Following a 500-year-old mystery concerning a Flemish tapestry is routine work for Detective Claire DeMaere, since she's employed by the Newport Beach Art Theft Detail. But, unlike past cases, this one involves arresting Paolo Campezzi, lover to her best friend Nora. Mr. Campezzi is a distant descendant of a Florentine Duke, who commissioned the tapestry in 1520 in Bruges, Belgium. Claire finds that she must explore the true provenance of the tapestry, free Mr. Campezzi in order to re-establish her friendship with Nora and depend on the expertise of a textile expert she doesn't know. All this must occur in 72 hours, before the Vatican takes the tapestry back. But Claire isn't the only one with the Vatican looking over her shoulder. Claire's story intertwines with a 1520 diary by Beatrice van Hecke, the tapestry-weaver's daughter. Only Claire can discover the secret that is woven in time.
Summary & Cover provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Length: 254 pages (Paperback)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Publication Date: August 29th 2012 by Createspace
I'm a huge fan of books that are told by weaving two different periods of time together and that's exactly what I got when I read The Bruges Tapestry. In the book the author takes the reader from present day sunny California to Bruges, Belgium in the 1520s and she did it wonderfully!
Sometimes, when a novel is told in this style it can be hard to keep the story lines straight but that wasn't the case at all with this one. The transition between the two time periods was seamless but still easily distinguishable in order to keep all the facts straight.
I liked both Claire and Beatrice Van Hecke as characters and while there is a significant age discrepancy between the two I thought that were both prime examples of what strong, intelligent female characters should be. It was fantastic to see a novel such as this with a female lead seeing as how male protagonists dominate the mystery genre. Which brings me to the other main reason why I absolutely loved The Bruges Tapestry. The way that P.A. Staes blended a modern day mystery with historical fiction was artful and unique.
Since The Bruges Tapestry is only 254 pages long I was wondering in the beginning how the author would be able to tell such an intricate story in such a short book but I was pleasantly surprised to find the story even more intricate than I imagined and the book felt as though it were 500 pages long with everything that was happening in this book.
The story kept me on my toes and it kept me intent on finding out how the story would wrap up and where it would lead Claire. There were a good many twists and turns in the book that kept me guessing and the ending was a good one.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Bruges Tapestry and I recommend it to every body out there that has a penchant for both historical fiction and mystery novels. Especially novels that mix the two together because this is a book that everyone should give a try and I hope I see more by this author and more books with Claire.
*I received a FREE copy of this book in exchange for my FREE & HONEST review. I was not compensated in anyway and ALL thoughts and opinions expressed in my review are my own.
P.A. Staes is the author of The Bruges Tapestry; the first of the Clare DeMaere series of historical mysteries. To lend veracity to The Bruges Tapestry Ms. Staes traveled to Stirling Castle in Scotland, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Cluny Museum and Gobelin Factory in Paris, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters to bring alive the rich and romantic world of tapestry. Ms. Staes lives in Southern California with her husband and two dogs.
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