Sunday, May 17, 2009

Five best books about art thefts

R.A. Scotti, author of Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa (Knopf, 2009), named her five best books about art thefts for the Wall Street Journal.

One book on her list:
The Gardner Heist
by Ulrich Boser
Smithsonian/Collins, 2008

It remains the world's biggest unsolved art theft: On St. Patrick's Day night in 1990, 13 works worth more than $500 million, including three Rembrandts and a Vermeer, were cut from their frames in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. For the next 15 years, recovering the art obsessed a relentless insurance-claims adjuster and art sleuth named Harold Smith. When Smith died in 2005, journalist Ulrich Boser inherited his research. "The Gardner Heist" is Boser's account of how, joining the hunt, he was drawn into the art-crime underworld and into the orbit of notorious Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger. As Boser follows each lead, he develops a tantalizing theory about who committed the crime.
Read about all five books on Scotti's list.

--Marshal Zeringue