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The Titian Committee


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Witty Italian art-history crime series featuring English dealer Jonathan Argyll, from the author of the best-selling literary masterpiece, 'An Instance of the Fingerpost'. / Delightful art-history crime novels from the author of the bestselling 'An Instance of the Fingerpost'. / Stunning reviews for Pears's most recent novel 'The Portrait'. / Reissued in new format and sumptuous covers to appeal to an even wider audience. / Major TV deal concluded for these intricate, charming and atmospheric novels. / Competition: Donna Leon, Michael Dibdin, Andrea Camilleri

About the Author

Iain Pears won the Getty Scholarship to Yale University and worked for Reuters in Rome. He is the author of the bestseller `An Instance of the Fingerpost'. He lives with his wife and son in Oxford.


This playful satire of the squabbling international art scene and the Italian police bureaucracy reunites volcanic beauty Flavia de Stefano of the Italian National Art Theft Squad, and diffident British art dealer Jonathan Argyll, who first met in The Raphael Affair. Set in Venice and first published by Gollancz in 1991, the tale opens with the murder of American art historian Louise Masterson, a member of the scholarly international Titian Committee, who is found stabbed to death in a bed of lilies at the Giardinetti Reali. Then the elegant, reputedly incorruptible British art collector Tony Roberts drowns in a canal, and French art philosopher Georges Bralle is discovered suffocated in his home in France. Affection blooms between Flavia and Jonathan as they probe current affairs and Titian's paintings for clues to the killings and the answer to a question about the painter's life. Pears, who has a doctorate in art history from Cambridge, writes with a Beerbohm-like wit. (Oct.)

Praise for 'The Titian Committee': 'An elegant and amusing book, perfect for those who love a clever puzzle.' Mail on Sunday 'The real work of art here is the plot, a piece of structural engineering any artist would envy.' New York Times Praise for the Jonathan Argyll series: 'Iain Pears has a superior line in this kind of tale!a divertingly complex, often comic, story in which the art motif is ingeniously central to the solution.' Guardian 'Superior entertainment.' Allan Massie, Scotsman 'There is nothing so satisfactory as the deconstruction of a puzzle in the hands of such an erudite and sure-footed author.' The Times 'Pears is a delightful writer, with a light, ironic touch.' Frances Fyfield, Mail on Sunday 'Iain Pears writes delightfully witty, elegant, well-informed crime novels.' The Times 'You don't have to know much about art to enjoy Iain Pears's Italian mysteries. Like a good teacher, he shares his passion unobtrusively and flavours his lessons with wit.' Val McDermid 'Pears is a delightful writer, with a light, ironic touch.' Mail on Sunday Praise for 'The Portrait': 'A wonderful, grimly entertaining novel.' Sunday Telegraph 'A revenge fantasy to relish.' Independent on Sunday 'Genuinely creepy.' The Times 'An exquisite miniature that explores the roles of artist and critic with wit and gore.' Evening Standard 'This is an atmospheric tour de force of historical writing, as it is of narrative skill.' Independent 'Taut, disturbing!full of interesting observations about the late nineteenth - and early twentieth-century art world!mesmerising.' Spectator

This second title in a series maintains the high standards of the first ( The Raphael Affair , Harcourt, 1992), once again appealing to art history buffs. When a murderer strikes down an American member of the prestigious Titian Committee in Venice, General Taddeo Bottando of Rome's art-theft squad dispatches special assistant Flavia to gather information. What begins as a simple political mission becomes a dangerous quest for a missing portrait attributed to Titian. Enlisting the aid of art dealer Jonathan Argyll, Flavia never hesitates to call a spade a spade, but she tempers her judgment with theory. Most enjoyable.

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