Published On: Thu, Oct 28th, 2021

Murder, Mayhem and the Mona Lisa

“A true masterpiece does not tell everything.” – Albert Camus

The Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in 1911. The art thief, Vincent Perrugia, hides the painting for two years in his Paris apartment and then returns to Italy to attempt to sell it to an art gallery in Florence but is convicted of the crime. Questions arise. What was Perrugia’s motive for stealing it? Was the well-known art forger Yves Chaudron involved in the crime? Did the nobleman Eduardo de Valfiero finance it?

Author and artist Jonathan Santlofer combines his love of art and writing into a fast-paced thriller about the theft of the Mona Lisa and what possibly happened in the following years. Michael Connelly says this book has “unstoppable what-happens-next momentum.” 


Luke Perrone, Perrugia’s fictitious great-grandson, travels to Florence to seek out his great-grandfather’s journal to learn the truth behind the theft of this work of art, and whether the painting in the Louvre is the original or a forgery. Luke’s quest turns out to be more dangerous than he realizes as everyone who comes in contact with the diary is found dead.  

A beautiful mysterious woman, an INTERPOL agent, and an art forger appear and add to the intrigue. No matter how precious a work of art is, can it be more valuable than a human life? Luke needs to find answers before he is the next victim.

Join us for an informative conversation with Elinor Lipman interviewing Santlofer about art and art history, the world of collectors, and how to write about fact blended in with fiction to create a page-turning crime mystery.
Elinor Lipman is an award-winning author who has written many novels, short stories and essays. She has taught creative writing at several colleges in Massachusetts. Her novel Then She Found Me was made into a movie starring Helen Hunt and it can still be found on Netflix. 

Accomplished artist, author and teacher, Santlofer has exhibited his art around the world. He has won many awards and grants for his writing, including The Death Artist and Anatomy of Fear. He also created and directs the Center for Fiction’s Crime Fiction Academy. 
Tickets are pay-what-you-wish scale, $5-50 USD. Info on this event and on writing workshops is available at sanmiguelliterarysala.org

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