Megan Crespi

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THE KOLLWITZ CALAMITIES
Fifth in the Megan Crespi Series

Two monumental granite statues by famed German artist Käthe Kollwitz—Grieving Parents—have been stolen from a World War I soldiers’ cemetery in Belgium. What could the motive have been for such an unlikely theft?

On a visit to the director of the Kollwitz Museum in Cologne, retired art history professor and Kollwitz scholar Megan Crespi is asked to aid in tracking down the robber or robbers. As she pursues clues and visits possible suspects, more Kollwitz statues are stolen from Cologne and Berlin.

Crespi’s itinerary takes her to the Berlin Kollwitz Museum, Weimar, the Baltic Sea island of Rügen, Greifswald, and finally to the Kollwitz Memorial House in Moritzburg. On the way she interacts with physicians Abraham Rückgabe and Iliana Frankel, the just-married couple Monika von Putbus and Akram al-Aljamie, and unscrupulous CEO of Rügen’s asbestos-contaminated Dorotek factory, Reinhold Fromm, collector of dominatrix drawings. We meet possible suspects, Iranian prince Yusri Pahlavi of Nordhausen, greedy gallerist Lukas Zamann, and the mysterious “Marie Schmidt,” of Moritzburg, Kollwitz’s final home. All seem to be connected to the spate of Kollwitz robberies.

Can Crespi solve the inexplicable thefts and will the precious artworks be found? An unexpected denouement involving ten persons and two cats gives us the answer.

 

click here for a Reader's Guide to The Kollwitz Calamities!
Contact Alessandra Comini at acomini@smu.edu

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THE MUNCH MURDERS
Fourth in the Megan Crespi Series

The art world is stunned. In the space of a little more than a week three Edvard Munch paintings, including the iconic Scream, have been stolen from museums in Oslo and Stockholm. Retired professor of art history Megan Crespi, on vacation in Scandinavia with her little Maltese dog Button and her old friend Lili Holm, is asked to help. In her capacity as Munch specialist, she visits three possible suspects, all major collectors of Munch, and soon finds her life is endangered. Being kidnapped had not been in her plans.

Who is responsible? The fanatical Norseliga clan, with its emphasis on Norwegian superiority? The beautiful cosmetics queen, Myrtl Kildahl, who hides her German roots, or the Swedish collector who denies he is the grandson of writer August Strindberg?

Pursuit of the truth takes Megan from Copenhagen and Oslo, to Bergen and Trondheim, and finally to Stockholm and the myth-laden island of Runmarö. Megan’s dog adds an element that qualifies him as a detective second only to his mistress.

 

click here for a Reader's Guide to The Munch Murders!
Contact Alessandra Comini at acomini@smu.edu
Megan Crespi

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megancrespi.com :: disambiguation for www.alessandracomini.com

THE KOKOSCHKA CAPERS
Third in the Megan Crespi Series

In this third in the Megan Crespi Mystery Series, a major double portrait by the Viennese Expressionist artist Oskar Kokoschka showing himself with his lover Alma Mahler has been stolen from the Basel Museum. Left in its place is an exact duplicate, except that Alma has been replaced by an unknown woman. Retired professor of art history Megan Crespi, an expert on Viennese art, is called to help with the investigation.

A second theft of fourteen crates of unknown Kokoschka artworks from a Viennese storage vault brings Megan to Vienna. There she meets by accident the mysterious multimillionaire Desdemona Dumba, who has financed the crate robbery. A stunning anorexic, Desdemona feels it is her sole role in life to bring Kokoschka's lost works together and away from public scrutiny.

Two others, Leo Lang and Bruno Fichte-Mahler, harbor fanatical interest in Kokoschka and go to extreme measures either to desecrate or protect the artist's images of Alma. An endangered Megan pursues leads that take her from Vienna and Berlin to Rabat and Athens and finally to Xenia, Desdemona's remote islet off the Greek island of Corfu - the spitting image of painter Arnold Böcklin's The Isle of the Dead.

On the cover: detail from “Murderer, Hope of Women” by Oskar Kokoschka, 1909, color lithograph, courtesy of the Leopold Museum, Vienna. Cover design by Vicki Abl.

 

click here for a Reader's Guide to The Kokoschka Capers!
Contact Alessandra Comini at acomini@smu.edu
Megan Crespi

Now available at amazon.com!

megancrespi.com :: disambiguation for www.alessandracomini.com

THE SCHIELE SLAUGHTERS
Second in the Megan Crespi Series

In this second of the Megan Crespi Mystery Novel Series, the retired art history professor of Dallas returns to Vienna to help solve the brutal murder of a museum night watchman and a series of attacks on things relating to the Expressionist artist Egon Schiele ranging from black duct or spray paint “censoring” of his nude figures’ private parts to desecration of his burial site.

Three sets of characters are involved with Schiele. The competitive billionaire Russian gallery owners Alexandra Azarova and Boris Ussachevsky; the scheming Grand Master of a secret sect dedicated to the obliteration of obscenity, and his murderous underling; and the greedy self-proclaimed “nearest relative” to Schiele, his great grandnephew, Adolf Peschka-Schiele.

Her own life in danger, the twisting Schiele trail leaves multiple corpses in its wake and leads Megan from conniving Vienna to remote Kaliningrad in Russia, to ancient Krumau in Bohemia, and busy Milan in Italy, as she hunts for a possible hidden trove of major Schiele paintings. What she discovers is undreamt of and leaves the Schiele world stunned and covetous.

FOR REVIEW COPIES OR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: CARL CONDIT / (505) 988-4418 OR orders@sunstonepress.com. A digital image of the cover is available on request. (Please give specifications.)

On the cover detail from "Self-Portrait as St. Sebastian" by Egon Schiele, 1914, black crayon on paper, private collection. Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York. Cover design by Vicki Abl.

 

click here for a Reader's Guide to The Schiele Slaughters!
Contact Alessandra Comini at acomini@smu.edu
Megan Crespi

Now available at amazon.com!

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KILLING FOR KLIMT
First in the Megan Crespi Series

Retired art history professor Megan Crespi, an expert on the Viennese artist Gustav Klimt, becomes involved in a race to recover the Secretum, a “shameful, secret panel” stolen from the artist’s studio the night after his death in February of 1918. Her travels, at the behest of New York’s Moderne Galerie Museum, owner of the famed 1907 “golden” Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, take her from the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Switzerland’s Ascona, as well as to New York, Vienna, Helsinki, Paris, Montreal, and Girdwood, Alaska.

Megan is shadowed by two different assassins hired by fanatical Günther Winter. Owner of Alaska’s Alpenglow Hotel, he keeps his secret art collection in an annex basement. Several killings occur involving the interested criminal parties and naïve owners of Klimt artworks.

Finally setting up a trade—Winter’s Secretum for the golden Adele—Crespi and two colleagues fly to Alaska. They bring with them two crates: one purporting to contain the Adele portrait, and a larger one to receive the Secretum panel. But there, greed leads to unexpected and colossal consequences. Will Megan survive the final killing for Klimt?

Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, Alessandra Comini—alias Megan Crespi—was awarded Austria’s Grand Medal of Honor for her books on Viennese artists Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Her Egon Schiele’s Portraits was nominated for the National Book Award and her The Changing Image of Beethoven is used in classrooms around the country. Her travels, recor
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FOR REVIEW COPIES OR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: CARL CONDIT / (505) 988-4418 OR orders@sunstonepress.com. A digital image of the cover is available on request. (Please give specifications.)

On the Cover: Detail from a painting by Gustav Klimt, Adele Bloch-Bauer, oil, 1907, by kind permission of the Neue Galerie Museum, New York.

 

click here for a Reader's Guide to Killing for Klimt!
Contact Alessandra Comini at acomini@smu.edu