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Death of an Old Master ***SIGNED***

David Dickinson

202 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1841196045 / ISBN 13: 9781841196046
Published by Constable, London, 2004
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From William Ross, Jr. (Annapolis, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First British Edition, First Printing. Signed, without inscription, by author on the FULL title page. New unread Fine book in Fine dust jacket. All our books are bubble wrapped and shipped in a sturdy box with Delivery Confirmation. NO remainder mark, NO previous owner markings or inscriptions, NOT price clipped, NOT a Book Club Edition, NOT an Ex-Lib. Dust jacket covered in protective clear wrapper. Bookseller Inventory # 008009

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Death of an Old Master ***SIGNED***

Publisher: Constable, London

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author on Full Title Page

Edition: 1st British Edition, 1st Printing.

About this title


In this the third in the Lord Francis Powerscourt murder mystery series, Lord Francis Powerscourt embarks on an odyssey through the treacherous world of art dealers and picture restorers, framers and reliners, in pursuit of a master forger.


Ah, those gullible new American millionaires of the late 19th century. After first enriching themselves through railroad development, the shipping trade, or other robber-baron enterprises, many sought to manifest their sophistication by purchasing great European works of art. "I suspect we may be at the very beginning of the biggest buying spree in history," remarks one cultural connoisseur in David Dickinson's Death of an Old Master. "For the dealers, the opportunities are huge." And there were still greater profits to be made by purveyors of counterfeit masterpieces, as is made clear in this smartly plotted third mystery (after Goodnight, Sweet Prince and Death and the Jubilee) featuring Lord Francis Powerscourt, a former army intelligence officer who’s now "one of the foremost investigators in Britain."

Powerscourt's interest in the 1899 slaying of leading art critic Christopher Montague--garroted in his London flat with a piano wire--is simple enough: the dead man was one of his wife Lucy's myriad relatives. But this is no simple homicide. For one thing, all of Montague's papers have disappeared. These include an article he was writing about forged or faked Renaissance paintings--some of which are hanging at the prestigious de Courcy and Piper Gallery. It's a neat little business that partners William Alaric Piper and Edmund de Courcy have been running: With the help of a talented--and captive--young artist named Orlando Blane, they duplicate existing Old Masters, or create new ones in identical style, for sale to foreigners. So was Montague killed to prevent his revealing this epidemic fraudulence? Or was the critic's demise the tragic outcome of his affair with a married woman, whose husband is now missing? Following the garroting of Montague's closest friend, and with a likely innocent man awaiting trial for these murders, Dickinson's aristocratic sleuth begins a chase after answers that will lead him from the Mediterranean island of Corsica to London's hallowed National Gallery and a disheveled dynastic mansion on the Norfolk seacoast.

Dickinson, a former BBC-TV editor, stuffs Death of an Old Master with knowledge about the Victorian art world, yet avoids didactic stuffiness. His focus here is instead on wit, rompish adventure, and a cast memorable for its quirky diversity. Although readers may be hard-pressed to identify the killer in advance, the courtroom resolution to Dickinson's mystery boasts something that's lacking from most of the artistic efforts in this tale: genuineness. --J. Kingston Pierce

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