The London Forgery: Coffee Pot Book Club Blog Tour
1973. Art historian Fabiola Bennett sees herself as a prudently observant deer who becomes a daring and even mischievous lioness if the situation calls for it. And that’s exactly what’s required when greedy criminals steal, forge, and tamper with treasured artwork. When the crooks add murder to their list of crimes, the chaos is complete.
A mysterious note is delivered anonymously at the door of the National Gallery in London, and the director immediately calls Fabiola’s office in Oslo and pleads with her to come without delay. The message is confusing, but it seems one of her favorite eighteenth-century portraits is in trouble.
Fabiola hops on the first plane and meets up with her vibrant side-kick Pippa Yates and the ever-loyal Detective Inspector Cary Green from New Scotland Yard. But she is not naïve enough to think untangling the purpose and meaning of the mysterious note will be as simple as a walk in Hyde Park. These things never are.
1750. Newly married Robert and Frances Andrews, members of the landed gentry of Suffolk, England, hire young and talented Thomas Gainsborough to paint their wedding portrait. Their desire is a lovely conversation piece showing their wealth and class, an artwork to remember them by for generations to come.
Little do they know the gifted artist portrays their personalities exactly how he perceives them, and the artistic symbolism is not as flattering as they’d hoped for. Even the looming clouds in the distance promise a troublesome future.
This is the first book in a new dual timeline series by Heidi Eljarbo—an intriguing spin-off from the much-loved Soli Hansen Mysteries.
Fans of Lucinda Riley, Rhys Bowen, Kathleen McGurl, Kate Morton, and Katherine Neville will love this cozy historical art mystery, which takes the readers back to the nostalgia of the groovy seventies and the classical Georgian era of the eighteenth century.
Cary turned to Fabiola. “Mysterious note? What’s that about?”
Director Wilson showed him the note and presented the details about the time and place of the anonymous message’s sudden appearance.
He read the note and then lifted his eyebrows. “Peculiar sentence. Almost theatrical or old-fashioned.”
The director nodded. “This could very well be a hoax, but I’ve called on Fabiola here to help us in case there actually is something amiss.”
Cary smiled at her. “A clever move.”
“Yes, she’s helped us many times when we’ve needed advice or assistance. This time I’m not exactly sure what the problem is or if there truly is one. The note we received is curious, to say the least. We hope it’s nothing serious, but my gut tells me it is. That’s why I’d like you here, as well, Detective Inspector Green… I mean, in case we need help from the Metropolitan Police.”
Cary frowned, causing deep creases to appear on his forehead. “Before we continue, please tell me, who are Mr. and Mrs. Andrews? Art dealers? The Bonny and Clyde of art theft? Who are they?”
Director Wilson spoke in a low voice. “It’s a priceless British masterpiece—an eighteenth-century portrait—much loved and well-known.”
Both men turned to Fabiola.
She paused a moment, then said, “I’m afraid the mysterious note is not a prank. I’ve spent the afternoon in room thirty-five studying the Gainsborough painting, and I’m sad to tell you, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews—the painting on the wall upstairs—is a forgery.”
The museum director placed his palms on his puffy cheeks. “No. No. No. I had a horrible feeling about that message, as if something was very wrong.” He got up and grabbed his hat and trench coat from the coat stand. “I don’t feel well and think I’ll call it a day. Fabiola, you may use the vacant office down the hall. The files and binders you’ve worked with before are still there. Anything else you want, just let me know. And remember…not a word about this to anyone. At least for now. After all, at this point, everyone is a potential suspect…even people who work in this building.” He started toward the door but retraced his steps and put a hand on Fabiola’s and Cary’s shoulders.
“Mrs. Bennett…Fabiola…put the mysterious note back in its envelope and guard it for me, will you? I need you both here until we solve this matter.”
This title is available to read on #KindleUnlimited
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/3LjPX1
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0C53S311M
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Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of historical fiction and mysteries filled with courageous and good characters that are easy to love and others you don’t want to go near.
Heidi grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter.
After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have fifteen grandchildren—so far—in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier.
Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter.
Heidi’s favorites are family, God’s beautiful nature, and the word whimsical.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Heidi-Eljarbo/e/B073D852VG/