I’m the author of Treasure of Saint-Lazare and its sequel, Last Stop: Paris, a pair of thrillers/historical mysteries that started with this question: What would happen if some really bad guys thought — indeed were certain — they knew where to find a famous and priceless painting the Nazis stole in World War II?
My research pointed to Poland and the Czartoryski Museum of Krakow, where a blank frame still hangs on the wall in place of Portrait of a Young Man, a painting the Italian Old Master Raphael made in 1514. It was looted shortly after the blitzkrieg and spent most of the war hanging in the home of Hans Frank, governor-general of occupied Poland. As the Russians were knocking at the door of Eastern Poland in early 1945, he sent it (with many other stolen treasures) to his home near Munich. He narrowly escaped from the Russian Army only to be hanged by the Nuremberg tribunal.
The other treasures arrived, but not the Raphael, and it hasn’t been seen in public since. Last year the Polish foreign ministry indicated it may be in a bank vault somewhere.
Treasure of Saint-Lazare is set in Paris and Sarasota, Florida. Click on the cover picture for more details on the book’s Amazon site. It’s available there in Kindle, paperback and audiobook editions.
Last Stop: Paris is set in Paris, Miami, Munich, and several parts of Eastern Europe. In it, Eddie Grant finally gets his hands on his evil antagonist. It’s been well reviewed, especially by Kirkus Reviews (see my blog post about that).
I’ve been a serious fan of WWII history for thirty or forty years, since I lived in Frankfurt, where I edited a business magazine and reported for the International Herald Tribune on banking and finance in the German-speaking countries. After a couple of other careers, I live with my wife Jan (also a former journalist, she for The Washington Post) in Sarasota for most of the year, but we reserve a few months each year for Paris, where we especially like the 14th arrondissement around métro stations Denfert-Rochereau and Alésia.
- John Pearce Updated Mon 08-21-17
Contact me by email: jmp@PartTimeParisian.com