The 1999 version of The Thomas Crown Affair inspired a garden variety of art heist novels. Pierce Brosnan, cast as the billionaire, steals Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk from the Metropolitan Museum for the thrill of executing the theft.
Art heists as serious business, often with dangerous consequences. Their villains are mostly greedy art collectors who crave certain paintings to make them feel important.
Stolen art is a much bigger business than imagined. Interpol and UNESCO list art theft as the fourth largest black market in the world, after drugs, money laundering and weapons. Interpol data from March of 2018 showed that the black market for art was worth between $4-$6 billion. While thefts of high profile paintings, such as Emil Nolde’s The Scream or Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, may garner international attention, it is the lesser-known masterpieces that disappear into the ether. Famous art is now almost impossible to sell. But there are almost 100,000 stolen pieces of art listed in the Art Loss Register and many of them are not well-known. That’s enough material to keep novelists occupied with stolen art shenanigans for years to come.
Webex meeting link http://cyflib.info/ArtHeist
Revenge is a topic that has been written about since Grendel’s mother took her retribution in Beowulf and it shows no sign of reducing in popularity. Many classic novels touch on themes of revenge in an age when people often felt powerless. If you were the wrong sex, class, or race, you rarely had a voice. As much as I’d like to think times have changed, people still struggle to be heard every day.
As individuals we put a lot of emphasis on justice, and when people treat us unfairly we want to put it right. There’s a lot to be said for the satisfaction of the bad guys getting their comeuppance and the good guys living happily ever after, because that’s how we’d like life to be. Fair.
Revenge books, and indeed, crime books in general, appeal to our sense of order. It’s a character saying, ‘no, you can’t do that and get away with it.’ The most powerful stories, for me, are the ones where I identify with a character and could see myself falling into that situation. We keep being drawn to these books, perhaps, because we’ve day-dreamed of taking revenge on those who’ve hurt us. But, being good law-abiding citizens, we’d never act on those wicked thoughts.
That’s where our favorite stories come in…
Taken from Crime Reads
Historical mysteries transport readers to vastly different times and places: ones no train or airline flight can reach. ... Well-researched historical novels bring the past to life, with vibrant descriptions of the colors, smells, and textures of life in a different time and place.
The historical mystery or historical whodunit is a subgenre of two literary genres, historical fiction and mystery fiction. These works are set in a time period considered historical from the author's perspective, and the central plot involves the solving of a mystery or crime.
Banned Books Week (September 26-October 2, 2021) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read.
Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
This year's theme is "Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us." Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers.
The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.
Taken from ALA