Stealing Mona Lisa by Carson Morton
A Mystery

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A Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2011 Fiction and a Library Journal Best Mystery of 2011

What happens when you mix a Parisian street orphan, a hot-tempered Spanish forger, a beautiful American pickpocket, an unloved wife, and one priceless painting?

The charming Eduardo de Valfierno makes a very respectable living in Argentina fleecing the nouveau rich--they pay him to steal valuable pieces of art, and Valfierno sells them flawless forgeries instead. But when Eduardo meets the beautiful Mrs. Hart on his latest con, he takes a risk that forces him back to the city he loved and left behind--Paris. There he assembles his team of con artists for their final and most ambitious theft, one that will enable them to leave the game forever: The Mona Lisa.

But when a member of the team turns up missing, and Mr. Hart shows up in Paris, Valfierno and his crew must stay one step ahead of a relentless police inspector, endure a devastating flood, and conquer their own doubts to keep the priceless painting in play--and survive.

Based on the actual theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911, and published on the 100th anniversary of the crime, Stealing Mona Lisa is a sophisticated, engaging caper, complete with a richly imagined group of con artists and a historical mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Stealing Mona Lisa is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Mysteries title.

One of Library Journal's Best Mystery Books of 2011


About Carson Morton

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CARSON MORTON was born in London, England and moved with his family to the United States when he was eleven. He worked as a professional musician for many years, making an album for United Artists Records with his group Razmataz, and playing with the likes of John Sebastian, Billy Preston, and many others. He is a screenwriter and published playwright, and has worked in television as a consultant and composer. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Published August 2, 2011 by Minotaur Books. 351 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Young Adult, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Stealing Mona Lisa

Kirkus Reviews

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Parisian art students believe that La Joconde belongs up on the wall in the Salon Carré of the Louvre.

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Publishers Weekly

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The stakes rise when Valfierno and his colleagues—joined by American pickpocket extraordinaire Julia Conway, disgruntled Louvre employee Vicenzo Perugia, and struggling artist José Diego Santiago de la Santísima—plot to steal the Mona Lisa, known as La Joconde in France.

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Stealing Mona Lisa: A Mystery

New York Journal of Books

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Mr. Morton retains all the known facts and intertwines them with the shady but glamorous world of art forgery and theft, putting together a colorful band of rogues headed by Valfierno, who is as charming as he is slippery—and could only be played by a middle aged José Ferrer.

Aug 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Stealing Mona Lisa: A Mystery

Book Reporter

With Hart on his tail and the police nipping at his heels, maybe this time Valfierno has painted himself into a corner.

Aug 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Stealing Mona Lisa: A Mystery

Washington Independent Review of Books

If you are looking for a fun read to round out your summer at the beach, coming all too soon to an end, I can recommend Morton’s fictional reconstruction of actual and reported characters and events surrounding the theft and disappearance of the Mona Lisa from 1911-13.

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City Book Review

The cast of characters includes the con man himself, a beautiful pickpocket, an orphan that is terrified of water, a misinformed Italian patriot, and a master forger who soon will become famous, and, of course, his marks, one a selfish and self-centered American magnate, Joshua Hart.

Oct 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Stealing Mona Lisa: A Mystery

Look At OKC

“Stealing Mona Lisa” (Minotaur Books, $14.99), Carson Morton's debut novel, is a historical mystery that is based on the actual theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911.

Dec 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Stealing Mona Lisa: A Mystery

Mysterious Reviews

Review: Carson Morton imaginatively incorporates historical figures into a creative storyline — or possibly more accurately wraps a creative storyline around real people — in the stand-alone mystery Stealing Mona Lisa.

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