Lois Winston, author of Guilty as Framed, an Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, is visiting Ascroft, eh? today to tell us about weaving the plot of her latest book around the theft of several Rembrandt paintings.
Welcome, Lois. I’ll turn the floor over to you –
I fell in love with the paintings of Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn the first time I walked through the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. From that day on, I spent many hours seated in front of my favorite of his paintings, Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer. I even wrote a paper on the painting my senior year of high school.
Because of my love of Rembrandt’s works, I was devastated when the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was burglarized in 1990. Three of the thirteen works of art stolen were by Rembrandt, two paintings and an etching. These included his only seascape, “Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee”, a painting that was nearly five-and-a-half-feet tall, and the postage stamp sized “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” an etching, also known as “Rembrandt ‘Aux Trois Moustaches.”
For years, I followed the investigation, reading articles and newspaper accounts and watching documentaries on the crime, always hoping the stolen works would be found intact and the perpetrators caught. Thirty-two years later, neither has occurred. Most of the people questioned by Boston P.D. and the FBI through the years, including persons of interest, witnesses, and relatives, have since died. To this day, the crime is considered the greatest art theft in history.
For the eleventh book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series, I decided to create a story that would incorporate the actual museum burglary and the missing artworks. This gave me quite a challenge. I had to figure out how I could connect a decades-old museum heist in Boston to my humorous New Jersey-set cozy mystery. I did so by digging into the weeds of the crime and taking some authorial liberties. Many of the facts from the actual case make their way into Guilty as Framed, with names changed to protect the innocent and the not-so-innocent. Although Anastasia doesn’t solve the mystery of what happened to the stolen artworks or who stole them, she does find herself inadvertently drawn into the unsolved crime and as usual, racing to unmask a killer.
An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 11
When an elderly man shows up at the home of reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack, she’s drawn into the unsolved mystery of the greatest art heist in history.
Boston mob boss Cormac Murphy has recently been released from prison. He doesn’t believe Anastasia’s assertion that the man he’s looking for doesn’t live at her address and attempts to muscle his way into her home. His efforts are thwarted by Anastasia’s fiancé Zack Barnes.
A week later, a stolen SUV containing a dead body appears in Anastasia’s driveway. Anastasia believes Murphy is sending her a message. It’s only the first in a series of alarming incidents, including a mugging, a break-in, another murder, and the discovery of a cache of jewelry and an etching from the largest museum burglary in history.
But will Anastasia solve the mystery behind these shocking events before she falls victim to a couple of desperate thugs who will stop at nothing to get what they want?
Thank you for sharing this with us, Lois, and good luck with Guilty as Framed, an Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery.
Readers can learn more about Lois Winston by visiting the author’s website and blog, and her Goodreads, Pinterest and Bookbub pages. Readers can also follow her on Twitter.
The book is available online at the following retailers:
Amazon – Nook – Kobo – iBookstore
About Lois Winston: USA Today and Amazon bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Learn more about Lois and her books at her website www.loiswinston.com where you can also sign up for her newsletter and follow her on various social media sites.
Dianne, thanks so much for hosting me today.