The Arnolfini Art Mysteries


Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
189 Pages
Reviewed on 07/04/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

I’m not really sure what prompted me to pick up The Arnolfini Art Mysteries by Rich DiSilvio, especially since I’m not that into art and know just about nothing about the world’s masterpiece artists. Perhaps it was the glowing reviews DiSilvio has received for his other collections of art mysteries that intrigued me. What was it about this author’s writing that has garnered him so much praise and recognition? Well, it didn’t take me long to find out. As unfamiliar as I am with the world of art, DiSilvio hooked me quickly with his superb writing skills, his sense of humor, his easy dialogue and his amazing descriptions of not just the art but the art museums and his own obvious enjoyment of his protagonist, Armand Arnolfini. Armand is former FBI, now a private detective and an art connoisseur. So it’s only sensible that when valuable pieces of art suddenly go missing people call on Arnolfini.

In this collection of 6 fascinating short stories, enhanced with photos, and with intriguing titles like “The Yoko, Oh No! Mystery”… and yes, it actually involves Yoko Ono and John Lennon…readers travel with Arnolfini to parts of Europe and the US, locating not just surprising culprits, but surprising reasons for why they have stolen or forged artwork. By the time you read all 6 stories, not only will you learn a great deal about art and its creators, but you will find yourself, as I was, incredibly moved by some of these “culprits.” Why? Because DiSilvio writes not just to entertain, but to recognize the many gifted people amongst us who go through life unrecognized for their talent in many walks of life, but especially in the various arts. The first story, “The Phantom Forger,” illustrates this best, but the theme reappears in other stories. Then there’s the celebrity factor i.e. it’s so much easier to be recognized for your talent if you are the partner of someone famous. DiSilvio also gives readers quite an insight into the theft of great works of art during the Nazi regime. A final word on The Arnolfini Art Mysteries? Don’t miss a chance to learn a lot about what you might not know or haven’t yet considered while being marvelously entertained by a brilliant writer!

Rabia Tanveer

The Arnolfini Art Mysteries by Rich DiSilvio is a collection of short stories that center on Armand Arnolfini, a charismatic private eye/detective with a penchant for crazy mysteries to solve and even crazier villains to chase. The short stories revolve around Armand, who spends his time enjoying life and trying to solve the art theft mysteries. Although he likes his job very much, he does not appreciate the number of thieves, art forgers and even sometimes murderers and works hard to get the art pieces back to their rightful owners. During his investigations, Arnolfini will go from country to country to find these pieces of art. The mystery behind each crime is what baffles Armand and that is what he lives for. Sometimes, the thief can be a little too smart or a little too rash for his liking. What will he do in such cases? Can he find the artwork in time?

Rich DiSilvio has a very witty style of writing that makes him unique and stand out. The short stories were crisp, concise and incredibly entertaining, so they were an instant hit with me. All six short stories have the same protagonist, Armand Arnolfini, who is trying to investigate art crimes and restore the pieces of art to their original owners. The stories were succinct, fast-paced and a perfect slice of life. I enjoyed the flow of the stories, how each story was separate from the other, yet there was a connection that stood out. Each story has its own characters, its own plotline, and its own mystery to solve while the illustrations by the author added a level of interest. The story that stood out the most is The Mark Twain Mystery; it had the perfect amount of spice, salt and witty humor that I enjoyed. A perfect compilation of brilliant mysteries.

Samantha Gregory

The Arnolfini Art Mysteries by Rich DiSilvio is a collection of tales all featuring the same main character - Armand Arnolfini - a private investigator with a love of art who investigates cases of theft and forgery. Armand is passionate about art and about making sure criminals do not get away with their crimes. It reminded me a little bit of the Pink Panther, although less bumbling, more of an overall vibe from the lead character. The author seems to have done a lot of research into their stories and the art world as a whole. If I had to choose a favorite story, I would choose the Phantom Forger. I like the idea of how painters reused canvases and that other pictures are under current ones. I'm sure while painting them, they never imagined how famous their works would become years after their deaths.

Rich DiSilvio has created an entertaining collection of stories with The Arnolfini Art Mysteries. I do not know a lot about art myself, but I found the stories interesting and I enjoyed the mysteries. The dialogue is believable and the characters are well developed. I think that this book could do quite well on the mystery market. The stories are a bit of a throwback to older books, but I think they work well. The book is not too long and could be enjoyed on a commute or lunch break. I would recommend The Arnolfini Art Mysteries to mystery fans as I think they would enjoy reading Armand's stories.

Grady Harp

Rich has created a charismatic character, private eye Armand Arnolfi, whose forte is investigating art crimes, uncovering a variety of forgers and thieves and the outer zone of criminals. Each story is accompanied by the author/artist’s illustrations that enhance the credibility of each adventure.

Not only are the mysteries well written and involving, but Rich ads enough actual historical information (as is his style) to make each story as educational about the arts as well as pure entertainment for mystery buffs. For those not acquainted with DiSilvio’s larger works, this edition makes a fine introduction to the mysterious, historical, and thrilling mind of the author.

Impressive as his credentials are there is no comparison to becoming immersed in his brilliant stories – tales that transports into other worlds – whether in timeframe or intrigue. Rich is a gifted artist on many levels and his talent continues to grow. Highly recommended!