Revell, $14.99, 336 pages
Chasing Mona Lisa is fast-paced and suspenseful, mixing historical fact with artistic fiction. The beauty of the setting- Paris as it is liberated during World War II, the French countryside, the Swiss Alps – is a rich complement to the engaging plot. During WWII the curators of the famous Louvre Museum in Paris created an elaborate plan to hide many of the museum’s most precious works of art to keep them safe from Nazi pillaging. This included “evacuating” Leonardo DaVinci’s famed Mona Lisa and moving her from one safe place to another to prevent detection. As the Third Reich flees France, the ruthless Herman Gorring decides the enigmatic Mona Lisa is one last treasure he must take with him.
Chasing Mona Lisa is the breathless race to bring the priceless art treasure back from its temporary home in a Swiss chateau to the safety of the Louvre before it falls into the hands of the Nazi’s second-in-command and is lost forever. The characters are engaging and numerous twists and subplots keep the reader involved without becoming lost or overwhelmed.
Darcie Hart Riedner