The Raphael Affair; Pears
""Deliciously literate" (Kirkus Reviews) and filled with "articulate characters and erudite art commentary" (The New York Times Book Review), this acclaimed series of novels by Iain Pears combines art and history, literature and mystery fiction, with the same passion for detail he displayed in his New York Times bestseller An Instance of the Fingerpost. In The Raphael Affair, the first book in the series, we are introduced to Jonathan Argyll, an enthusiastic young art scholar from England who has followed his suspicions about a long-lost Raphael painting to a small church in Rome. Not only is the painting gone from the site, it has been swiftly purchased, restored, auctioned, and installed in Rome's National Museum. But when the recovered Raphael is just as swiftly destroyed in a fire, Argyll begins to suspect its authenticity... and the innocence of every person in its path."