Jonathan Santlofer (Inherit the Dead) opened a new Center for Fiction series on crime fiction with his latest release, The Last Mona Lisa (also available in hardcover), a gripping story that dives into the world of art and forgery. The book imagines where the world’s most famous piece of art, the Mona Lisa, went in the two years between its 1911 disappearance and its recovery. Santlofer discussed the book and the crime fiction genre with Alison Gaylin, an Edgar Award-winning author of twelve thriller and mystery novels including her latest, The Collective.
The Last Mona Lisa
By Jonathan Santlofer
Published by Sourcebooks
Also available in hardcover.
What really happened to the Mona Lisa when she disappeared from the Louvre?
August, 1911: Mona Lisa is stolen by Vincent Peruggia. Exactly what happens in the two years before its recovery is a mystery. Many replicas of the Mona Lisa exist, and more than one historian has wondered if the painting now in the Louvre is a fake, switched in 1911.
Present day: Art professor Luke Perrone digs for the truth behind his most famous ancestor—Peruggia. His search attracts an Interpol detective with something to prove and an unfamiliar but curiously helpful woman. Soon, Luke tumbles deep into the world of art and forgery, a land of obsession and danger.
A gripping novel exploring the 1911 theft and the present-day underbelly of the art world, The Last Mona Lisa is a suspenseful tale from a bestselling author whose own replications of iconic art are highly sought.
By Alison Gaylin
Published by William Morrow
Just how far will a grieving mother go to right a tragic wrong?
Camille Gardner is a grieving—and angry—mother who, five years after her daughter’s death, is still obsessed with the privileged young man she believes to be responsible.
When her rash actions attract the attention of a secret group of women—the collective— Camille is drawn into a dark web where these mothers share their wildly different stories of loss as well as their desire for justice in a world where privilege denies accountability and perpetrators emerge unscathed. Fueled by mutual rage, these women orchestrate their own brand of justice through precise, anonymous, complexly plotted and perfectly executed revenge killings, with individual members completing a specific and integral task in each plan.
As Camille struggles to comprehend whether this is a role-playing exercise or terrifying reality, she must decide if these women are truly avenging angels or monsters. Becoming more deeply enmeshed in the group, Camille learns truths about the collective—and about herself—that she may not be able to survive..
Jonathan Santlofer is a writer and artist. His debut novel, The Death Artist, was an international bestseller translated into 17 languages, a People magazine “Page-Turner of the Week” and is currently in development at Fox, along with his second and third novels. His fourth novel, Anatomy of Fear, won the Nero Award for best crime novel of 2009. Jonathan created the Crime Fiction Academy at The Center for Fiction. As an artist, Jonathan has been making replications of famous paintings for wealthy clients for more than 20 years.
Photo Credit: Clarke Tolton
USA Today and international bestselling author Alison Gaylin has won the Edgar and Shamus awards. Her work has been published in the US, UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Romania, and Denmark, and she has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Macavity, Anthony, ITW Thriller and Strand Book Award. In addition to her novels, she has published many short stories and collaborated with Megan Abbott on the graphic novel Normandy Gold (Titan/Hard Case Crime, 2018). Her twelfth book, The Collective, will be out from William Morrow in November 2021.
Photo Credit: Michael Gaylin