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 Gvring 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?
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Customer Reviews for Chasing Mona Lisa: A Novel - eBook
Review 1 for Chasing Mona Lisa: A Novel - eBook
I enjoyed reading this book.
Date:July 12, 2012
The pace of the book kept my interest. The author makes the reader feel they are silently standing next to the characters in the story.
Chasing Mona Lisa was a wonderful journey that took place in Paris durig the Nazis occupation. Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey managed to creatively intertwine Historical facts into this fictional novel. It is not an easy task , but they managed to achieve it.
I love history, mystery and art and I was able to have all three loves written in one book. The list of characters are Gabi and Eric OSS Agents, Collete Perriard the currator who was in charge of the master pieces of France. As the book begins with the Nazis occupation of France and the revelation of all the art they had taken for themselves. Except for some Master Pieces that the museum was able to save before the occupation. The heroin’s in the book arrive in time to witness the liberation of Paris, and enjoy the festivities and celebration of Paris, but not for long The Nazis are plotting behind the scenes. They plot to steal one of Paris’s prize possetions the Mona Lisa. You the reader will have to see what happens next. I do not want to spoil the book.
Great book I recommend that you read Chasing Mona Lisa. It is filled with mystery, adventure and romance. What else could one want from a book.
I received this book for free from ChristianBooks.com I was not under any obligation to write a positive or negative review.
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Review 3 for Chasing Mona Lisa: A Novel - eBook
Date:June 20, 2012
Pretty good book, although I like Goyer's other WWII novels better.
This historical fiction book is full of suspense, intrigue, non stop action with the back drop being the end of World War II in Paris. The description of the war-ravaged city is vivid, bringing clear images into this readers mind. It gave me an opportunity to sit and think about what it must have been like to live in occupied Paris, with food rationings, fear of the Third Reich, and the people of Paris having their identity stripped away with such brutality.
Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler are Swiss agents sent to protect the Mona Lisa from high ranking Third Reich officers who want the irreplaceable French painting for themselves, all for greed and profit. Gabi and Eric are in love, treat each other with respect and look out for each other. They carry out their duty with integrity.
What I found confusing is the numerous characters in this novel. Some are fictional. Some, like Charles de Gaulle were real people who were involved one way or another with the war. It was difficult to keep track of everyone, who they were, what their involvement was etc. Character development was not as strong as I would have liked.
Overall I enjoyed this book. The history and the main characters of Gabi and Eric make this a good read.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
GENRE: HISTORICAL/SUSPENSE PUBLISHER: REVELL PUBLICATION DATE: JANUARY 01, 2012 RATING: 7 OUT OF 10 – GOOD
PROS: Very detailed descriptions of locations and events; authors seem to have done a lot of research
CONS: Focus of the novel isn’t what is suggested in the title and synopsis; lacked any spiritual matter; too many main characters for the reader to connect with any of them
Swiss Agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler find themselves in Paris in the midst of its liberation from Nazi occupation and get swept up in the revolution occurring around them. Having thought that they were only travelling to the city to distribute medical supplies on behalf of the Red Cross, they’re soon informed that they’re required for a more important mission – rescuing the Mona Lisa before Reichsmarschall Göring gets his hands on the priceless painting. Along with Collette, an employee at the Louvre, and Bernard, her communist revolutionary boyfriend, Gabi and Eric set off across France in a race to get to the painting and transport it to a safe location ahead of Göring’s agents. Events don’t go entirely according to plan, and soon human lives are at stake as well as the painting, and Bernard has a hidden political agenda that not even Collette knows about.
Chasing Mona Lisa contains far more than just the story of how the Mona Lisa was almost stolen by the Nazis. The downfall of the Nazi party and the corruption that existed among its ranks; the jubilation and dejection of French communists as they help to liberate France then realise that their efforts will not be recognised; the ways in which common men and women in France were manipulated into giving the Nazis crucial state secrets in order to protect their families are all presented in such a way that suggests that the authors had put a lot of effort into researching this novel. But as pleased as I was with the in-depth historical details that this novel contained, it took a while for the plot to shift its focus from the events unfolding in Paris in 1944 to the race to rescue the Mona Lisa. There’s no doubting that Tricia and Mike have done their research into the liberation of Paris, but I did start this novel thinking I was going to be treated to a detailed account of how Göring tried to steal the Mona Lisa. If I’d known that this book would have been so focused on other historical details I wouldn’t have minded, but Chasing Mona Lisa was definitely promoted as a novel about the Nazi’s attempt to steal the Mona Lisa. It’s not so much that I feel cheated; more that this book sells itself short as it contains far more than a potential reader could guess.
It’s not just that the story is slow to start, since a lot does happen in the opening chapters. Gabi and Eric arrive in Paris when the city is on the cusp of liberation from the Nazis, and they and the other main characters encounter various events that would likely have been typical of Paris at this time. There are some excellent descriptions of particular sights in the city that made it all the more easy to visualise the experiences of the characters. But, and this is a big but when you consider the title of this novel, no one actually talks about stealing the Mona Lisa until a hundred pages into the book. I’d waited nearly a third of the novel for the painting to be more than briefly mentioned in conversation and was incredibly relieved when Göring finally reveals his master plan. Another slight flaw in this novel is that it jumps between the perspectives of all the major characters, including the Swiss agents, Collette and her boyfriend, Göring and another Nazi officer, and even the agents Göring pays to steal the painting. A lot of time is spent attempting to introduce these characters at the start of the novel but by the point the plot finally switches to the Mona Lisa I didn’t feel as if I really knew any of the characters, just that I’d spent a lot of time reading build up to what I presumed was the actual focus of the novel.
I feel compelled to mention a couple of other aspects of the novel that didn’t sit quite right with me. These may merely be matters of personal preference, but I’m sure that other readers will have had the same reactions. I’m not big on violence, even if I’m reading a crime novel or thriller. Naturally, it’s hard to write about WWII without including instances of violence, but I felt that those featured in Chasing Mona Lisa didn’t have to be quite so graphic. In particular, there was one scene that involved garden shears that wasn’t terribly tasteful. The liberation of Paris was a tough time and regular men and women did have to defend themselves against rogue soldiers who were only thinking of themselves, but I wish that some of the descriptions hadn’t been quite so graphic. A good writer can depict the gist of a scene without resorting to blood and gore.
On a similar vein, this book is marketed as a Christian novel from a Christian publisher, yet aside from a few fleeting and awkward references to Gabi’s father attending church and thinking of his congregation, I couldn’t find anything in the novel that made it seem more suited for Christian market over the secular one. I generally prefer my novels to have a subtle Christian message but sadly there wasn’t anything resembling one in this book. I suppose it could be considered Christian in the sense that it’s a “clean” novel – no sexual descriptions or foul language, although some readers may find the violent scenes unsettling. But other than that, I was a bit disappointed with the lack of spiritual matter, particularly as Tricia has shown herself to be very adept at delving into the spiritual lives of her characters in her Big Sky series. Again, this is a matter of personal preference and the story isn’t at all spoiled by the lack of spirituality, but I do believe it could have been enriched by it if the authors had wished to include the spiritual journeys of their characters alongside the physical journey they took to rescue the Mona Lisa.
I had high hopes for Chasing Mona Lisa, and while I was slightly disappointed, I think this has more to do with the fact that the synopsis and title of the novel sell it for something less than it truly is. Tricia and Mike have crafted a highly-detailed novel that is about far more than just the Nazi’s attempt to steal the Mona Lisa, and historical fiction fans will definitely appreciate the image they depict of the liberation of Paris in 1944. Christian historical fiction fans, however, may find the novel lacking in any sort of spiritual matter, which raises the question of what makes a novel more suitable for the Christian market than the secular one.
It’s August, 1944. France is on the verge of liberation. Allied forces are advancing, while the Third Reich flees. Though Germany is retreating, Reichsmarchall Hermann Goring wants to steal the most precious painting of France–the Mono Lisa–a symbol of their freedom. The race is on between the Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler against Colonel Heller’s henchman.
It was while Gabi and Eric were still fighting off stragglers from the Third Reich in France, alongside Bernard Rousseau of the Communist-run Resistance Group, that they were all informed by Allen Dulles of the OSS of the attempted heist of the Mona Lisa. Working through Collette, a curator of the Louvre of France, they hatched out a plan to retrieve and protect the Mona Lisa. Woven through these plans were the behind-the-scenes suspicions of Collette’s innocence or guilt in collaborating with the Germans.
Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey give us a hit-and-run twist of plots from the very first page to the end. The evil of the Third Reich and their underhanded methods of torture are exposed. Man’s inhumanity of unbelievable proportion. It’s real and it’s horrific. Your heart breaks over threats to even young children. You feel the fear of the characters as they go through the fearsome episodes. You find yourself holding your breath during the scenes of severity and tough demands in the Swiss Chateau.
Throughout the story Gabi and Eric prayed and put their trust in the Lord to get them through the dangerous circumstances and to save the precious Mona Lisa for France. Their heroism and loyalty went above and beyond their roles.
For a historical, fast-paced adventure, with a little romance thrown in, this is a book you will not want to miss. There are so many individual stories that have been told and still need to be told. But Chasing Mona Lisa triumphs the liberation of France and the hopeful claim of the Mona Lisa. It’s another part of WWII history that I found very interesting.
This book was provided by Donna Hausler, Publicity Assistant, Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
Chasing Mona Lisa is available January, 2012, at your favorite bookseller, from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
This was another good book by a tight writing team. I have to say I liked it even more than The Swiss Courier. The story was smoother, I think, even though it was co-written. A few times I had to set the book down because life gets in the way of my reading pleasure at times, but when I picked it up again it wasn't hard to get back into the zone of the story. Some parts were more compelling than others, but overall it was a good read. It felt more historical than suspenseful, but I prefer it that way. The faith element wasn't very strong, but that didn't seem like it would blend as well into the storyline. It would have stuck out more so the fact that it was subtle was good.
A couple of times I was afraid for them, like when they were in the sewers and when the Nazi thugs caught up to them. I loved the tension between Collette and Bernard and the underlying conspiracy due to the struggle for communism after the Nazis left Paris and the French got a taste of victory. I also loved the affection expressed between Gabi and Eric. Those two make a great couple. The twist at the end was pretty unexpected, but I liked it and it fit the story. Again, this was an enjoyable story with a satisfying ending. If you like WWII era novels set in Europe, you'll enjoy this one.
"Paris, 1944. With Allied forces advancing through occupied France, the Nazis attempt to strip the museums of priceless art. It is up to Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler of the Swiss OSS to keep them from stealing the most valuable piece of all: the Mona Lisa..."
'The Swiss Courier' raised some high expectations in my mind for what might happen in a sequel, and 'Chasing Mona Lisa' managed to live up to them. The authors have managed to create a plot that is very believable and includes a lot of information about a turbulent time in history while keeping readers (well, this reader anyway!) firmly hooked until the last page. I would only change one thing about it, and that is that although the book is one that a Christian can read with a clear conscience, it is not overly preachy. I like very preachy novels, providing of course that they are Biblically sound! And one other thing. Since the book couldn't be longer, can we have another novel in the series? Pretty please??!!!
The setting for this novel is Paris, occupied by the Nazis. The Germans had been distressed to find that many of the priceless pieces of art kept in the Louvre had been moved before they arrived. When Hitler was rattling sabers in the summer of 1939, the arts community of Paris believed him. August vacations were canceled at the Louvre and packing and crating had begun in earnest. Many works of art, such as the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Venus de Milo, and the Mona Lisa, had been evacuated the moment Hitler unleashed the Nazi blitzkrieg on Poland. They were safeguarded outside the city. This novel centers on the Mona Lisa and Goring's desire to have it as part of his extensive art collection. Now, the occupation of Paris is nearly over. The resistance expects the Americans any minute. They are disappointed to find that the Allied troops will by pass Paris and head directly for Germany. Then Leclerc's tanks storm into Paris and liberate the city. But the battle for Paris and its fine pieces of art is not over. Near Berlin, Reichsmashall Hermann Goring admires his art collection, but acknowledges he is missing something. He needs a “priceless” art object to ensure his safety after the defeat of German. He sets his sights on the Mona Lisa. A member of the resistance, an employee of the Louvre, and two OSS agents from Switzerland are assigned the task of retrieving the famous painting before the Nazis do.
This novel is actually a sequel to The Swiss Courier. It is too bad the book is not identified as such on the cover. While it was not necessary to read the first one to enjoy this novel, there are several allusions to events in the first novel. I learned a great deal about occupied Paris and the resistance movement. I became aware of the factions within the resistance, especially the communist branch. I also learned much about the history of the Mona Lisa, its theft in 1911, and its preservation during World War II. I do wish, however, that the authors of this historical novel would have informed their readers as to which aspects of the novel are actually based on history and which parts are fiction. Did Goring really have nearly 2,000 pieces of art? Did OSS agents from Switzerland really help the resistance? Was the Mona Lisa really hidden in a chateau during the war? Nonetheless, this is a pleasing novel to read of World War II Paris and the care of its art.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Chasing Mona Lisa by Mike Yorkey & Tricia Goyer is the sequel to The Swiss Courier about Gabi Mueller, a Swiss-American woman working behind the scenes in WWII to help the Allies save the day. This novel picks up shortly after the events of the previous book with Gabi and her boyfriend Eric traveling to Paris to bring first aid supplies and aid to the Resistance fighters in the city. Paris is on the crux of exploding as the Germans refuse to let go of the city that is slipping out of their fingers, and the Parisians who have been under boche control for four years are ready to shake the yoke of oppression no matter the cost. Gabi and Eric arrive just at the most dangerous moment and are quickly taken under the wing of Bernard Rousseu, a resistance fighter for the Communist party. Gabi discovers some papers that make Bernard question the loyalty of his girlfriend, Collette, who is in charge of keeping the Mona Lisa out of the hands of the Nazis. When a plot is discovered to steal the famed painting, Gabi, Eric, Bernard, and Collette are on the chase of their lives to keep it out of Nazi hands, even though some of their motives may be different than what they appear. The authors include lots of fascinating history that will keep readers enthralled. I've never heard the stories about Occupied Paris, and they portray a city on the edge very well. I wish the story had remained there. There were some unbelievable elements that made me feel like the authors used Deus ex Machina a bit too much. A too convenient notebook and a bait-and-switch that many readers will find hard to swallow. Bernard's communism is portrayed as idealistic and he as a hero, so when he changes sides, I kept waiting for him to come to his senses. It just didn't make sense based on what the writers had displayed in him as a character. There is also a lot of shocking violence here, especially a death with garden shears, and a stomach-churning threat against a small child. This violence seemed out of place with the rest of the novel, especially when perpetrated by the good guys! This novel isn't of the same quality as The Swiss Courier when the characters leave Paris, but when they are in the City of Lights, the story truly shined.
It's August of 1944 and Paris is on the verge of being liberated from the Nazi's. They have been under their control for about 4 years and have endured torture and bribery. Everyone thinks that once the war ends, France will be united once again. However, with the liberation of France comes who is going to be in power. There is a group of communist who would love to take control, but how can they convince the French to begin thinking like them?
As the Germans see the end of the war approaching, they quickly take priceless pieces of art. However, the Mona Lisa has been moved to a safe place so it wouldn't fall into the hands of the Germans. Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring knows the end of the Third Reich is near and feels that he needs a bargaining chip to secure his fortune and life once the war is over. He's determined to get his hands on the Mona Lisa and will stop at nothing, to get it. Not even a little girl would be spared if he and his helpers had their way.
Gabi and Eric are Swiss OSS agents and have arrived in France as Paris was being liberated. They are given a new task once they reach Paris: secure the Mona Lisa before the Germans can get to it. A variety of circumstances hold them up as they are driving to the Swiss chateau. Will they make it in time to save the Mona Lisa? Who must give up their lives in order for the Mona Lisa to be saved? Will it ever return to her home at the Louvre?
This book was so action packed that I had difficulty putting it down. I stayed up way too late to finish this book! I don't think that I would have normally picked up this book to read on my own but I'm so thankful that I did. It's packed with history and facts that I never knew about the Mona Lisa and France. This is a book that will definitely be recommended to people over the next few months. It is the most exciting book I've read in a while! I actually had no clue how the end would turn out because there were so many twists and turns that I did not expect to occur. I'm going to have to check out their first book that they wrote together now.
____________________ Available January 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group ___________________ I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
Chasing Mona Lisa, by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey, is set in 1944 Europe. Two Swiss agents are fighting to save the world’s most famous painting from the hands of the Nazis.
If this sounds like an adventure book, that would be “right on.” The very first chapter starts off with high drama and continues every other page almost the whole way through. Lots of heart palpitations for the reader (!!!), but this isa book that is hard to set aside, as one must know what is going to happen next—and hope for resolution!
The setting is France, mainly Paris, at the very close of World War II, a highly dramatic time for the people of France who have been held hostage by Germans for four years. Emotions are riding high, especially at The Louvre, home of many, many very famous and valuable paintings, and one, especially, the Mona Lisa (La Joconde). During the War, many of the paintings have been “stolen” by high ranking Germans (Hermann Goring) who had an insatiable appetite for such works of art, understanding their beauty and, obviously, their great value. Other works have been hidden away in various parts of the country.
Numerous spies, differing political views, atrocities known to all wars, amazing rides across the French countryside, and accounts of personal dealings with many recognizable historical names from that era, are only some of the events recounted in this story.
From a historical point-of-view, Chasing Mona Lisa is a great way to learn what was going on with the European side of World War II; the background story of Mona Lisa’s history is obviously true and told in great detail, so it is an eye-opener in many ways. It seems to be a realistic view of what was going on in Paris during a two-week period in August 1944 and a very accurate accounting of what was going on for people caught up in a war which they could only barely survive using their own skills and the depths of their own spirit.
There are many surprises in this novel, which continue to the very end. There is never a dull moment and even timid readers of violent events will be assured a “good read.” It is a worthwhile read and a learning experience, as well as entertainment!
It was so good to go along on an adventure with Eric and Gabi again. Tricia and Mike have come up with another adrenalin fueled story.
I romped through the French Resistance and celebrated the liberation with these two. And that was just the beginning.
Then the chase was on to recover the elusive Mona Lisa. Who will come out on top? The Germans? The Swiss? The French?
There’s a twist or two at the end - one of which I didn’t see coming. Don’t bother trying to read the last of the story first. You need to read from the beginning in order to really be able to understand and appreciate the end.
Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey is a dramatic story set in France and Switzerland near the end of World War II. Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler are caught up in an adventure to protect one of France's national treasures -- Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Bernard Rousseau and Collette Perriard each have their own personal reasons for being involved in the chase as well.
During Nazi rule of France, many art treasures were purchased or stolen and placed in the private collections of those with money and power. Other pieces were protected and hidden by loyal French citizens, with plans to return them to their rightful "homes" when it was safe to do so. As the liberation of France approaches, clashes between nations and between competing factions within the home country put the future of da Vinci's masterpience in danger. The story is filled with danger, intrigue, and romance as the race is on to see who will finally get their hands on La Joconde, as she is known in French.
Chasing Mona Lisa is apparently a sequel to The Swiss Courier. There are a few references in the story that might have been more meaningful if I had read the previous book, but I found no problem in reading it as a stand alone. The story is full of fascinating historical facts and names, interwoven with the fictitious events. At times, I had a little trouble keeping up with "who's who" in the various groups. That confusion and the large amount of historical information sometimes got in the way of the story; but mostly it fit in with the suspense of finding out who were the "good guys" and the "bad guys" in the story.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an intriguing mystery and has any interest in the time period of World War II. If it is a good example of the writing of these authors, I would certainly enjoy reading more of their work.
Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
This book was provided free for my honest review from Revell.
This book is set in WWII. The year 1944. A member of the French resistance and two Swiss agents are tangled in a web of honor and deceit as they try to protect the Mona Lisa from Nazis and keep her in France.
The story line held me in suspense, as I kept waiting and waiting for the plot to get to chasing the Mona Lisa. I had to wait until chapter nine to find out that the hunt was about to begin!
There seemed to be more characters than usual for a paperback book like this one so my mind worked hard to place everyone in their appropriate scenes and relationships. This actually created a bit more intrigue as I tried to figure out who was where, doing what, with whom...you know what I mean?
Chasing Mona Lisa is very mild in terms of the events occurring through out the story, especially considering all the heinous crimes committed during that time. Nevertheless, the authors conveyed these things through the hatred displayed by certain characters. the blood they shed and crimes committed by both sides because murder was committed by so called good people but usually in self-defense.
While Romance was hinted at throughout this book, this was not a gushy romance novel, it was a historical fiction filled with adventure. It was filled with secrets, bravery, espionage, loyalty and a love of art. A great change of pace! I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and characters. The way it ended left me thinking there wouldn't be another book, yet the story line left me wondering about a couple of people that I truly hope there is another book in the works!
I admired the loyalty, courage and commitment to the cause, which was liberating Paris and restoring the country's extensive art collection. I was held in suspense with the twist on the art smuggling and sales. Chasing the Mona Lisa created a desire to learn more about the Mona Lisa and Paris. I also want to write the first book of this sequel, The Swiss Courier as it is based upon one of the characters in this book! Might have to spend some of my Christmas money on a copy!
This was a great read and I highly recommend it! A word of warning though, if you are looking for a book with a spiritual theme, you will not find it in Chasing the Mona Lisa. If you are looking for a clean plot about history, fiction and adventure, then this is your book.
“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive free products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.