First in the Italian art-history crime series featuring English dealer and sleuth Jonathan Argyll, from the author of the best-selling masterpiece 'An Instance of the Fingerpost'.
Flavia di Stefano is the kind of Italian beauty that art dealer Jonathon Argyll doesn't normally get to meet in his line of work. But, it turns out, all he had to do was get caught breaking into one of Rome's churches – for Flavia is the Art Theft officer tasked with interviewing Jonathon. A strange way to meet, perhaps, but then Jonathon has an even stranger tale to tell.
His claim that the church contains a lost classic, hidden under another painting, is treated with cautious scepticism. But when the picture first vanishes, then turns up in the hands of a British art dealer claiming it's a newly discovered Raphael, it's clear there's more to it than meets the eye. When vandalism is followed by murder, it's up to Jonathan and Flavia to discover just how much more – a quest for the true nature of a painting with a lethal history…
Praise for ‘The Raphael Affair’:
‘An impressive first, promising much.’ The Times
‘Good, clean art scam fun…plot layered as forger’s paint; Italophiles and gallery gazers will love it. A felicitous first.’ Guardian
‘Ingenious…a good read.’ Daily Express
‘Clever thriller… Pears balances politics, love and danger nicely, in a plot that has a cunning and satisfactory outcome.’ Sunday Times
Praise for the Jonathan Argyll series:
‘You don’t have to know much about art to enjoy Iain Pears’s Italian mysteries. Like a good teacher, he shares his passion unobtrusively and flavours his lessons with wit.’ Val McDermid
'Pears is a delightful writer, with a light, ironic touch.' Mail on Sunday
About the author
Iain Pears won the Getty Scholarship to Yale University and then worked for Reuters in Rome. He is the author of ‘The History of Modern Painting’ and the bestselling literary novel, ‘An Instance of the Fingerpost’. He lives with his wife and son in Oxford.