Reviews for The Art Forger

  • New York Times Bestseller
  • #1 IndieNext Pick
  • 2013 New England Society Book Awards Winner for Fiction
  • Costco Pennie's Pick for June 2013
  • 2013 "Must Read" for Massachusetts
  • 2013 Finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award
  • Boston Globe's Top Mysteries of 2012
  • 2012 Boston Authors Society Award for Fiction
  • 2012 New England Society of New York Award for Fiction
  • Community Read for Somerville, MA; Dedham, MA; Toledo, OH; Woburn, MA
  • Nominated for Macavity Award for Best Mystery of 2012

"[A] highly entertaining literary thriller about fine art and foolish choices."


"[A] nimble mystery...Shapiro's brisk narrative takes the reader through Boston's art world, the logistics of forgery and the perils of attribution."
—The New York Times Book Review


"[A] gripping novel."
—O: The Oprah Magazine


"The Art Forger is the real thing."


"If Bridget Jones's Diary and The Da Vinci Code had a love child, this would be it."


"[Shapiro] has such interesting things to say about authenticity—in both art and love—that her novel becomes not just emotionally involving but addictive."
—Entertainment Weekly


"An engaging tale about art, cupidity, and a Faustian bargain...Shapiro convincingly depicts the rarefied art world that lionizes a chosen few and ignores the talented, scrabbling outsiders on the fringe. Shapiro is adept, too, at showing the white-hot heat of an artist engaged in creating a painting. She knows art history, painting techniques, and how forgers have managed through the centuries to dupe buyers into paying for fakes...Inventive and entertaining."
—The Boston Globe (A Boston Globe Best Crime Book of 2012)


"Readers seeking an engaging novel about artists and art scandals will find The Art Forger rewarding for its skillful balance of brisk plotting, significant emotional depth and a multi-layered narration rich with a sense of moral consequence."
—The Washington Post


"Warning: Don't dig into this book if you have something to do . . . An addictive thriller."


"Ingeniously and skillfully plotted."
—The Huffington Post


"The most absorbing story ever written about watching paint dry."
—Amazon's Big Fall Books Preview: Editors Pick


"An entrancingly visual, historically rich, deliciously witty, sensuous, and smart tale of authenticity versus fakery in which Shapiro artfully turns a clever caper into a provocative meditation on what we value most."


"Shapiro's new novel, The Art Forger, is filled with delightful twists and turns. An intricate shell game exploring the permutations of the craft and ethics of art, Shapiro's novel is a lively ride, melding Claire's discoveries with fictionalized 19th-century letters from [Isabella Stewart] Gardner that hint at even deeper complexities. The wit, Claire's passion for her work and Shapiro's research, which is well-integrated into a strong premise, captivates."
—Publishers Weekly


"By page two of this novel, the reader is fully engrossed in this enthralling intrigue. This well-researched work combines real elements with the understanding that the art world is as fragile and precarious as the art itself. A highly recommended debut that would be great for book discussion groups."
—Library Journal


"The Art Forger is clever and gripping story. Just like a fine painting, this is a many layered literary thriller about love, betrayal and authenticity. Shapiro builds the story with pitch perfect suspense and twists in plot you don't see coming. The Art Forger is a masterpiece."


"A cleverly plotted art-world thriller/romance . . . . convincingly researched, engaging storytelling. Intelligent entertainment."


"A clever, twisty novel about art, authenticity, love and betrayal. B.A. Shapiro knows about Degas, and she knows about art theft and forgery, and she also knows how to tell a gripping story."
—Tom Perrotta, author of Leftovers and Little Children


"The Art Forger will not only keep you as entertained as any thriller but leave you with a new appreciation of how paintings are made, evaluated and understood—not to mention how they're copied."
—Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha


"Blazingly good. Shapiro drops you where you've never been before—into the whole, cracklingly alive world of art galleries, art forgeries, and the unexpected recesses of the human heart. As original as a real Degas, it's also as unforgettable."
—Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You


"Do we see beauty when we look at a copy of a masterpiece? Does a work of art have its own aura of authenticity? As the world continues to wait for news of the thirteen paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990, The Art Forger offers an imaginative alternate history of the collection and a captivating glimpse into the shadowy possibilities that surround the story of the inexplicable and audacious heist."
—Katherine Weber, author of The Memory of All That


"Clever and fascinating, this novel centers around the largest art heist in history, still unsolved after 21 years."
—Publishers Weekly, Top Ten Promising Titles of BEA, 2012


"This arty mystery is a joy to read. I was so engrossed in the descriptions of the art, of Boston and the museum, in the thrilling twists of plot, and the love story that I couldn't put it down."


"A well-crafted, plot-driven novel which makes it a good read and one that, for all its insider art world information, will appeal to a broad audience. The details of forging an old masterpiece are fascinating...I thoroughly enjoyed The Art Forger."
—Tampa Bay Times


"An intelligent, cleverly plotted page-turner . . . Shapiro's prose exudes the con!dence and vitality of an Old Master's brush strokes in this engaging, literate thriller."
—Minneapolis Star Tribune


—New York Daily News


"By mixing art, history and complex characters, The Art Forger produces a thrilling canvas."
—Rona Brinlee of The BookMark on


"Blazingly good. Shapiro drops you where you've never been before, into the whole, crackingly alive world of art galleries, art forgeries, and the unexpected recesses of the human heart, where what we do for what we love can have terrifying consequences. As original as a real Degas, it's also as unforgettable."
—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You


"[A] taut but philosophical suspense novel....Shapiro weaves both threads of her narrative seamlessly for a surprise twist...Few thrillers carry this much heft so lightly."
—Wilmington Star-News


"You won't be able to put down Shapiro's The Art Forger . . . What a treat when a novel is pure, delicious fun."
—Hudson Valley News


"The Art Forger is one hell of a novel."
—January Magazine


"Vivid and entertaining, illuminating the mysterious art world and how human nature—particularly a desire to protect one's reputation—can overwhelm logic, professionalism and even morality."
—Concord (NH) Monitor


"Shapiro deftly takes on the role of magician, dazzling us with ingenious slights of hand and a narrative juggling act. Watching her bring all the pieces together makes for an exciting and very pleasurable read. If you love art, a mystery, and a tale of unrequited love, this tale is for you."
—Shelf Awareness


"Shapiro hits the jackpot...The Art Forger is smart, sexy, and spellbinding. With a twisting plot, irresistible characters, and a spunky, memorable heroine, Shapiro's latest novel will appeal to fiction lovers and mystery devotees alike...this book's a recipe for fun."


"An engaging and successful literary thriller . . . Shapiro layers her novel with intrigue, mystery, history, and motivations to tell a memorable story."
—Beth Fish Reads