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Book Review: Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey


In Book One, The Swiss Courier, the reader was introduced to Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler. They work for the Swiss OSS
(Office of Strategic Services) as agents. Gabi's father is American and her mother is Swiss. Gabi and her family have made Switzerland their home. During World War II Switzerland remained neutral. American forces worked with the OSS as an espionage intelligence group---a forerunner of the CIA.  In the Swiss Courier Gabi and Eric meet and develop strong feelings for each other while working a case.
In Chasing Mona Lisa, Gabi and Eric, are sent to Paris, France in August 1944, in order to stop a German heist of stealing a valuable piece of artwork, the famous Mona Lisa painting. Many pieces of artwork had already been stolen and taken back to Germany. 
In Chasing Mona Lisa we are also introduced to other characters: Bernard Rousseau a French resistance fighter, and Colette Perriard that works at the Louvre. Bernard and Colette are a couple. Also, Antoine Celeste, a man bent on revenge.

In my posted review of The Swiss Courier I disliked the front cover. I felt it was too perfect, that the woman on the front cover with her pouty red lips and flawless skin and blond hair-----was Disney like perfect.
I noticed on the front cover of Chasing Mona Lisa a 360 was done, in that it shows a man (blurred image) running. The front cover shows intrigue, physical action. Much better. I approve. I approve because most Christian Fiction front covers are of lovely women. It is a "breath of fresh air" to see something more creative. There are 3 strong male characters in the book. I'm hoping male readers will give this book a try.
I have to admit I loved the character's of Bernard and Collete more than Gabi and Eric. I don't dislike Gabi and Eric, please don't think that. But Bernard and Colette are quickly perceived by me as being more real, raw, flawed, dimensional. Their character's were intriguing and held a bit of mystery. I felt both of them had something to hide, of course until the end of the book I was curious to know what that was.
Gabi and Eric are a little too squeaky clean, a little too not a hair out of place. There is no mystery in them, nothing that peaks my interest in keeping up with what is in their dialogue or storyline.
What I most liked about this book (yes I did really like it even after what I stated in the above sentence about Gabi and Eric.)
1. The characters are put to the limit in what they are capable of doing when in a life or death situation. Then, they later ponder if they can be that brave or courageous again.
2. I was given a good idea of what it was like during the occupation of Nazi Germany. I was also given a front row seat in the excitement and joy of knowing liberation was near!
3. I was given a little history I'd not known, about Nazi Germany stealing artwork from France and other countries that they occupied.
4. A short history lesson is given on the Mona Lisa painting, as well as the history of what happened to it during the war (see: To The Reader and Acknowledgments in book).
I would love to see a book 3, but with maybe something more mysterious unpredictable or grabbing (so to speak) from Gabi and Eric.

Picture taken in Paris by my Dad in May 1945. The camera used to take these photographs was taken from a German soldier that my dad had taken as prisoner. Dad said the German soldier did not want to give it to him, but dad said, "he didn't really need it."

Taken by Dad also May 1945---Eiffel Tower and Seine River in Paris, France.

My dad at Eiffel Tower, the war is over!

Published by Revell Books January 1, 2012
Christian Fiction/World War II/France Occupation/Nazi Germany/Art




I received this book for free from LitFuse Group and Revell Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Link for blog tour @ LitFuse Group:
http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13449999

My previous review of Book 1 The Swiss Courier:
http://awell-wateredgarden.blogspot.com/2011/02/book-review-swiss-courier-by-tricia.html

Link for book @ Christian Book:
http://www.christianbook.com/chasing-mona-lisa-tricia-goyer/9780800720469/pd/720469?product_redirect=1&Ntt=720469&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP
Paperback $9.99
eBook $9.69

Link for book @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Mona-Lisa-Tricia-Goyer/dp/0800720466/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327159727&sr=1-1
Paperback $11.99
Kindle $8.99

Chasing Mona Lisa website

For a reading group guide:
http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides_C/chasing_mona_lisa1.asp

Tricia Goyer is the coauthor of The Swiss Courier as well as the author of many other books, including Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights, both past winners of the ACFW's Book of the Year Award for Long Historical Romance. Goyer lives with her family in Arkansas. For more about Tricia and her other books visitwww.triciagoyer.com 

Mike Yorkey is the author or coauthor of dozens of books, including The Swiss Courier and the bestselling Every Man's Battle series. Married to a Swiss native, Yorkey lived in Switzerland for 18 months. He and his family currently reside in California. For more about Mike  and his other books visit www.mikeyorkey.com


Blissful Reading!
Annette

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