book cover of The Raphael Affair
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The Raphael Affair

(The first book in the Jonathan Argyll series)
A novel by

The novel which began Iain Pears's acclaimed art crime series, introducing General Bottando and Flavia di Stefano of the Italian National Art Theft Squad. 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 a painting by Mantini. 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 before an amazed world. But how had he found out about the hidden masterpiece? And 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 is to follow...and General Bottando of Italy's Art Theft Squad faces the most critical challenge of his whole career.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"Pears is a delightful writer, with a light, ironic touch." - Frances Fyfield

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