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Gallery Pieces: An Art Mystery

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Former Navy intelligence man Julian Peale enters the art world for the love of painting, but finds its underbelly of crime just as fascinating—and decidedly dangerous. In his forties, Julian Peale is getting a fresh start. Formerly in Navy intelligence, he’s cast his lot in the New York art world. He’s landed a job with the venerable Medici Studios, which also contracts wit Former Navy intelligence man Julian Peale enters the art world for the love of painting, but finds its underbelly of crime just as fascinating—and decidedly dangerous. In his forties, Julian Peale is getting a fresh start. Formerly in Navy intelligence, he’s cast his lot in the New York art world. He’s landed a job with the venerable Medici Studios, which also contracts with the NYPD and FBI. On a winter morning, they’ve run a sting operation to track Russian art smugglers. The caper goes awry, but an odd bit of evidence remains: four art catalogs with graffiti markings. So begins Gallery Pieces, a story that will keep readers guessing until the end. Peale follows the clues where they lead. He meets a heavy at the Miami Art Fair, chases a mystery bidder at Merriweather’s auction in Manhattan, and crosses paths with a Brooklyn performance artist whose pranks are dangerously entangled in the Russian intrigues. Step by step, Peale enters an art world permeated not only by the avant-garde, but by the Russian mob, hackers, forgers, hipsters, and the history of art looting in Europe during WWII. When Peale least expects it, the catalogs lead him on another trail. He is drawn into a long-forgotten mystery surrounding his grandfather, Maxwell Peale, who had been a “monuments man,” a soldier who helped reclaim art looted by the Nazis. Peale is on his way to discovering paintings stolen in postwar Europe. Finding the culprits, however, brings him closer to home than he’d imagined.


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Former Navy intelligence man Julian Peale enters the art world for the love of painting, but finds its underbelly of crime just as fascinating—and decidedly dangerous. In his forties, Julian Peale is getting a fresh start. Formerly in Navy intelligence, he’s cast his lot in the New York art world. He’s landed a job with the venerable Medici Studios, which also contracts wit Former Navy intelligence man Julian Peale enters the art world for the love of painting, but finds its underbelly of crime just as fascinating—and decidedly dangerous. In his forties, Julian Peale is getting a fresh start. Formerly in Navy intelligence, he’s cast his lot in the New York art world. He’s landed a job with the venerable Medici Studios, which also contracts with the NYPD and FBI. On a winter morning, they’ve run a sting operation to track Russian art smugglers. The caper goes awry, but an odd bit of evidence remains: four art catalogs with graffiti markings. So begins Gallery Pieces, a story that will keep readers guessing until the end. Peale follows the clues where they lead. He meets a heavy at the Miami Art Fair, chases a mystery bidder at Merriweather’s auction in Manhattan, and crosses paths with a Brooklyn performance artist whose pranks are dangerously entangled in the Russian intrigues. Step by step, Peale enters an art world permeated not only by the avant-garde, but by the Russian mob, hackers, forgers, hipsters, and the history of art looting in Europe during WWII. When Peale least expects it, the catalogs lead him on another trail. He is drawn into a long-forgotten mystery surrounding his grandfather, Maxwell Peale, who had been a “monuments man,” a soldier who helped reclaim art looted by the Nazis. Peale is on his way to discovering paintings stolen in postwar Europe. Finding the culprits, however, brings him closer to home than he’d imagined.

30 review for Gallery Pieces: An Art Mystery

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    If you love art, or the history of art, you will love this book. Julian Peale is working for Medici Studios tracking stolen art along with the FBI and NYPD. Russian art smugglers are targeted, but the sting operation doesn't work. Julian is working diligently and it's taking him across the country and back...from New York to the Miami Art Fair, back to Manhattan and Brooklyn. He faces the Russian mob, forgers, and very wealthy people who will pay any amount for a painting of their choice. It also l If you love art, or the history of art, you will love this book. Julian Peale is working for Medici Studios tracking stolen art along with the FBI and NYPD. Russian art smugglers are targeted, but the sting operation doesn't work. Julian is working diligently and it's taking him across the country and back...from New York to the Miami Art Fair, back to Manhattan and Brooklyn. He faces the Russian mob, forgers, and very wealthy people who will pay any amount for a painting of their choice. It also leads to his own family history...paintings stolen in postwar Europe. His grandfather was a soldier who helped reclaim art that had been looted by the Nazis. I am not an art enthusiast, I only know what I like when I see it. This book is not one I would have chosen on my own, but once started, I was loathe to put it down. Julian is a bigger than life character. Having been a Naval Intelligence Officer and with an extremely large knowledge of art and its history, he comes across as very believable. Secondary characters lend a credible hand to the story. This is a new author to me and I look forward to checking out his other books to see if they measure up to this one. My thanks to the author and Word Slinger Publicity who furnished this book is exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    A former Navy Intelligence officer now working for Medici Studios in New York Julian Peale is entering the art world as an attempt at a new start in life. Russian art smugglers are wreaking havoc on the New York art scene and Julian is tasked to run a sting operation in cooperation with NYPD. The sting does not quite go as planned but an interesting clue emerges in the form of an art catalogue with some graffiti type markings on various pages. When Julian begins to investigate the markings it ta A former Navy Intelligence officer now working for Medici Studios in New York Julian Peale is entering the art world as an attempt at a new start in life. Russian art smugglers are wreaking havoc on the New York art scene and Julian is tasked to run a sting operation in cooperation with NYPD. The sting does not quite go as planned but an interesting clue emerges in the form of an art catalogue with some graffiti type markings on various pages. When Julian begins to investigate the markings it takes him on somewhat of a wild goose chase as he learns about art auctions, street and performance artists as well as the seedier side of the art world including forgery and organized crime. Coincidentally it also leads him down an unexpected path allowing him to try and resolve some ugly family history. Julian never believed the accusations of stealing works of art made against his grandfather when he was involved with WWII’s “monuments men”. Always intrigued by books dealing with the art world the book description caught my attention right away. I must admit that I was also quite captivated by the cover image, although the book has nothing to do with the infamous art theft in Boston, it did bring to mind the empty frames hanging in the Gardner. This book is well written, filled with interesting insights into the art world (and it’s underworld) yet not bogged down with facts. Mr. Witham weaves his research and knowledge expertly into the story so it never feels like a lesson in art history. I did enjoy the chase of the bad guys, the insight into the inner workings of the art auctions and the under story involving organized crime and forgery, but the part of the book that really took off for me was the part tying in the “monuments men” and the looting after WWII. Julian Peal is an interesting character and Mr. Witham included just enough of his personal life to keep me invested in what happens to him during the book. An obviously well thought out plot, the ending leading right back to the beginning, rounds out the rest of the book nicely. Well-done Mr. Witham. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who, like me, enjoys a fast paced mystery set against a backdrop of the art world. Thank you to WordSlinger for sending me an copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Inishowen Cailín

    An intelligent and complex mystery set in the highbrow art world. Anyone with an interest in history, art and the mystery genre will find themselves engrossed in this fascinating tale involving art fraud and organised crime. The author, Larry Witham, expertly guides the reader through the complexities of the art world and introduces us to the various players involved in the art scene. The investigation takes many twists and turns involving various dangerous and mysterious characters. The crux of t An intelligent and complex mystery set in the highbrow art world. Anyone with an interest in history, art and the mystery genre will find themselves engrossed in this fascinating tale involving art fraud and organised crime. The author, Larry Witham, expertly guides the reader through the complexities of the art world and introduces us to the various players involved in the art scene. The investigation takes many twists and turns involving various dangerous and mysterious characters. The crux of the story is the origins of the stolen art and the part played by the monuments men, one of whom was Peale's grandfather, in the retrieval of looted art from the Nazis and their ultimate fate once they reached America. In order to put the puzzle pieces together, Julian Peale has to investigate the involvement of the Russian mob, hipsters, hackers, art collectors, sellers and old friends. I was impressed by the wealth of knowledge the author has in his subject material. In a book of this kind, where the author is so knowledgeable, there is the danger of slowing the pace with the minutiae of art theory and historical detail but Larry Witham manages to avoid this pitfall. He expertly balances the mix between fact and fiction and just gives the right amount of information to complement the plot. It certainly whetted my interest in learning more about art crime and the work of art experts who are trained to spot works of art looted during WWII. I highly recommend this excellent, fast paced mystery. It won't fail to interest and entertain.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda Munro

    I won this book on a goodreads giveaway. I have to tell you; although it was set in modern times and modern techniques were used, I felt as if I had been transported back to my youth, reading the old mystery books I grew up with. Former Navy intelligence man Julian Peale enters the art world for the love of painting, but finds the danger of art crimes too fascinating to let go. He’s landed a job with the venerable Medici Studios of New York City, which also contracts with the NYPD and FBI. It was I won this book on a goodreads giveaway. I have to tell you; although it was set in modern times and modern techniques were used, I felt as if I had been transported back to my youth, reading the old mystery books I grew up with. Former Navy intelligence man Julian Peale enters the art world for the love of painting, but finds the danger of art crimes too fascinating to let go. He’s landed a job with the venerable Medici Studios of New York City, which also contracts with the NYPD and FBI. It was all due to a letter he had found written by his great-grandfather, a letter that for Peal was a source of mystery in itself. The law enforcement types along with Medici studios run a sting operation to track Russian art smugglers. Although the caper goes awry, when the tracking device stops, four art catalogs with graffiti markings are found, leading Peale into a new world of intrigue. Peale follows the clues where they lead. Each step permeated by the Russian mob, hackers, forgers, hipsters, and the history of art looting in Europe during WWII. Although Peale expects nothing of his personal mystery to be cleared; this job leads him to what he has forever wanted to do, clear his grandfather’s name.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer S. Alderson

    This is a solid art mystery with a well-developed plot involving looted Nazi artwork, art-related cyber crime, many forgeries, and the Russian mafia. The work done by the Monuments Men during WWII, how their ‘collection points’ worked and the rivalries between English and American experts provides part of the backstory. Gallery Pieces moves along at a relatively fast pace, but I wouldn’t label this book a thriller by any means. There are enough suspicious characters and red herrings present to k This is a solid art mystery with a well-developed plot involving looted Nazi artwork, art-related cyber crime, many forgeries, and the Russian mafia. The work done by the Monuments Men during WWII, how their ‘collection points’ worked and the rivalries between English and American experts provides part of the backstory. Gallery Pieces moves along at a relatively fast pace, but I wouldn’t label this book a thriller by any means. There are enough suspicious characters and red herrings present to keep the reader guessing until the end and make it a true mystery. The author’s own interest in painting also comes through via the main character, who dabbles in oils. The only negative point I have is that the book just kind of ends, with most of the mystery unraveled but not necessarily wrapped up. But it’s satisfying enough to feel like you’ve gotten resolution, as a reader.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kerrie A Summers

    This was a Free Book for an honest Review Cyber crime, art fakes, master pieces, and bad crimes were in this book. Peale Medici, and Castelli decided to set up an art scam to catch and follow where art works were disappearing so they put a tracking devise in the side of a fake painting and Peale began his walk with the painting until he was attacked and the painting was stolen. Peale returned to the office and followed by computer after the painting. I won't say more without giving the story away This was a Free Book for an honest Review Cyber crime, art fakes, master pieces, and bad crimes were in this book. Peale Medici, and Castelli decided to set up an art scam to catch and follow where art works were disappearing so they put a tracking devise in the side of a fake painting and Peale began his walk with the painting until he was attacked and the painting was stolen. Peale returned to the office and followed by computer after the painting. I won't say more without giving the story away. Goodness does this happen today to art work? Read Gallery Pieces An Art Mystery

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lela Cottrell

    Very interesting and well written novel This book is labeled as an art mystery but even anyone not that into art will find this mystery very compelling. The main character, Julian Peale is likable and smart. The art world that Peale navigates through is fraught with corruption and deceit , making this a great mystery. I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review." Very interesting and well written novel This book is labeled as an art mystery but even anyone not that into art will find this mystery very compelling. The main character, Julian Peale is likable and smart. The art world that Peale navigates through is fraught with corruption and deceit , making this a great mystery. I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aileen Skwarek

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Asken

  10. 4 out of 5

    E

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cortez Oyellette

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mia Ochalek

  13. 4 out of 5

    Scot Wademan

  14. 4 out of 5

    Guy Myra

  15. 5 out of 5

    Samual Lachino

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Mirabella

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mac Duttweiler

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dessie Aun

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marvin Repka

  20. 5 out of 5

    Georgianna Hack

  21. 5 out of 5

    Fiona Fazzio

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jarod Lozado

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hipolito Holyfield

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shakia Marston

  25. 4 out of 5

    Oren Bicksler

  26. 5 out of 5

    Magali Spadard

  27. 5 out of 5

    Misha Okane

  28. 5 out of 5

    Giovanni Billick

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mirella Hethcox

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beaulah Nehme

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