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The Bernini Bust (1993)

de Iain Pears

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Séries: Jonathan Argyll (3)

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A bust of Pope Pius V is smuggled out of Italy by a California museum owner and subsequently he is murdered. Art historian Jonathan Argyll calls on his old sweetheart, Flavia di Stefano of the Italian national art theft fund, to join him in Los Angeles to find the bust and the killer. By the author of The Titian Committee.… (mais)
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Jonathan Argyll has sold a minor Titian to a private museum in Los Angeles owned by a billionaire, and he has been sent by his employer to collect the money. He soon runs into an old acquaintance, a Spanish art dealer of questionable ethics and old-world charm; this man has also sold some art to the billionaire, a series of sculptures. But before either man can collect, the billionaire is murdered, the art dealer disappears and Jonathan is subject to a string of potentially fatal accidents. It is up to Flavia di Stefano to travel to California, ostensibly to assist the local police but really to just keep Jonathan alive, if she can…. This is the third in a series featuring Jonathan and Flavia, and although it’s set in Southern California rather than in Italy, it’s just as entertaining as the previous two. The relationship between the two main characters is clarified to some degree, and the mysteries to be solved are both believable and complicated. I wouldn’t call these books “cozies,” exactly, but it’s certainly one of the more gentle mystery series as a whole; recommended! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Nov 22, 2023 |
Jonathan Argyll is in Los Angeles, delivering a Titian to a private museum. Before he gets paid for it, though, the owner of the museum is killed, apparently to facilitate the theft of a Bernini bust another art dealer is delivering. Of course, it's all a bit more complicated and after Johnathan is involved in a car crash, Flavia is seconded to liaise with the Los Angeles police since the bust may have been smuggled out of Italy.

Another good twisty episode which kept a smile on my face. I thought I'd read the whole series before, but this one was new to me. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Nov 27, 2019 |
This is the third instalment in the adventures of Jonathan Argyll and Flavia Di Stefano, and it lives up to the charm and fun of its predecessors.

It opens with Argyll visiting Los Angeles, where he is celebrating the virtual completion of a sale of a Titian on behalf of an Italian owner to the ambitious Moresby Museum, a new player in the art world backed by the multi-billion fortune of its owner, Arthur M Moresby II. Still working for Sir Edward Byrnes, Jonathan is confident that if the sale goes through, he will collect an impressive, well-earned and much needed commission. He is, however, also ruminating on Sir Edward’s recent decision to pull him back from his base in Rome to help man his London gallery. News of this imminent departure has cast a pall over his friendship with Flavia di Stefano, with whom he has resolved a couple of murder investigations back in Italy.

Meanwhile, Jonathan encounters another of his acquaintances from Rome – Hector di Souza, a Spanish dealer who has become a fixture within the Roman art markets, and who has a reputation for cutting corners and a tendency to subvert the strict Italian regulations surrounding the movement of national treasures, although nothing has ever been incontrovertibly proved against him. He has accompanied a selection of minor artworks that have also just been acquired by the Moresby Museum. A party is held to celebrate Mr Moresby’s imminent commitment of a further tranche of his substantial fortune to the museum. Jonathan is invited, and is consequently present when the curator of the museum announces that one of the pieces that di Souza has brought with him is actually a bust by Bernini. Before the news of this major coup can be properly absorbed, (and, indeed, before the final papers securing the transfer of funding can be signed), the billionaire is murdered, and the Bernini bust disappears.

Having fortuitously withdrawn from the party, Jonathan is conveniently in the clear for both crimes, and finds himself helping Lieutenant Morelli from the LAPD (who seems clearly to have been modelled on Lieutenant Columbo). Of course, Jonathan being Jonathan, his help is of questionable value, especially when, shortly after having nearly been run over while crossing the road, he finds himself temporarily incapacitated by a car crash. Sanity and pragmatism are restored when Flavia di Stefano flies out to Los Angeles, ostensibly to lend her expertise on the Italian art world to Morelli’s investigation, but also strongly motivated over concern for Argyll. There is a second murder, the victim of which was the principal suspect for the perpetration of the first killing, so the plot thickens nicely.

Pears brings off the happy combination of providing an entertaining (and technically viable) plot, while also painlessly informing the reader about Italian art and the skulduggeries of the art dealers’ world. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Jul 23, 2018 |
ci vogliono impegno e capacità per scrivere un giallo sistematicamente implausibile, contorto, risibile, piatto e pieno di errori logici...ma il vero problema è che il libro è mortalmente n-o-i-o-s-o

[audiolibro]
( )
  icaro. | Aug 31, 2017 |
In The Bernini Bust, a privately owned Los Angeles museum has just made two unusual purchases – a painting that doesn't really fit into the museum's collection, from lovable but rather bumbling dealer Jonathan Argyll, and an assortment of half-rate (and possibly fake) classical sculpture from a known-to-be-crooked dealer. However, it soon turns out that the latter dealer was tricked into smuggling a valuble marble bust by the famous Bernini out of Italy (which of course means that Flavia, from the Art Crimes squad in Italy gets called in) – a bust that possibly he had some connection to in the past. However, the museum's owner-patron soon turns up murdered right before making a big announcement, and the shady dealer goes missing... the conclusions seem obvious.. but, of course, they're not. This installment does suffer for being set in L.A. rather that the more colorful settings of Europe that Pears prefers, and I felt that Jonathan seemed a little too bumbling in this one. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Iain Pearsautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Cerutti Pini, DonatellaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pros, RamónTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Reĭn, N. V.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sarotte, Georges-MichelTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Jonathan Argyll lay contentedly on a large slab of Carrara marble, soaking up the mid-morning sun, smoking a cigarette and considering the infinite variety of life.
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A bust of Pope Pius V is smuggled out of Italy by a California museum owner and subsequently he is murdered. Art historian Jonathan Argyll calls on his old sweetheart, Flavia di Stefano of the Italian national art theft fund, to join him in Los Angeles to find the bust and the killer. By the author of The Titian Committee.

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