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Book Review: Priceless

June 9, 2015

3 nights at a 4 star hotel in a warm climate: approximately $1000

Car rental to get you to the beach: $100

Reading a good book at said beach while you dig your toes into the warm sand: Priceless. Oh wait. No, I’m sorry. The name of the book is Priceless. You don’t have to read it at the beach. You can read it anywhere you want.

As we gear up for summer reading fun, folks always ask for the latest, greatest beach read. And if you’re tired of all the old standbys (Grisham, King, Evanovich), I think I’ve got a great sleeper hit for you.

Recently I’ve returned to watching White Collar, which is a USA show about a known forger working with the New York FBI office to solve art crimes. (If you’re not watching it you should be – but that’s a blog for a different time.) In an act of library serendipity, I came across this book that was written by the founder of the real FBI Art Crime Team. Robert K. Wittman spent his FBI career working undercover to retrieve stolen works of art around the globe.

The Art Crime Team is small – sometimes consisting of only Wittman himself. But the stories he weaves are amazing and read like a crime novel. He recovered many different stolen pieces of art, an original copy of the Bill of Rights, and even an stolen manuscript of Pearl Buck.

I thought the most interesting part of the book was the ongoing investigation of The Gardner Museum Heist. Anyone who is anyone knows that the Garnder Museum is the biggest unsolved art theft in history. (If you didn’t know that, I just told you so now you know. Welcome to the club.) 25 years after the disappearance of three Rembrandts and a Vermeer, among others, empty frames still hang on the wall. According to Wittman, he worked this case for several years, but…EDITED FOR SPOILERS.

Sorry, you’re going to have to read it to see what happened. The library has this in book book form, audio book form, and ebook. Pick your poison for a summer of fun reading.

And this counts towards your Summer Reading Challenge. Let’s get going people!

Happy reading…

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.