Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Book Review: 'The Arnolfini Art Mysteries' by Rich DiSilvio

The Arnolfini Art Mysteries by Rich DiSilvio


Stepping into the art world with a detective as guide!

New York author Rich DiSilvio, a man as committed to music, art, philosophy and sociology as informed by the fine arts, has previously taken periods of history—with all of the fascinating changes, discoveries, triumphs and failures—and introduced fictional enhancements within the stage setting of those eras, thereby making it far more credible. And in DiSilvio's handling of the parallel or concurrent unraveling of historical events with those of the textbook rigidity of his main Tales of Titans books, he provided not only keen insight but also paused for the inclusion of the arts, so often ignored by other historical writers. 

Yet his talents don’t pause there – his other books include MY NAZI NEMESIS, A BLAZING GILDED AGE, LISZT’S DANTE SYMPHONY, MEET MY FAMOUS FRIENDS: INSPIRING KIDS WITH HUMOR, THE WINDS OF TIME, DANNY AND THE DREAMWEAVER, and his short story series, such as this rather splendid THE ARNOLFINI ART MYSTERIES. Of particular interest to Rich’s large audience of readers is that as a software designer/developer, Rich pioneered the first interactive CD-ROM for educating staff and parents about Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) for training individuals with autism.

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. To offer an idea of how varied Rich’s select is, the titles in this collection are as follows: The Phantom Forger (of the Messina Madonna), The Russian Link (with a nod to Tchaikovsky), The Mark Twain Mystery, The P.T. Barnum Mystery, The Yoko, Oh No! Mystery, and the Ghent Mystery (the Ghent Altarpiece).

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!





Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.






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Two kings. Two princes. One queen. The true story of five aristocrats separated by time, culture, and circumstance -- all of them bound to the United States by accidents of history and left to hope for a tomorrow better than today. Prepare for a vision of the American Dream as few others have ever seen it.