Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey
Sequel to The Swiss Courier
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Pages: 325 Trade Paperback
Date Published: January 2012
Publisher: Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group
One enigmatic smile. Two passionate protectors. And a relentlessly ticking clock.
It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci’s masterpiece before it falls into German hands?
With nonstop action, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get readers’ adrenaline pumping as they join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh country chateau, the race is on–and the runners are playing for keeps.
It is certain that there is no lack of action and events taking place in this novel. Chasing Mona Lisa: A Novel is the second novel co-authored by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey and is the sequel to their first novel The Swiss Courier, yet this novel could stand alone. Chasing Mona Lisa just happens to be a continuation of a few characters from The Swiss Courier. Much in the way that a Davis Bunn novel can be a sequel and also stand on it’s own pages. While coming into this, my knowledge of German occupied Paris pretty much consists of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles during Henri Defense’s espionage years. Yet reading the emotions and feelings that come through in the different characters lives it’s amazing how Revolutionary France can resurface again and again (you’d think history would make one learn!). So while reading, I’m not sure that I can say that my opinions of the liberation of Paris changed much after reading this novel, however it does make me think a lot about the time of Madame Tussaud and then other fiction such as the film V for Vendetta.
When I was a young child I thought that World War II was about a man’s vendetta against his own mistreatment of a portion of his heritage that with a mix of psychological madness went onto ethnic cleansing and genocide. It was not until years later that I learned there was even anything to do with oil in that war. To think on another level about what role art played during the war it would not have been my first thought. Although I do love Renoir, Degas and others of my favorite artists are of French decent; however the thought of these stolen artifacts do not impress upon me so much. But the thought of the art from the time of Alexander the Great and the Library of Alexandria amazes me – so I assume it just has to be a matter of taste in art and wonder. Yet during the time, when the artists were real and even more palpable to the persons in power and the country as a whole, I do see how a theft could stun, especially when things are so tenuous at best anyway. I wouldn’t hesitate to believe that it is possible that in some back ways art impacted military decisions during the war, because after all wasn’t that one of Alexander’s goal back in his day of conquest? Why should it be any different for the Nazi regime. But then once again, I mention Indiana Jones – he knows plenty about Nazi’s and Commi’s stealing art…
My favorite character in reading Chasing Mona Lisa bounced around a bit, but in the end I think I keep finding myself coming back to Gabi Mueller the Swiss-American OSS spy. One thing this novel is definitely not lacking in is characters with various backgrounds and purposes in their beliefs and actions. Truly there is not one main character in this novel, there are many and each one is pulled in a different direction!
Mona Lisa. I have plenty of opinions there, but usually get ugly looks when I express them, so I’ll skip that. But I was unaware that she was painted on poplar wood. That is a very cool fact and one of many that obviously presents the array of research that went into writing this novel. Poplar wood is one of my Enginerd’s favorite. We have quite a few things he has made around the house from poplar wood. It is a very beautiful wood natural or stained and I’m sure it’s features did interesting things to enhance or perhaps make a part of the allure for the Mona Lisa.
Not my normal reach-for in CHF, but if you’re looking for a Christian Historical Fiction built upon the descend of World War II with German Nazi’s, Swiss and American Agents, Communist agendas and the parts of history with more detail that you ever learned in class… then indeed you may in fact enjoy this novel. It has an undertone of romance and an overtone of intrigue. Where do your loyalties lie?
*Thanks to Revell Books and Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy for review.*
Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here. http://www.triciagoyer.com/historicalfiction.html#ChasingMonaLisa
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See other reviews on the tour here: http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13449999
It is August 1944 and the Gestapo is mercilessly rounding up suspected enemies of the Third Reich. When Joseph Engel, a German physicist working on the atomic bomb, finds that he is actually a Jew, adopted by Christian parents, he must flee for his life to neutral Switzerland. Gabi Mueller is a young Swiss-American woman working for the newly formed American Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner to the CIA) close to Nazi Germany. When she is asked to risk her life to safely “courier” Engel out of Germany, the fate of the world rests in her hands. If she can lead him to safety, she can keep the Germans from developing nuclear capabilities. But in a time of traitors and uncertainty, whom can she trust along the way? This fast-paced, suspenseful novel takes readers along treacherous twists and turns during a fascinating–and deadly–time in history.
“With Chasing Mona Lisa, you purchase a ticket to a world of mystery, heroism, and adventure. Join the battle to free France and save her priceless treasures from Nazi hands. In the process you’ll find yourself sinking into a story that leaves you longing for just one more page.”–Cara Putman, award-winning author of Stars in the Night and Ohio Brides
“Intriguing and well-written . . . Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey had me at hello!”–Lynn Vincent, New York Times bestselling writer of Heaven Is for Real and Same Kind of Different as Me
“A riveting, well-researched tale that kept me glued to the pages. Chasing Mona Lisa is absolutely my favorite kind of story: rich in period detail, fast-paced, and loaded with twists. A winner!”–Christopher Reich, New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Vengeance and Rules of Betrayal
“I love it when I get lost in a good book, and Chasing Mona Lisa kept me enthralled from start to finish.”–Debra McCoy, mother of Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy
Tricia Goyer is the coauthor of The Swiss Courier as well as the author of many other books, including Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights, both past winners of the ACFW’s Book of the Year Award for Long Historical Romance. Goyer lives with her family in Arkansas. For more about Tricia and her other books visit www.triciagoyer.com
Mike Yorkey is the author or coauthor of dozens of books, including The Swiss Courier and the bestselling Every Man’s Battle series. Married to a Swiss native, Yorkey lived in Switzerland for 18 months. He and his family currently reside in California. For more about Mike and his other books visit www.mikeyorkey.com
Win an iTouch SPY Pack in the Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway from @triciagoyer @mikeyorkey!
Chasing Mona Lisa is the continuing tale of Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler (first introduced in The Swiss Courier). This time the due are on a relentless quest to save the most famous painting in the world – the Mona Lisa. You can help Gabi and Eric with your very own spy pack when you enter The Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway!
One passionate protector will receive:
- iTouch (The must-have device for any spy. Camera, Maps & Music.)
- Starbucks Gift Card (For all those late nights.)
- Moleskin Notebook (For those important notes.)
- Invisible Ink Pen (Don’t want anyone reading those important notes.)
- Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (Great handbook and intriguing tale for any spy-in-training!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on January 31st. The winner will be announced at the Chasing Mona Lisa Facebook Party on 1/31. Tricia and Mike will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from Tricia’s website) and giving away their books and a Book Club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Tricia and Mike.)
So grab your copy of Chasing Mona Lisa and join Tricia and Mike on the evening of the 31st for an author chat, spy training (do you know how to pick a lock?) and lots of giveaways.