Category Archives: Reviews

Kirkus Reviews – The Last Mona Lisa

      “Santlofer crafts a layered and absorbing art mystery, complete with exciting action scenes and beautiful descriptions of the city of Florence and its art as well as Paris and Nice. It’s the human story at the heart of it, though, that really Read more…

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People Magazine – Best Books – People’s Picks Summer 2021

Jonathan Santlofer The Last Mona Lisa After a journal surfaces in Florence, a professor obsessed with his great-grandfather’s 1911 heist of the Mona Lisa is in hot pursuit—along with assassins and ruthless art dealers. Kim Hubbard People Magazine People Picks – Best Books 2021

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The Brooklyn Rail – The Last Mona Lisa

    I met Jonathan Santlofer at the Yaddo artist residency in Saratoga Springs, New York. We were housemates, and got on well. After we’d left, he offered me his spare bedroom in Manhattan, if I was ever passing through town. A few months later, Read more…

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The Last Mona Lisa – Publisher’s Weekly Review

“The real-life theft of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa from the Louvre on Aug. 21, 1911, by workman Vincenzo Peruggia provides the backdrop for this outstanding caper from Nero Award winner Santlofer (Anatomy of Fear). In 2019, Luke Perrone, a nontenured university professor of art Read more…

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Pop Matters – Compassionately Explores How Men Are Allowed to Grieve

  It’s a tough balancing act when an artist enters the realm of grief, especially when it’s a true story. Suppose that the real lesson of life is that it’s a logically sequenced collection of losses: innocence, money, possessions, or (in the case of this Read more…

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The New Yorker: Briefly Noted

“The Widower’s Notebook, by Jonathan Santlofer (Penguin). In this memoir, a novelist and artist contends with the sudden death of his wife. Santlofer adds new insights to the familiar genre of the grief memoir by exploring the ways in which men are expected to handle Read more…

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Signature Reads: The Language of Grief

I measure every Grief I meet With narrow, probing, eyes – I wonder if It weighs like Mine – Or has an Easier size.” Emily Dickinson, #561 The English word “grief” is derived from the Old French verb “grever,” which means “to burden.” Implicit in Read more…

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NYCity Woman – Six Books to Read in August

  “The Widower’s Notebook by Jonathan Santlofer. How do men grieve? Santlofer, a noted crime writer, teacher and artist, answers with this intimate memoir written after the sudden death of his wife, Joy, after 40 years of marriage. He conjures her through exquisite drawings and Read more…

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The Washington Post – Do men and women experience grief differently?

“Five years ago, Jonathan Santlofer’s wife, Joy, died unexpectedly following a routine outpatient procedure. In the days and months following her death, Santlofer kept a “widower’s notebook” — a collection of thoughts and drawings he polished and bound into a memoir of the same title. Read more…

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Lit Hub Bookmarks: The Best Reviewed Books of the Week

“Santlofer’s book is an affecting read and not entirely heavy, despite the subject matter … Santlofer’s book, which shines most brightly when it focuses on his grief for his wife, is not a pedagogical tool and does not advance our understanding of grief in an Read more…

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