Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Bruges Tapestry by P. A. Staes

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Read: March 20, 2013

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.

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The Unicorn in Captivity
Reading P.A. Staes The Bruges Tapestry made me homesick. I'm surrounded by cold and snow and all I can think of is a sand strewn boardwalk and the Laguna Beach sawdust festival. Needless to say I fell for this piece early on, but in reflecting on my experience with it, I find my appreciation goes beyond a simple sense of nostalgia. 

As carefully as one might work threads into a loom, Staes illustrates both the mechanics that go into creating a tapestry and the artistry of any given design. The obvious effort put into researching this piece really gives the book something special. 

I also found a lot to appreciate in Claire. She is a very realistic personality, someone you can actually imagine running into on the street. It has been some time since I've seen such a down to earth character and as a reader I really appreciated how easy it was to slip into her shoes.

Most surprising, however, was the symmetry of the duel plot lines. I don't want to say too much and give anything away, but I loved how Staes connected 1520 and  2012 in multiple ways, offering up more than the historic mystery I'd expected after reading the product description. 

The Bruges Tapestry is a quick read, but an intriguing one that both contemporary and historic fiction fans will enjoy. 

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"It appears you are in possession of stolen property. That tapestry is posted on Interpol as stolen from the Vatican." 
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Check out all the stops on The Historical fiction VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR of P.A. Staes' The Bruges Tapestry

Monday, March 18
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, March 19
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, March 20
Review at Turning the Pages
Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise
Thursday, March 21
Review & Giveaway at Kinx’s Book Nook
Friday, March 22
Review at A Book Geek
Monday, March 25
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, March 26
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, March 27
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Thursday, March 28
Review at The Book Garden
Interview at The Maiden’s Court
Friday, March 29
Guest Post & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, April 2
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, April 3
Guest Post at A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, April 4
Review at Book of Secrets
Review & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Friday, April 5
Review at Broken Teepee 

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