The Past, August 1911: The Mona Lisa is stolen by museum worker Vincent Peruggia. During its two-year absence from the Louvre, replicas of the painting are created and sold as the original by a notorious duo of con artists. Several of these forgeries remain at large, prompting more than one art historian to speculate that the museum might well be displaying a fake.
The Present: Artist and art professor Luke Perrone hunts for the truth behind his most infamous ancestor, Peruggia. His search attracts a reckless INTERPOL detective with something to prove, a beautiful woman who may want more than Luke’s affection, and a hornet’s nest of the most unscrupulous art collectors and thieves.
A gripping novel exploring the secrets of the 1911 theft and the dark underbelly of today’s art world, The Last Mona Lisa is a story of heart-stopping suspense as romantic and sexy as it is terrifying and thrilling, one that taps into our universal fascination with da Vinci, the authentic and the fake, and people so driven to acquire priceless works of art, they will stop at nothing to possess them—not even murder.
“Unstoppable what-happens-next momentum…
An un-put-downable book! Santlofer has outdone himself this time.”
“Fabulous—instantly immersive, intriguing, and suspenseful…
The thriller Santlofer was born to write!”
“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 elevates the novel.”
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.
People Picks Best Books of 2021!
“Since we’ve mostly lost all concept of reality, let’s mix fact and fiction and have some fun. Santlofer, a painter and veteran thriller writer, takes us back to August 1911, when the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre and went missing for two years. The truth about what happened is elusive, the chase nail-biting, the women beautiful—and can you imagine better places to armchair travel than Florence and Paris?”
–Louisa Ermelino, editor-at-large
Publisher’s Weekly Best Books
“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). John Washington Smith, an ambitious analyst from Interpol’s Art Theft Division, and the mysterious Alexandra Greene join Luke in his effort, and the trio are soon contending with nefarious scholars, forgers, stalkers, a Franciscan monk, and a Russian hit man as the bodies pile up. Details of Florence, Paris, and New York City enhance the twisty plot, as does the insider view of the underground world of art collectors driven by deception, ego, and greed. Santlofer, himself an artist, should win more awards with this one.”
–Jane von Mehren
Aevitas Creative Management