Romance Books

#BookReview – “The Case of the Missing Botticelli” by Marilyn Baron

Book Review graphic


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 part one of this two-part cozy mystery, American Hadley Evans is living the dream in Florence, Italy while working for an art detective agency. Then she answers a phone call from a mysterious woman and finally gets the chance to prove herself to her boss. After she and her police officer boyfriend, Luca, set out to find a long-lost Boticelli, their relationship and even their lives are put at risk.

In part two, Hadley and Luca track down a missing Vermeer while she second-guesses her future with Luca.

I don’t read cozies often, so this book was pretty interesting. Ms. Baron gave detailed descriptions of various paintings as well as locations like Florence and Venice, so I was able to easily picture them in my mind. She also dropped lots of Renaissance and WWII history into the narrative. Sometimes I felt as though I were reading a text book on history and art, but since I’m a history buff, I enjoyed it.

The story is told only from Hadley’s POV, so I connected better with her than I did Luca. Despite their culture differences and sometimes lack of communication, they fit well together in both their personal and professional lives. I’m sure whatever mystery or adventure they go on next will be loads of fun.

5 Stars

— If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.