The Flanders Panel

The Flanders Panel

Book - 1996
Average Rating:
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Julia is a young art expert in Madrid.  Her specialty is the restoration of paintings about to go up for auction.  But her latest project could also be her last.  A fifteenth-century masterpiece, the painting depicts a chess game between the Duke of Flanders and his knight, as a lady in black velvet sits in the background.  What makes this project different is the hidden inscription Julia discovers in the corner:  Quis Necavit Equitem.  Translation: Who killed the knight?  Breaking the silence of five centuries, Julia's hunt for a Renaissance murderer leads her into a modern-day game of sin, betrayal, and death--every move calculated with devilish precision.  And as the stakes rise, Julia finds herself exposed  and vulnerable to attack from everywhere.  Unsure whether she is a player or just a pawn, all she knows for certain is that her passion for art has made her an object of deadly obsession.  In a mystery of eloquence, wit, seduction, and suspense which marks the debut of a writer Europeans are already comparing to Umberto Eco, the solution is a tour de force of intrigue.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 1996.
ISBN: 9780553377866
0553377868
Branch Call Number: Mystery
Characteristics: 294 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Costa, Margaret Jull

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WhidbeyIslander
Aug 05, 2017

I was rooked into reading this! Amazingly I found the depiction of the chess problems (I'm nothing more than a novice player who hardly ever beats the game in the Windows version on my PC) more interesting than the plot. I thought the heroine was not that interesting (although her occupation is.) Unlike The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon which brought Barcelona to life, Madrid was just a vague background to the story here. I also thought a representation of the painting would have been a nice touch (the copy I had showed chess pieces on the cover.) Never did manage to finish it, either, so maybe it got better after the first half?

drudofsky Sep 08, 2015

Great retrograde chess problem, tortured plotting

bdemian Mar 18, 2013

Clever and suspenseful

philomenanowlin Mar 16, 2013

If you play chess, you will love it, but for the rest of us the plot stretches credulity. There is a latent hostility towards homosexuality and to cougars that I found rather nasty.

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