The Raphael affair

Novel, Mystery by Iain Pears
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When English art historian Jonathan Argyll is caught breaking into a church in Rome, he has an astonishing story to tell. He claims that the church contains a genuine Raphael, hidden under another painting. Further investigation reveals that the painting has reappear later in the hands of top English art dealer, Edward Byrnes. Soon Byrnes is able to unveil the Raphael to the world. But how had he discovered the hidden masterpiece? There is also the curious matter of the forger whose safety deposit box contains some highly suspicious sketches. Then a hideous act of vandalism is perpetrated. Murder follows and General Bottando of Italy's Art Theft Squad faces the biggest challenge of his career. "You don't have to know much about art to enjoy Iain Pears' Italian mysteries. Like a good teacher, he shares his passion unobtrusively and flavours his lessons with wit." VAL McDERMIND.

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