When a Dutch art dealer hides the stock from his gallery - rather than turn it over to his Nazi blackmailer - he pays with his life, leaving a treasure trove of modern masterpieces buried somewhere in Amsterdam, presumably lost forever. That is, until American art history student Zelda Richardson sticks her nose in.
After studying for a year in the Netherlands, Zelda scores an internship at the prestigious Amsterdam Museum, where she works on an exhibition of paintings and sculptures once stolen by the Nazis, lying unclaimed in Dutch museum depots almost seventy years later.
When two women claim the same portrait of a young girl entitled Irises, Zelda is tasked with investigating the painting's history and soon finds evidence that one of the two women must be lying about her past. Before she can figure out which one it is and why, Zelda learns about the Dutch art dealer's concealed collection. And that Irises is the key to finding it all.
Her discoveries make her a target of someone willing to steal - and even kill - to find the missing paintings. As the list of suspects grows, Zelda realizes she has to track down the lost collection and unmask a killer if she wants to survive.
One of The Displaced Nation's Top 36 Expat Fiction Picks of 2016
Number 14 in the BookLife Prize for Fiction 2016, Mystery category
Silver Cup Winner of Rosie's Book Review Team Awards 2017 in the Mystery category
Set in present day and wartime Amsterdam, this captivating mystery is not just about stolen paintings, but also the lives that were stolen.
The perfect novel for those who love art, history and mysteries.
This amateur sleuth mystery describes the plight of homosexuals and Jewish artists in Europe during World War II, as well as the complexities inherent to the restitution of artwork stolen by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s. The Lover's Portrait: An Art Mystery draws on the author's experiences gained while studying art history in the Netherlands and working for several Dutch museums.Related subjects include: women sleuths, Amsterdam, looted art, Monuments Men, historical mysteries, cultural heritage, amateur sleuth books, murder mysteries, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), travel fiction, suspense, art crime, art theft, World War Two, art history.
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 travelogue, Notes of a Naive Traveler, is a must read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to – travel to Nepal and Thailand.
When not writing, Jennifer can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.