Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Gardner Heist

Right before our trip to Ohio for Labor Day, I did a quick walk-through the New Book section at my local library. I needed something to read for my trip - preferably more than one something.

The first book I grabbed was True Mom Confessions, which I blogged about here.

The second book I grabbed was this one: The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft by Ulrich Boser.

I felt vaguely familiar with the story - the detail that the empty frames still hang in the museum triggered the thought I had read about this art theft before. But not enough to remember the details of it.

Boser does a masterful job of telling the story of the history of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, as well as that of the theft. He introduces us to many interesting characters - insurance investigator Harold Smith and Isabella Stewart Gardner being a couple of the first. It is really a fascinating case - one which would take over Boser's life for several years. The story of his obsession is good reading.

The story of Boser's investigation does get involved. He admits to creating a database to keep track of the different people which whom he's talked - no wonder I felt like I was a little confused at points. But for me, that confusion did not overshadow the well-written, fascinating story of the Gardner Heist.

And I can tell you, a visit to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is on my list when I go to Boston.

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