Iain Pears is the author of a very successful mystery series, as well as two historical novels, a non-fiction book on art history and various articles on art, history and finance. Born in Coventry, England, in 1955, he received his doctorate in art history from Oxford and was a Getty Fellow in the Arts and Humanities at Yale in 1987. Currently residing in Oxford with his wife and son, Pears’ career has included stints for Reuters News Agency as a correspondent in Italy, England, France and the United States.
Pears’ Art History Mystery Series is set in contemporary Rome and features Jonathan Argyle, a British art historian/dealer, and with his girlfriend, Flavia di Stefano, assistant to General Bottando of the Italian National Art Squad. Invariably the plots involve a theft, often of a work of relative obscurity. Historical details are well researched in these mysteries that are described as both “suspenseful and amusing.”
However, it wasn’t until An Instance of the Fingerpost came out in 1998, that Pears received international fame. Much more ambitious in scope, this is a historical mystery set in 1663, when Charles II has just regained the English throne. The author took three years to write this intensely researched period mystery and the plot fits the period well. A second novel unrelated to his series came out in 2002. The Dream of Scipio is an intricate novel set in Provence during three separate periods in history: the end of the Roman Empire, the Black Death in the 14th century, and the Second World War.
Art History Mysteries Series
The Raphael Affair (1992) *
The Titian Committee (1993)
The Bernini Bust (1994)
The Last Judgement (1996)
Giotto’s Hand (1997)
Death and Restoration (1998)
The Immaculate Deception (2000)
An Instance of the Fingerpost (1998)
The Dream of Scipio (2002)
* Please request at the Adult Information Services Desk.