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The Bernini Bust [Kindle Edition]

Iain Pears
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £3.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Clever Italian art-history crime series featuring scholar and dealer Jonathon Argyll, from the author of the best-selling masterpiece ‘An Instance of the Fingerpost’.

The hardest part of being an art dealer is having to sell your beloved works. For Jonathan Argyll, the pain is soothed when an American billionaire agrees to pay a vast sum for a relatively minor piece.

Arriving in the Californian sunshine eager to collect his cheque, Jonathan bumps into one of his less scrupulous colleagues, and discovers he is not the American's only seller. A bust of Pope Pius V is being smuggled out of Italy, and trouble is following in its wake.

Within hours, Jonathan's billionaire is dead and both the smuggler and his bust have gone missing. Thinking things can't get any worse, Jonathan calls for the help of the Italian Art Theft Squad – and instead finds himself the killer's next target…

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Product Description


Praise for ‘The Bernini Bust’:

‘An elegant and amusing book, perfect for those who love a clever puzzle.’ Mail on Sunday

‘Delightfully pursued and narrated puzzle.’ Sunday Times

‘Iain Pears get better and better…frothy, fun and nicely plotted.’ Spectator

Praise for the Jonathan Argyll series:

'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

From the Back Cover

British art historian Jonathan Argyll has just sold a minor Titian to an American museum for a highly inflated price. But as he complacently awaits his cheque in the Californian sunshine, trouble erupts: the museum's billionaire owner is murdered, a dubious art dealer disappears, and a Bernini bust, apparently smuggled out of Italy is missing.

Things could hardly get any worse, and the situation calls for assistance from his friends General Bottando and Flavia de Stefano of the Italian National Art Theft Squad . . . especially as things very definitely 'do' get worse when the killers attention turns to Jonathan himself.

Cleverly mixing murder with art, 'The Bernini Bust' is a witty and intriguing mystery from the bestselling author of 'An Instance of the Fingerpost.'

Gerald Kaufman,

“Iain Pears has a superior line in this sort of tale”

“Delightfully pursued and narrated puzzle with several prize sinuosities”
Sunday Times

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 677 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; New Ed edition (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,129 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Iain Pears was born in 1955. He is the author of seven detective novels, a book of art history and countless articles on artistic, financial and historical subjects, and three novels, An Instance of the Fingerpost, The Dream of Scipio and The Portrait.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By hillbank68 TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read one of Ian Pears's 'big' books ('The Dream of Scipio') I decided to have a go at a Jonathan Argyle detective story, and I'm very glad I did. 'The Bernini Bust' has an engaging hero (Argyle), an enjoyable ambience (Los Angeles mostly, but a bit of Italy also), an intriguing and unusual plotline and a witty, amusing style which is intelligent without ever taking itself too seriously. It also ends extremely well. I enjoyed it a lot and was frustrated when, halfway through, I dropped it in the bath and had to leave it for a day to dry out (if it is of interest, the quality of the paper is good enough for that to work, but not dropping it in the bath is preferable). Highly recommended.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
After the intellectual ferment of _Instance_, I found this book (the only other book of Pears' I've read) a bit of an intellectual let down. It concerns an art dealer and his art-theft squad girlfriend, but their worlds are sparsely described and the characterization a little thin. A light murder mystery for an undemanding read (or perhaps for an undemanding reader).
I would wholeheartedly recommend _Instance_.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars iain pears books 26 Oct. 2010
Instance of the fingerpost and stones fall are brilliant but not to be compared to these detective novels with jonathon argyll. Completely different genre. Just enjoy italy and the two love birds - will they won't they? Not giving it away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bernini Bust 8 Dec. 2009
Love Iain Pears - have read all the Jonathan Argyle series several times - beautifully set in Italy. A real fun mystery romp!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 23 Mar. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
I found it difficut to believe this book was by the author of 'Stone's Fall', which was excelent and superbly written. The plot was formuaic and the characters two dimensional. Moderately entertaining but I wouldn't bother reading another in this series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Undemanding escapism 26 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For those of you who watch the BBC, this is the literary equivalent of 'Death in Paradise': undemanding and gently humorous in an escapist setting with a contrived climax. Thoroughly enjoyable though.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Exactly right. 7 Oct. 2013
By Kierono
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the story. Being a fan of the Jonathan Argyll series I was pleased to see the book arrive in the condition it was described and ahead of the expected delivery date.
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