The Grade: A-
My Thoughts: I picked this up on a whim from the new book shelf at my local library and I was quite pleased with my selection. Stealing Mona Lisa is based on the actual theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911. It follows Eduardo Valfierno, con artist and mastermind, as he gather his team, plots and executes the greatest art theft yet.
The story opens in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Valfierno sells copies of paintings as the originals to arrogant titans of industry. After the death of his forger, he decides it’s time to return to Paris, and soon hits upon the greatest scheme yet: sell a half-dozen copies of the Mona Lisa to these marks, each believe he alone is in possession of the original.
He’s joined in his con by “a Paris street orphan, a hot-tempered Spanish forger, a beautiful American pickpocket” and a disgruntled Italian formerly employed at the Louvre. It’s an interesting and amusing cast of characters. I appreciated the mix of nationalities and backgrounds.
Stealing Mona Lisa is a quick read, an enjoyable caper mystery. It is to novels what Ocean’s 11 is to films. If you’re looking for an easy-going adventure, I highly recommend it.