The Apothecary's House

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Author: Adrian Mathews
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When an old woman storms into the Rijksmuseum demanding the return of her painting, archivist Ruth Braams cannot quell her curiosity. Ruth delves into the history of the piece of looted Nazi art and discovers an enigmatic picture with a disturbing wartime provenance. It also appears that the elderly Lydia is not the only claimant and, against strict bureau regulations, Ruth endeavours to help strengthen her case.But gradually - through Lydia's scatty revelations, the queer time capsule of her house, and the esoteric inscriptions on the painting itself - a dark and disturbing tale unfolds. Who was the picture's obscure creator? And why were the Nazis so keen to acquire this second - rate oil for the Fuhrer's planned museum? Days later Ruth begins to receive sinister anonymous threats, warning her to stay away from Lydia and the painting. As the threats escalate, Ruth realizes that there must be far more behind the painting's popularity, and she enters into a series of increasingly lethal adventures as she investigates its secret symbolism... 

A brilliant evocation of Amsterdam that combines fascinating historical detail with a cast of sharply realized characters - a fast -paced, finely crafted mystery.. 

"A  fantastic page - turner and one of the best stories I've read this year " --Birmingham Post 

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