The Case of the Missing Botticelli

A Massimo Domingo Mystery

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Pub Date 24 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 31 Jan 2022

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In this cozy mystery, American art history major Hadley Evans joins an art detective agency in Florence, Italy, working for Massimo Domingo, once a major player, now the Inspector Clouseau of the art world.

Determined to save the flailing agency and prove her worth, Hadley and her sexy carabiniere boyfriend, Luca Ferrari, take on a mysterious client behind her boss's back. While hot on the trail of a missing masterpiece, they discover a hidden cache of stolen Nazi art in a Venetian villa and encounter a dangerous enemy with a link to an evil past.

In this cozy mystery, American art history major Hadley Evans joins an art detective agency in Florence, Italy, working for Massimo Domingo, once a major player, now the Inspector Clouseau of the art...

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ISBN 9781509239719
PRICE $3.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

The Case of the Missing Botticelli is a fun romp through Italy and the art world. It reads almost like a travel guide Italy in places, and you can feel like you are right there in Florence. While Italy and art, including some history on stolen art work, particularly during WWII, are very well described, I could have used a bit more of the characters to round out the story a bit more. Thank you to The Wild Rose Press and Netgalley for this advance reader copy.

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Hadley Evans moved from Florida State University to Florence, Italy in order to complete her Art History degree, Upon her arrival, she interviewed with Dr. Frano Dotti, where there shortly, she joined Massimo Art Detective Agency, which focused on the recovery of missing artwork and returned the pieces to the rightful owners and "Signre Dominigo's Pocket Guide to Stolen Art Recovery" became required reading. After taking on a mysterious client, Hadley and her boyfriend Luca might find themselves becoming two additions to the Monuments Men.
Normally, a cozy mystery would not be something that I would usually read. When NetGalley offered me the novel and after seeing the tittle, I knew that I needed to give this book a read through. Intially, the titled piqued my curiosity, and since I have a degree in Art History, my brain gets pretty excited with anything from the Renaissance. Additionbally, I am amazed with rthe amount of plot Marilyn Baron packed into a 200 page book, plus the novel was well researched.
I appreciate NetGalley, Marilyn Baron, and the publisher for the opportunity to read and write an honest review of this charming novel, which has earned a five out of five stars.

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Love Italy? How about cozies about missing renaissance paintings? If so, this book is for you!

Hadley Evans is living in Florence, Italy as part of the Florence Program from Florida State University to finish her degree in Art History. After receiving her degree, she stayed on when the program director arranged for a job interview with Signore Domingo's Art Detective Agency; however, so far all she's been doing is running his personal errands. That changed when Hadley takes a call from the new curator at the Ufffizzi Gallery asking for a meeting with Signore Domingo. Since her boss was indisposed at the time, Hadley decides to go to the meeting in his stead. When she arrives, the curator of the Uffizzi tells her they loaned studies made of the face of Venus in Botticellis the Birth of Venus to the High Museum in Atlanta, received a call from their curator and that if last of the studies is real, then the painting hanging in the Uffizzi Museum is a fake. When Hadley goes to the museum to take another look at the painting, she comfirms it is genuine and now must hunt down the source for the study in question.

Thus begins the hunt for the source of the last study and in doing so finds a stash of stolen artwork by the Nazis. I think this is a very interesting, well written book I would definitely recommend this book everyone who loves mysteries and especially mysteries regarding stolen art.

Please note: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher through All opinions expressed are my own.

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There’s a reason why Marilyn Baron is an award-winning author of 28 works of fiction: She masters every genre she embraces. With her newest novel, “The Case of the Missing Botticelli,” Baron adds cozy mystery to her enthralling canon.

And enthralling her new novel is indeed. Everything about "The Case of The Missing Botticelli” entertains. Hadley Evans, an American art history major, has moved to Florence, Italy, to finish her degree, which leads to a job at a declining art detective agency and an art-soaked life she isn’t sure she ever wants to leave. While this translates into trouble for her college sweetheart back home, a hunky Italian policeman deliciously redirects Hadley’s attentions just as her work for the Inspector Clouseau of the art world heats up after one perplexing phone call. With her protective beau Luca in tow, Hadley heads off on a clandestine trip to Venice she hopes will restore her agency’s reputation by way of a missing masterpiece hidden in a cache of stolen Nazi art guarded by a malevolent enemy who was born and bred to embrace a heinous past.

Everything about Baron’s new work is a feast for the senses – from mouth-watering passages about Italian food and drink to breathtaking treks throughout Florence and Venice. So keen is her talent for bringing foreign lands, romance and art history to life, in fact, that readers will be Googling “Botticelli” to see what’s real and what’s not. Unfortunately, much is, as Baron’s novel documents the tragic history of stolen Nazi art during World War II, a subject similarly mined in other current works, like Laura Morelli’s “The Stolen Lady.” In Baron’s capable hands, the heartbreaking truth is leavened with plenty of humor and spirited passion.

Even better, readers get two stories for the price of one. “The Case of the Missing Botticelli,” the first in Baron’s Massimo Domingo Mysteries series, actually includes the second – “The Case of the Vanishing Vermeer.” Part Two, also featuring our fearless heroes Hadley and Luca, her sexy Italian beau-turned-husband, is set in Florence and Lake Como, Italy. Baron’s second cozy mystery gives fans more of everything they’ll adore in her first – suspense, intrigue, travelogue-worthy Italian vistas, many laughs and much love.

Separately, the stories are captivating. Together, they’re a double delight from start to finish. I happily give this book 5 stars and eagerly await the third installment in Baron’s Massimo Domingo Mysteries series.

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The case of the missing Botticelli was my first book by author Marilyn Baron, but it won’t be my last. The inclusion of culturally and historically accurate information included was incredible. I felt as if I’d had a refresher course in art history and it was delivered deliciously in the guise of Italian Renaissance paintings. The mystery of the art thefts was intriguing, holding my interest from start to finish and the main characters were realistic and relatable. I will be following this author more closely and reading a few of her dozens of prior titles. 5-star-read!

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The Case of the Missing Botticelli
By Marilyn Baron
Book 1 in the Massimo Domingo Mysteries
Cozy Mystery

Hadley Evans has decided after a year of studying abroad that she wants to stay in Florence, Italy. So she joins an art detective agency owned by Massimo Domingo now know as the “Inspector Clouseau” of the art detective world. When she goes behind his back and takes on a huge case about a missing Botticelli masterpiece, things start to turn around. She enlists the help of her sexy carabiniere boyfriend Luca Ferrari and starts turning up clues that linked back to the Nazis and World War 2. Things get dicey in the end. Will she get the paintings back to their original owners or will the enemy win once again?

I loved how this mystery had substance to it and was rich with historical facts. I recommend this to any cozy mystery fans and to anyone who likes World War 2 history or has ties to the Jewish community.

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I loved this charming little mystery!!!!!!! This is my first by this author and it won't be my last. I highly recommend this book.

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Marilyn Baron introduces her new Massimo Domingo series with The Case of the Missing Botticelli. This book follows art recovery investigator Hadley Evans in Florence, Italy as she investigates the possibility of a previously unknown work of Botticelli that was purportedly 'sold' to Hermann Görring. As Hadley conducts her investigation she is accompanied by her boyfriend Luca who is a detective with the Italian Police.

The character development and scene setting captivates the reader's imagination and easily allows for the visualization of the events as they are occurring. I was quickly drawn into the story and enjoyed the fast pace of the action from start to finish. Even though the client was not who she appeared to be, the information provided was realistic as far as the lengths that are sometimes needed to restore lost works of art to their rightful owners. The underlying conflict in the romance of Hadley and Luca gave this book an extra punch of mystery as they dealt with their relationship and what each wanted from it.

This book contained a second case for Hadley and her boss, The Case of the Vanishing Vermeer, which gave additional insight into the issues surrounding not only the restoration of art to its rightful owners but also the lengths that unsavory characters will take to prevent that restoration from happening. All told, I found these stories to be entertaining and a bit educational and look forward to future cases for Hadley to undertake in her life as well as watching her navigate her relationship with Luca.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Wild Rose Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Art- Detective, law-enforcement, romantic, verbal-humor, situational-humor, Italy, art-theft, art-history, museum, intrigue, war-booty, false-information, historical-research, historian, lies*****

Part what-if history, part romance, and a whole lot of fun! It's the Art History major, the member of the Carabinieri, the bumbling Art Detective, descendants of some WW2 bad guys, beautiful stolen paintings, and an interesting lot of WHAT IF. The publisher's blurb is a good hook and no spoilers here, so just ENJOY. LOVED IT!
I requested and received a free e-book copy from The Wild Rose Press, Inc. via NetGalley. Thank you!

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2 cozy mysteries set in the heart of Italy for the price of one!

A missing Botticelli takes Hadley and her boyfriend Luca on a wild chase across Italy to a deadly art theft the world chose to ignore. Hadley is over in Florence, Italy on an exchange program and works for Massimo Domingo, an art detective agency. Her boss used to be prominent in his field but has resorted to a life of leisure. Hadley wants to prove her worth so when a phone call pleading for help arrives, Hadley jumps at the chance and takes the case herself. Partnering with her boyfriend, Luca, they follow every lead and clue. They never expected to wind up in a villa in Venice with a stolen stash of masterpieces taken by the Nazis during World War Two. Can Hadley return the artworks to their rightful owners and show her boss she’s worthy of being more than an errand gopher?

The Case of the Missing Botticelli is a cozy mystery I couldn’t stop reading. Set in Italy, the setting alone captured my imagination. Add in art thefts, dubious gallery owners, unscrupulous forgeries, and a race against time, you’ve got an unputdownable read. The descriptive narration was incredible as Marilyn Baron wrote about Italy and the Italian way of life as one who lived there. It was such a joy to experience Florence through the eyes of Hadley. It transported me to Italy and added such depth to the story. The plot moved at a good pace with a good suspense subplot. I found myself detecting alongside Hadley which added to my enjoyment of the story. The parts with the Nazis stealing masterpieces from the Jewish people were historically accurate and well-described. The Case of the Missing Botticelli is one of the best cozy mysteries I’ve read in a long time, and I look forward to reading more from this series. Marilyn Baron has a bestseller in the making. Highly recommend!

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I'd review it.

My Rating: 5+ stars

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As a fan of historical fiction, I wanted to give this title a read. It did not disappoint. The romantic Italian setting and the art world ambiance hooked me. Untangling the art theft with all the history involved convinced me to keep turning the pages. Baron directed the journey and I was on the best ride through Italy learning the history of the seedy Italian art black market underworld. Recommended.

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A big thank you to NetGalley and Wild Rose Press for the ARC. I am voluntarily reviewing this book. I enjoyed the book, and the glimpse into the art world and architecture and history surrounding World War 2. I liked all the characters, Hadley was amazingly lucky to get a position in Florence as an Art History Major. Those jobs are scare. While the plot was interesting, it all seemed to easy. Hadley's romance with Luca-What? It didn't seem very realistic and felt very superficial. But I loved the concept and the descriptions. For me this was 3 stars, but I must say that I would still try this author again.

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The Case of the Missing Botticelli by Marilyn Baron
Review by S. Hilbre Thomson, author

Hadley Evans is working in Florence, Italy as an apprentice to the once renowned art detective, Massimo Domingo. As a transplant from Florida, she has fallen in love with both the country and a local policeman, Luca. Her parents and American boyfriend want her to return home to the future they have dreamed for her, but the allure of the art world and the sexy cop keep her tied to her new European life. Work has been slow and Hadley begins to question her choices when a call from a mysterious woman has Hadley working on her own to prove herself. Hadley races to the scene of a possible cache of stolen art, risking not only her reputation, but her boss’, to find herself face to face with a dangerous and desperate man.
The Case of the Missing Botticelli mixes behind the scenes World War II history, the lucrative world of stolen art, with a dash of romance. Marilyn Baron stirs up a twisting tale of a young woman risking it all to get the love and life she has always wanted. The descriptions of the paintings had this reader googling the real thing, and hooked on the artists’ work. The mix of historical facts, romance and Hadley’s sly sense of humor made for a page turning, easy read whether you are on the beach, plane or in front of a cozy fireplace!

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i’m a sucker for anything that has to do with paintings and the art world. this has foreign lands, a dash of romance and lots of art history. I really enjoyed this and will definitely be looking for more by this author.

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This book was a fun and easy read. The characters could have been deeper, but you do care about them and hope they reach their goals. Being a fan of art myself, it was nice to go on this adventure with Hadley - and also learn a little about Italian art (and European) history.

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American art historian Hadley Evans is living "la dolce vita"-almost. She's living in Florence, Italy, working for famous art detective Massimo Domingo and dating hot Italian cop Luca Ferrari. The problem is that although she may be in Italy, the birthplace of her favorite artists, Signore Domingo spends all of his time in trattorias with his mistresses while sending her out on errands like picking up his laundry. Then one day Hadley gets a call about a missing Botticelli. Since her boss is otherwise occupied, Hadley decides to investigate it herself and starts on a wild adventure that changes her life forever.

The books (there's a second one, "The Case of the Vanishing Vermeer" is also included) are a fun romp through Italy as well as a deep dive into the history of the art world during World War II. Hadley is a spunky heroine who refuses to take "no" for an answer. The ups and downs of her relationship with Luca are a delightful and romantic rollercoaster ride. The descriptions of Italy will definitely have you planning your next vacation abroad!

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A college grad moves to Florence, Italy to work for a famous art detective agency. In her quest to make herself more marketable, she takes on a case without first telling the detective. She's being asked to find a missing Botticelli painting, a companion to his famous Birth of Venus painting. Along with her carabinieri boyfriend, she discovers the painting in a Venetian villa where there appear to be many paintings foraged by Nazi Hermann Goering. This book moves quickly and is easy to follow, but is rather predictable. It does bring to attention some of the atrocities of Hitler's regime, which are particularly relevant at this time.

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This book combines two short mysteries concerned with art theft or disapperance. They take place in Italy and the protagonists are a young Florida woman who is an assistant at an art detective agency and her policeman boyfriend.

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