The Lost Madonna by Kelly Jones
© 2002-2017
Set in Italy

CRIMNI - Italian Noir


Paul Adam
 Unhold Trinity
Oliver Banks
 The Caravaggio Obsession
Tonino Benacquista
 Holy Smoke
Carlo Fruttero & Franco Lucentini
 The Sunday Woman
Marcello Fois
 The Advocate
Leslie Forbes
 Waking Raphael
Luca di Fulvio
 The Mannequin Man
Carlo Emilio Gadda
 That Awful Mess on Via Merulana
Giuseppe Genna
 In the Name of Ishmael
Kelly Jones
 The Lost Madonna
Amara Lakhous
 Clash of Civilizations Over An Elevator in Piazza Vittorio
Dacia Maraini
William D. Montalbano
Magdalen Nabb
  & Paolo Vagheggi
 The Prosecutor
Ottavio Cappellani
 Who Is Lou Sciortino?
 Sicilian Tragedee
Ben Pastor
 Liar Moon
Alessandro Perissinotto
 Blood Sisters
Ellis Peters
 Holiday with Violence
Juan Manuel de Prada
 The Tempest
Giampiero Rigosi
 Night Bus
Giorgio Scerbanenco
 Duca and the Milan Murders
Leonardo Sciascia
 A Man's Blessing
 Equal Danger
 The Day of the Owl
T.C. Van Adler
 St. Agatha's Breast


The Lost Madonna

Kelly Jones

The Story: When an old friend, now the Dean of an American university program in Florence, Italy, calls with an invitation to teach art history for a semester, Suzanne Cunningham is both hesitant and excited. In the sixties, as a young woman backpacking in Europe with a girlfriend, she had arrived in Florence and the following day found herself caught up in a devastating flood as it swept through the city. She stayed to help with the rescue and restoration of priceless Renaissance art, and also became involved with a young Italian restorer. The affair did not end well, and she has not returned to Florence in over thirty years.

Suzanne decides to accept the position. While preparing for a class she comes across an article featuring a fifteenth-century painting claimed to have been lost in the flood. She knows the painting was saved, because she had assisted in the restoration. She returns to Italy and begins a search for the lost painting as well as the man she has never forgotten.

The Story behind the Story: On November 4, 1966, the Arno River in Florence exploded, crashing over its banks, devastating the city, destroying ancient manuscripts, ravaging priceless paintings and frescoes. Financial aid arrived from all over the world, and art conservators and historians flocked to the city to help with the rescue and restoration. Students, some studying in Florence, many traveling from other locations, pitched in with youthful energy and determination to help the flood victims and assist in saving the art. They were known as the mud angels.

Two years later, Kelly Jones arrived in Florence to study at an American university. Much had been accomplished in the restoration of the city and its art, but traces of the flood remained everywhere-in the dark water lines still visible on the ochre-colored buildings, in the empty spaces in the museums replaced with signs declaring "in corso di restauro."

Kelly spent a memorable year in Florence, exploring and studying the art. She has returned several times since and it still ranks as one of her favorite cities.

Jacket Notes: Thirty years after leaving Florence with a broken heart, Suzanne Cunningham is thrilled to finally be going back to teach art history. But preparing for her course, she comes across something she never expected. A book reveals that a small but significant painting, Madonna and Child, was destroyed in the flood of 1966. But Suzanne knows this isn't true. She knows, because with the help of her former lover, Stefano, she rescued it-after the infamous flood...

Now back in the magical city that once captured her heart, Suzanne is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to that priceless painting-and to the man who forever changed the course of her life ...
(© Berkley Books)

Set in Florence


Kelly Jones was born and raised in Twin Falls, Idaho, went to college in the state of Washington, and spent her junior year abroad in Italy.