OLD SCORES by Aaron Elkins


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 A perceptive look at the world of museums, dealers, and collectors through the somewhat innocent eyes of Chris Norgren, curator of Renaissance art at the Seattle Art Museum (A Glancing Light, 1991, etc.). The museum has been offered the gift of a newly discovered Rembrandt by long-established French gallery owner RenÇ Vachey, notorious over the years for outrageous put-downs of his peers. There's a deadline for acceptance, and no scientific testing for authenticity is permitted. A similar offer, of a LÇger, has been made to the MusÇe Barillot in Dijon--the victim some years back of one of Vachey's antic schemes. Is the offer legit or another trick to ridicule the establishment? To find out, Chris flies to France, meets Vachey and his dissolute son Christian, along with Edmond Froger, director of the Barillot; respected LÇger expert Jean-Luc Charpentier; and a host of other art VIPs. In the midst of the festive hoopla, someone attacks Chris, a claimant for the Rembrandt surfaces, and Vachey is shot to death. Chris manages to make his decision about the painting, enjoy some Paris time with girlfriend Anne, and solve the murder too. An unpretentious, conversational style, convincing plot, laid- back hero, easy-to-take art-history, and a loving evocation of Paris--in a fresh, funny, thoroughly entertaining story.

Pub Date: May 4th, 1993
ISBN: 0-684-19551-8
Page count: 360pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1993


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