Marion Spicer is very ‘at home’ in the art world of Paris. She works tracing the provenance of art, and her record is very impressive.
When still a child, Marion’s mother told her that her father was dead. Now, she learns that he is dead – again. It turns out that he hadn’t died all those years ago. He was an eccentric, reclusive art collector. And he has left his vast, multi-million euro fortune to Marion. Only there is a condition to her inheritance. She must somehow acquire three Peruvian sculptures (that her father once owned but had sold), and add them to his collection once again.
Her father, Edmond Magni, has a mansion in the sixteenth arrondissement of Paris – filled to the brim with art treasures. Gaudin lives in his house and is caretaker of his priceless art collection. Gaudin will inherit everything if Marion cannot fulfill the stipulations of her father’s will.
Marion enlists the aid of a few of her friends in the art world to help her discover the whereabouts of the missing sculptures. Meanwhile, she is being following and her life is threatened on more than one occasion. Just what lengths had her father gone to to amass his collection? Could he have been in league with notorious tomb raiders in South America?
The Collector is the first in a series of mysteries featuring Marion Spicer. I quite enjoyed her character and the Paris setting. The story however, didn’t really capture my imagination and I found myself skimming (something I hardly ever do). I found myself thinking that I didn’t really care if she ever found her missing sculptures. All in all, the novel left me feeling…. apathetic. I cannot imagine I will be following this series any further.
The author is an expert in the art world herself, so anyone who has an intense interest in that elite field of study would no doubt enjoy this novel immensely.
An art reporter and trained gem specialists, Anne-Laure Thieblemont is known for her investigations into stolen art and gem trafficking. She currently works as a magazine editor, and splits her time between Paris and Marseille.