From the mouths of booksellers…

We could tell you how excited (very) we are for B.A. Shapiro’s new book, The Art Forger, but we figured we’d let unbiased booksellers do the talking for us. They’re pretty darned excited about The Art Forger, too — coming out in October. (Click here to order the book from your neighborhood IndieBound bookstore.) Rave reviews are just pouring in. Here are a few (or 16) of them:


“You expect some deception in a book called The Art Forger but Barbara Shapiro confounds expectations in her literary art thriller. The surprises are numerous in this cracking yarn that adds fabulous myth to the stunning reality of the Gardner Heist. The pleasure of the twisty plot is enhanced by the fascinating details about the process of painting and art reproduction. This is a novel booksellers can confidently place in the hands of their most discerning fiction readers.” –Stan Hynds, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

The Art Forger is my favorite book for this Fall. Clearly a lot of research went into this work, and I will always look at art more closely. Barbara Shapiro deftly interweaves a real art heist and history into a literary thriller which was just plain fun to read. I loved it and I look forward sharing it with staff and selling many copies.” –Korje Guttormsen, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA


 “The Art Forger is clever and gripping story. Claire Roth, a talented artist, finds herself intricately involved in the seedier side of art forgeries when she finds herself making a questionable deal to forge a Degas masterpiece. Just like a fine painting, this is a many layered literary thriller about love, betrayal and authenticity. Shapiro builds the story with pitch perfect suspense and twists in plot you don’t see coming. And while you are drawn deeply into the story, Shapiro outlines the big questions about morality, fame and truth in a world that is all about creating illusion for the sake of beauty The Art Forger is a masterpiece of a story in its own right and one of my favorite picks for the fall!” –Lanora Haradon, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI


“Based on a still unsolved art theft from a Boston museum in 1990, B.A. Shapiro builds The Art Forger in such a way that the reader becomes totally engrossed in Claire Roth’s life, experiencing every brush stoke as she paints her own paintings, copies reproductions to make a living, and ends up in an incredible maze of deceit, chicanery, and lies. The author’s knowledge of the art world, forgeries, the obsessions of the collectors, and the process one goes through to create a painting is phenomenal. I don’t want to be a spoiler and tell you the details of what happens to Claire – you need to find that out as you as you are racing through the pages – all I will say is that this is an enthralling, exciting, and utterly amazing book.  I’m going out on a limb and say that it’s the best book I’ve read this year – it’s that good!” –Susan Wasson, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM

“Looking for a novel that lures you into a world of deception and lies, entangles you in schemes of forgery with the best of  intentions, (even noble, philanthropic intentions), then drops you into a moral dilemma, complicated by the fact that no-one has been entirely honest with anyone throughout the whole time?  Then read The Art Forger. You will learn all sorts of details about the art world, its villains and prima donnas, and if you can work out who is conning who, and why, you are a better detective than I am!” –Nicola Rooney, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

The Art Forger is a fascinating look at today’s art world. This novel depicts the challenges and difficulties of making art for a living. When a gallery owner offers Claire Roth both money and a one woman show if she paints a copy of a stolen Degas, her conscience wars with her need for rent money and her desire for artistic recognition. Her conscience loses the fight, and soon she is swept into a puzzling mystery about the painting’s origins and the value of artistic expertise. A terrific read!” –Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

“Carrie Roth is brilliant at duplicating old masters but when asked to copy a particular Degas she becomes involved in one of the most famous art thefts in history. The intriguing world of art galleries, museums and auctions provides the background for this intricate thriller as deception exists both in the paintings and the auction. Readers will never, ever again regard a famous painting in the same light.” –Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

“Talented but struggling painter, Claire Roth, is given the opportunity of her lifetime—a solo show at a respected gallery—if she agrees to replicate a missing Degas painting, no questions asked. But there’s more to this bargain than Claire realizes—something’s not quite right about the painting she’s asked to forge, and once her heart is involved, all bets are off. Shapiro does a great job weaving in the technical aspects of art forgery with the actual mystery of the missing Degas and the result is a real page turner. With The Art Forger you’re in for a super fun read!” –Stesha Brandon, University of Washington Bookstore, Seattle, WA

“Once Art Forger got going I couldn’t put it down, and I closed the book wanting to share the experience immediately. It’s fascinating look at Isabella Stewart Gardner and art forgery, with the breathless pace of a great thriller. Shapiro is a wonderful storyteller.” –Aaron Curtis, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

“Claire Roth, an artist, has been rebuked by the mainstream art crowd, so in order to make a living she becomes an art forger; she replicates masterpieces. In exchange for a long wanted and deserved one woman show, she agrees to copy a Degas, stolen from the Gardner Museum.  While working on the painting, Claire becomes suspicious and ends up exploring the painting’s past, Degas’ notes, and the museum’s long-locked basement. And this leads to big trouble. Author B. A. Shapiro offers an informative, suspenseful, and entertaining read featuring a spunky and memorable protagonist. Immensely enjoyable!” –Patti Pattee, Watermark Book Company, Anacortes, WA

“I love the fabulous Gardner Museum in Boston. Amongst the treasures there are still some empty frames waiting for the return of the priceless masterpieces taken in the infamous unsolved heist. The author has put forward a remarkably creative “what if” art thriller.  Claire, an extraordinarily talented artist gets pulled into reproducing one of the paintings with mostly good intentions. The ensuing events that unfolded had me up all night page turning.  I felt like I as given a behind the scenes pass to the high end art world and the world of art forgers!” –Julie Arriens, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT

“Suspend your disbelief for a bit and enjoy this addictive tale of a young talented graduate student who paints reproductions for a living as well as her own astonishing work. Asked to forge a Degas, she pulls the reader into an intriguing world of painting technique and the consuming passion of the artist. The famous Gardner Museum heist is the centerpiece of this fantastic story.” –Karen Frank, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

“A fascinating look at a fascinating crime. Also, it’s a glimpse into the world of art restoration and preservation. A complete joy to read.” –Tone Blevins, Books & Books, Bal Harbour, FL


“Barbara Shapiro is a masterful storyteller luring you into the story of a young woman artist while hinting at something devastating in her past that blackballed her from the art world and forced her to reproduce masterworks for a dot com operation (which must be the same as ghost writing someone else’s books). The back and forth between today and her past successfully set up a tension that added another layer of stress to the patina of forging a stolen(?) masterpiece, not talking about it to friends, and falling in love with the art dealer who is involving her in a potentially criminal act, while all the while worrying about her future and her own painting. Shapiro evokes the world of art and especially the world of art forgery and pulls you into a fascinating tale, one I couldn’t put down. But, as compulsive as the story is, when she gets to the part when she finds a secret room in the blueprints of the Gardner Museum and thinks this is the way to free her lover from the charges of fraud and theft by finding the actually painting thought to have been stolen from the Gardner, she escalates the tension to a frenzy, one that had me on the edge of my seat until the last page. This is a thriller worthy of the fast-paced turning pages that forced me to sit up late with mounting tension, mounting apprehension, and finally with that satisfied sigh at the conclusion. I really liked the story but absolutely loved that last, car chase of a conclusion. The Art Forger will appeal to mystery readers as much as fiction readers—it’s a well written thriller that can rival anything out there.” –Michael Fraser, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

“B. A. Shapiro’s The Art Forger is a delicious palette of mystery, suspense and intrigue with the question of trust splattered into the storyline, not so much who you can, but more for who you cannot. Decisions are made based on half-truths and deception that ultimately lead to confusion and betrayal. Interweaved in Shapiro’s fictional art world is the true story of the biggest art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. Shapiro does a fantastic job of weaving facts about the heist and the life of Isabella Stewart Gardner into her fictitious story of what might have happened. Along with that she gives the reader a view into darker side of the art world – forgery, illegal art dealing and to what lengths people will go to obtain a masterpiece. The Art Forger is the kind of book that you will want to curl up with in your favorite reading spot with your favorite beverage while you read what will become one of your favorite books.”


–Lynn Pellerito Riehl, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI




“Start with one of the biggest art heists in history, the 1990 robbery of the Gardner Museum, then skillfully blend in the story of a talented artist reduced to doing “reproductions” and seduced into forging a Degas masterpiece and you have a story art lovers will not be able to resist.  Claire’s career was derailed by her lover, a famous artist, who left her reputation in tatters.  She makes a bargain with the devil in the guise of handsome Aiden Markel, a popular gallery owner who could make her future sweet.  Something about the Degas does not seem right to Claire, she goes digging into the paintings history even as she labors to reproduce a masterpiece.  Will they be caught?  Will Claire uncover the Degas’ secrets?  Will Claire clear her name?  Read it and find out!  If you love art, this will be a treat.” –Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR


One Comment On This Post:

August 4, 2012
12:28 pm
techeditor says...

Why does Karen Frank say “Suspend your disbelief”? She should read PROVENANCE.

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