“The Cezanne Chase” (William Morrow, $14.95) by Thomas Swan, was originally published in 1997 as part of the Inspector Jack Oxby series. It recently was rereleased along with two other books, all centering on the art world.
At the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, a young assistant curator finds Paul Cezanne's “Self Portrait in a Beret” destroyed. It was as if it melted into itself.
In London's National Gallery, a smoking briefcase is found near a disintegrating self-portrait by Cezanne. Acid is the most obvious method which was used.
Then a Cezanne in a private collection meets the same fate, and a curator is found dead.
It is up to Inspector Oxby to sort all this out and catch the perpetrator. The story follows a trail through Russia, England, the United States and France.
It follows the villain who is destroying the portraits as well as the authorities attempting to capture him.
There are 26 Cezanne self-portraits in all. Will they all be destroyed?
— Betty Lytle