Review Copy: Bella Gioconda

In this art mystery, a work up for auction is the subject of rumors galore--could it be a da Vinci? #spon | A book review by Newbery and Beyond

Note: I received a digital copy of this book for review consideration.

I keep wanting to compare this book with The Da Vinci Code, which is a book I’ve never read.  But listen to this description from Amazon:

Five hundred years can confuse identity. An old chalk drawing of a girl, Maria, the daughter of a Chianti vintner leaves a Swiss art collector, Claude Beauvin entangled in a Renaissance love story from the past. The drawing is currently owned by a reclusive young widow, Andrea Garibaldi-Chase, who puts the drawing up for auction. With smoldering rumors that Leonardo da Vinci is the artist of the portrait, history is set on fire by a New York art dealer, an art history professor, and an intellectual property crimes investigator from INTERPOL who are all caught up in the drawings history. It’s not until after the auction that Beauvin learns who the girl really was, what influence she had over da Vinci and the centuries since, and how his growing feelings for Andrea transcends time and identity.

See what I mean?  It sounds like The Da Vinci Code, at least to someone who’s never read it.  But that aside, I did enjoy this book.  It was a short, fun art mystery with (this is the best part) sections actually set in Leonardo’s time, showing him teaching a young female prodigy how to art.  (I don’t know much about art, obviously.)  I found these sections set in the past to be much more interesting and well-written than the modern day sections, with all their details of auctions and intrigue.  On the whole, I enjoyed reading it, but it won’t be making my re-read list any time soon.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

About Monica

I am obsessed with all things books. I'm a music teacher by day and a freelance editor by night.

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