By B.A. Shapiro
A. Shapiro, writing as Barbara Shapiro, is the author of five suspense novels, four screenplays, and one nonfiction book. She lives in Boston and teaches creative writing at Northeastern University.
THE STORY: Three years before, artist Claire Roth was involved in a scandal that all but ended her career. With no gallery willing to show her paintings and no patron willing to buy them, Claire now ekes out a living reproducing famous works. Her life changes forever, though, when gallery owner Aidan Markel offers her $50,000 and a one-woman art show in exchange for forging a Degas, one of the 13 paintings collectively valued at more than $500 million stolen during the infamous 1990 heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Claire agrees--how can she pass up a chance to get her paintings before the public eye?--but she quickly finds herself caught in a mystery, with stakes higher than she ever imagined.
Algonquin Books. 368 pages. $15. ISBN: 9781616201326
Minneapolis Star Tribune ****
"Shapiro knows her stuff; she understands the artistic friendships, jealousies and egos of the art world, the near transcendent experience of seeing a truly great masterpiece and the profound satisfaction of getting an individual vision on canvas and getting it right. She gets the techniques and the psychology of successful forgers and the pathology of obsessive collectors." PATRICIA HAGEN
St. Petersburg Times ****
"Finding The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro, a fun, mostly convincing novel based on an actual heist, was an entertaining surprise, though it does suffer from a few formulaic and cliched elements. ... The novel picks up steam as several story lines are interwoven: the Degas-Gardner flirtation and the genesis of the painting, which we learn about from fictitious letters to a fictitious niece; Claire's research into the painting and her efforts to re-create it; [and] the developing romance between her and Aiden." LENNIE BENNETT
USA Today ****
"[Romance] definitely plays a part in B. A. Shapiro's The Art Forger, a gushy homage to the love affair that exists...