Official Review: The Girl Who Knew da Vinci by Belle Ami

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bookowlie
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Official Review: The Girl Who Knew da Vinci by Belle Ami

Post by bookowlie » 25 May 2018, 10:44

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Girl Who Knew da Vinci" by Belle Ami.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Girl Who Knew da Vinci by Belle Ami is a thriller with a heavy dose of romance. The search is on for a missing Leonardo da Vinci painting. The catch? – it’s a work of art that supposedly doesn’t exist and is not attributable to da Vinci. Art historian Angela Renatus begins having dreams and visions about the famous artist and the subjects in the painting, Giuliano Medici and his lover Fioretta.

Art detective Alex Caine is looking for the same painting on behalf of a rich client, Max Jaeger. Jaeger wants to clear his Uncle Gerhard’s name. Gerhard had been a German officer who went missing during World War II; before his disappearance, he had written letters to his mother describing the da Vinci painting.

I enjoyed this absorbing story that contains a nice blend of mystery, history, and romance. Although the story unfolds in different time periods, the jam-packed plot and characters are relatively easy to keep track of. The transitions are smooth between Giuliano, Fioretta, and their friend da Vinci in the late 1400’s and Angela and Alex’s search for the painting in the present day. There are also flashbacks featuring Gerhard and his lover Sophia during World War II.

The unusually close connection Angela feels with both Fioretta and Sophia veers the story into paranormal territory. The plot thickens when Alex feels an intense connection with Giuliano and Gerhard. Were Angela and Alex lovers in past lives? The subject of past life regression adds an interesting layer to the story. While I don’t normally like paranormal touches in a book, the theme fits well within the plot.

When the present-day investigation switches to Italy, the book really sparkles. The author has a real talent for imagery as I was able to soak in the beautiful scenery. The descriptions give special meaning to the phrase “lost in a good book.” That being said, the plot moves forward slowly. By the middle of the story, I become impatient for the pace to speed up and the mystery to be solved.

Romance flourishes on several different fronts, including Angela and Alex’s growing attraction to each other. Still, the painting mystery takes center stage although the romance element adds spice to the story. Although the book is categorized as a thriller, I can’t say there was a high level of suspense until later in the story.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. There are approximately twelve errors, including homophone errors (new/knew, core/corps, and your/you’re) and missing or incorrect punctuation. Although the story is very interesting, the errors prevent me from awarding the highest score. Readers who enjoy a juicy plot and a blend of genres should add this book to their reading list. Art lovers will certainly appreciate the subject matter. You will lose track of time and find yourself reading well into the night.


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Reviewer's Note (5/30/18): The errors have been corrected by the author in an update of the soon-to-be published book.

******
The Girl Who Knew da Vinci
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Post by gali » 31 May 2018, 04:45

A thriller with a heavy dose of romance sounds good! A missing Leonardo da Vinci painting?? Reminds me of "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. The blend of mystery, history, and paranormal should make it an enjoyable read. I am not that fond of time jumps, so it is good to know the transitions are smooth. Well done to the author for fixing the errors per your recommendation, and thank you for an excellent review!
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Post by Helen_Combe » 31 May 2018, 05:06

Wow, that looks like a book that works on many levels. Great review, I enjoyed it.
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Post by IrishBuyser16 » 31 May 2018, 05:49

That's so interesting.

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Post by manay9 » 31 May 2018, 07:00

fantastic fantasy, though I would have love it to have more paranormal characters.

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Post by kandscreeley » 31 May 2018, 07:49

This one really reminds me of the DaVinci Code. I don't know if it's the cover or what, but it doesn't sound quite the same. It sounds very intriguing, and the errors actually sound minimal. It's something I might have to look at. Thanks for another great review as always. I always look forward to reading your reviews and seeing what you have to say about a book.
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Post by lewieb420 » 31 May 2018, 08:44

Da Vinci work was one of controversial art work he ever done.. It fives more different meaning about the lyf of Jesus. In my own opinion everything ate speculation and conclusion because no one of can prove what really happened.

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Post by bookowlie » 31 May 2018, 09:22

Thanks everyone for your kind words. Kandscreeley - there were other noticeable errors that I didn't list, but the author has since corrected them in the updated copy of the book. Manay9 - there are more paranormal characters, but I don't want to give away too much of the story. Gali - as someone who normally don't like a lot of time jumps, many of them were necessary to move the plot along.
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Post by gen_g » 31 May 2018, 09:47

This is a really interesting setting! I particularly enjoy thrillers, and this seems exactly it. Thanks for the great review.

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Post by Ginnamassa19 » 31 May 2018, 11:16

I love both historical fiction and thrillers, and this book seems to fit nicely into both categories. The premise sounds so interesting--I think I might end up giving this a go. I'm just a little worried about the pacing, though, since you've mentioned it was a little slow. :P

Anyhow, thank you for your detailed review! :)

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Post by bookowlie » 31 May 2018, 11:25

Thanks gen.g and Ginnamassa19! Ginnamassa19, the pace of the reading isn't really slow. It's more than the plot moves forward slowly, if that makes any sense. It's mainly because there are time jumps and each time period has a story which fits into the overall story. A little busy.
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Post by DrAlan » 31 May 2018, 11:29

Wow. A very great review.
Now u make me wanna read the book. Thanks 😀

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Post by Bianka Walter » 31 May 2018, 14:03

Mystery and romance with a touch of paranormal... super interesting. I love how the author brings Italy to life, that alone would make me want to read this one.
Thanks so much for the review!
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Post by KatyJS » 31 May 2018, 15:36

I love a good Mystery. I am adding this to my bookshelves.
thanks for the review

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Post by tarafarah7 » 31 May 2018, 17:43

As always, your reviews are so well-written and an absolute delight to read. Thank you! Even though I.hope to have an interest in the BOTM, I don't think this is the one for me. The one aspect I do like is the vivid descriptions the book provides. I love the feeling of being swept away to places I have yet to see. :-) Again, thank you for your take on The Girl Who Knew da Vinci, and congratulations to Belle Ami on this new release!

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