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Monday, October 12, 2020

Spotlight: A Discerning Eye by Carol Orange

A Discerning Eye 
by Carol Orange

A Discerning Eye is available on Oct. 13 at:, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

On March 18, 1990 thieves broke into Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and stole 13 works of art including masterpieces by such renowned artists as Vermeer, Rembrandt and Degas, in what would become history’s largest art theft. Thirty years later, the crime remains unsolved with none of the paintings recovered. This tragic robbery inspired A Discerning Eye [Cavan Bridge Press, October 13, 2020] a debut novel by Carol Orange, writer and fine arts consultant for over twenty years. The novel’s art heist mystery and high stakes international intrigue involves Interpol, the FBI, the Mafia, drug lords, and the daring, clever art dealer at the center: Portia Malatesta. 

As a Gardner docent Portia is devastated when she learns of the stolen pieces and becomes determined to help uncover their whereabouts. Skillfully, she constructs a psychological profile of the thief by analyzing a common thread in most of the stolen art. She suspects the mastermind behind it all is obsessed with the interaction of dark and light in both art and life. Orange believes, “There is an inherent tension between the shadowy and light sides of most people. Perhaps knowing or observing the shadowy side of life motivates painters to combine the portrayal of dark events with the hopeful promise of light.”

When the FBI enlists Portia's help in a sting operation to recover the stolen works of art, she goes on a dangerous trip to Colombia, where she'll have to earn the trust of a notorious drug lord's daughter. With everything at risk, Portia navigates the country’s underworld and uncovers a complicated web of politics and pride, where one misstep could have deadly consequences...

Orange utilizes her vast art knowledge and experience working in Latin American to craft a fast-paced, deftly plotted mystery where the fate of several of the world's most prized masterpieces are in one person’s hands.  Fans of Donna Leon and John Le Carré will clamor for this action-packed tale filled with marital tensions, temptations, and twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing throughout. 

Carol Orange has worked in the art world for more than twenty years. She began as a research editor on art books in London and later became an art dealer in Boston. She also worked as an advertising manager for South and Central America at Polaroid Corporation. She lived in Paris for two years where she researched George Sand's life and writing.. Her short story "Delicious Dates" was included in Warren Adler's 2010 short story anthology. Another story, "Close Call" appeared in the Atherton Review, Vol. 102. She currently lives in Chicago near her daughter and her family. A Discerning Eye is her debut novel.

For more information, please visit and connect with her on Twitter @COrangeAntiques or Instagram @carolorange2

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