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The Bellini Madonna

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781787477162

Price: £10.99

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A seductive mystery novel from the acclaimed author of Dark Water

‘Sparkling . . . glowing with wit’ Hilary Mantel

‘A mystery story, a love story and a comedy of errors . . . A compelling debut that entertains and unsettles in equal measure’ Guardian

Mawle House. The run-down country seat of the Ropers, a warren of mysterious artefacts and secretive women and – thrillingly – the possible hiding place of a Bellini masterpiece: the elusive Madonna.

Art historian and aesthete Thomas Lynch, in disgrace and desperation, knows that finding this painting could resurrect his career. But by immersing himself in Mawle’s strange past and stranger present, he soon finds himself entangled in a game of cat and mouse. Lynch will soon learn that in life, as in art, nothing should be taken at face value.


The Bellini Madonna achieves more than mischief as it explores the complexities of desire in a narrative suffused with comedy and a mounting sense of loss . . . Lowry has composed her novel with tremendous care, daring to set puzzles for the reader that, once solved, form a portrait of lonely people with a talent for "self-sabotage". A mystery story, a love story and a comedy of errors set in that most familiar of locations - a ruinous country house - The Bellini Madonna is a compelling debut that entertains and unsettles in equal measure
This sparkling first novel is a treat for lovers of elegant mystery and exquisite prose . . . a delight
The Times
Fusing the techniques of the thriller writer with those of historical fiction, Lowry . . . invokes an authentically Bellinian sense of distantly exact perspectives to create a first novel of genuine subtlety and distinction
Times Literary Supplement
A complex narrative twists and turns back in time to Baedeker's Italy, and Robert Browning's aphrodisiac asparagus. This is a first novel and Lowry has thrown a very considerable talent into it, creating a splendidly quirky art historian
The Bellini Madonna is a quite remarkable debut novel - one which takes the reader into several worlds, each so perfectly drawn that you can smell the dusty rooms of Mawle, the fragrance of roses blooming in a secret garden and come to understand the complexities that drive the central characters towards their separate ends
Oxford Times
This is an unusual book; a debut novel that doesn't feel like one. A multi-layered detective story wrapped in a sardonic confession of a not-very-likeable individual, its tone is caustic and intriguing . . . marks the arrival of an interesting new talent
Irish Examiner