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Download Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa, by R. A. Scotti Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.33 out of 53.33 out of 53.33 out of 53.33 out of 53.33 out of 5 3.33 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: R. A. Scotti Narrator: Kathe Mazur Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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On August 21, 1911, the unfathomable happened—Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa vanished from the Louvre. More than twenty-four hours passed before museum officials realized she was gone. The prime suspects were as shocking as the crime: Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire, young provocateurs of a new art. As French detectives using the latest methods of criminology, including fingerprinting, tried to trace the thieves, a burgeoning international media hyped news of the heist.

No story captured the imagination of the world quite like this one. Thousands flocked to the Louvre to see the empty space where the painting had hung. They mourned as if Mona Lisa were a lost loved one, left flowers and notes, and set new attendance records. For more than two years, Mona Lisa’s absence haunted the art world, provoking the question: Was she lost forever? A century later, questions still linger.

Part love story, part mystery, Vanished Smile reopens the case of the most audacious and perplexing art theft ever committed. R. A. Scotti’s riveting, ingeniously realized account is itself a masterly portrait of a world in transition. Combining her skills as a historian and a novelist, Scotti turns the tantalizing clues into a story of the painting’s transformation into the most familiar and lasting icon of all time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Superb…An art-heist page-turner that will delight art enthusiasts as well as true-crime buffs. (Note to Hollywood: This may be your best hope for a caper starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney as Picasso and Apollinaire.)”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “Equal parts art history and crime caper…This rollicking tale makes for fascinating reading.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “A charming [book] that delves deeper into the mystique of the Mona Lisa herself…Readers hankering for more of da Vinci and his enigmatic sitter, whose smooth smile has been bewitching men for centuries…should reach for Vanished Smile.”

    St. Petersburg Times

  • “Captivating…Scotti’s sophistication, wit, style, and illuminating research makes this a delightfully suspenseful read.”

    Providence Journal

  • “A crime caper…that convey[s] l’air du temps… Enthralling.”

    Finacial Times

  • “Who needs The Da Vinci Code when you can have the real thing?”

    Daily Beast

  • “As full of twists, turns, and suspense as any mystery novel…Makes the Mona Lisa’s story even more significant—and her smile even more alluring.”


  • “Elegant and erudite…Scotti follows the trail of the missing masterpiece with the same zestful sense of adventure that she brought to Basilica…An unabashed literary diva, Scotti commands attention from page one.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A story that La Gioconda herself would have smiled at—enigmatically, of course.”


  • “Beguiling…An absence of clues meant an abundance of theories, and Scotti advances them all in an arresting…narrative.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Luminous…Scotti narrates the investigation with gusto and grace.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • A 2010 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Fact Crime

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Katie | 4/7/2011

    " The beginning of the book - the theft and history of the painting were very well written and interesting. The last third of the book the author wanders into the motivations and possible true stories of the thieves. I found this last portion misplaced. It seemed less fact and more fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Terri | 2/15/2011

    " Not bad for a non fiction book. I had no idea what happened with the painting so I learned a lot. Worth the read. And now I feel smarter LOL. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Daniel | 1/17/2011

    " Another wonderful addition to the saga of the Belle Epoque/Gilded Age, as found in books such as "Eiffel's Tower" and "The Devil in the White City". Beautifully concise and a wonderful snap shot of life in Paris at that time.

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Trina | 11/2/2010

    " One of those great non-fiction books that has you saying "Wow, did you know..." every other page. I'm sure my husband got tired of random facts about the Mona Lisa, the Louvre, Picasso, etc. but I did not. "

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