art mysteries.
- Size: 5.50 in x 8.50 in
- Pages: 272