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Zelda Richardson Mystery #3

Marked for Revenge

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An adrenaline-fueled adventure set in the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, and Turkey about stolen art, the mafia, and a father’s vengeance.

When researcher Zelda Richardson begins working at a local museum, she doesn’t expect to get entangled with an art theft, knocked unconscious by a forger, threatened by the mob, or stalked by drug dealers.

To make matters worse, a Croatian gangster is convinced Zelda knows where a cache of recently pilfered paintings is. She must track down an international gang of art thieves and recover the stolen artwork in order to save those she loves most.

The trouble is, Zelda doesn’t know where to look. Teaming up with art detective Vincent de Graaf may be her only hope at salvation.

The trail of clues leads Zelda and Vincent on a pulse-pounding race across Europe to a dramatic showdown in Turkey that may cost them their lives.

All of the amateur sleuth mysteries in the Zelda Richardson Mystery Series are stand-alone novels and can be read in any order:
The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery
Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery
Marked for Revenge: An Art Heist Thriller

280 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 10, 2019

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About the author

Jennifer S. Alderson

25 books629 followers
Hi! I am an American expat currently living in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, I moved to Darwin, Australia, before finally settling in the Netherlands. When not writing, you can find me in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning my next research trip.

My love of travel, art, and culture inspires my award-winning Zelda Richardson Art Mystery series, Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries, and standalone stories.

Connect with me here on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or my website.

Thanks for stopping by!

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 49 reviews
Profile Image for Robbie Cheadle.
Author 22 books130 followers
July 6, 2019
This is the third book I have read in the Zelda Richardson series which I find quite unique as a whole due to its focus on the world of art museums in the Netherlands. Ms Alderson describes the artworks that feature in her stories with rich clarity which I really enjoy. She clearly has an extensive knowledge of this subject which she shares in an interesting and entertaining way and makes me long to visit the art museums in the Netherlands.

Zelda has is finally coming together. She has a paying job in a local museum as a researcher, her relationship with Jacob is going well and she has a great apartment in a building inhabited mainly by artists. She has befriended on of the artists, a young Croatian woman called Gabriella, and has even started making her own stained glass windows again. Life couldn't be better until a series of brazen art thefts starts rocking the art world in the Netherlands.

Skilled and daring thieves break into the poorly secured museums around the country and steal a selection of rather unusual artworks. They do not take the most valuable and well know pieces, but rather the more obscure artworks by famous artists. A card saying the art has been taken by Robber Hood due to the poor security of national treasures is left behind at each location.

When Gabriella suffers a diabetic collapse in front of Zelda who takes her to her apartment to administer her insulin, Zelda sees what she believes to be a copy of one of the stolen pieces together with an in-progress copy on Gabriella's easel. She is attacked by a visitor to Gabriella's apartment while she is still there and incurs a serious head injury which affects her memory, making it unreliable.

Soon after Zelda returns to work, her museum becomes a victim of Robber Hood and due to various circumstances surrounding her attack and what she thinks she saw in Gabriella's apartment, Zelda becomes a suspect and is suspended from her job. She teams up with a well-known art theft private investigator hired by the museum to find the missing art and sets of on an adventure to clear her name and find the missing artwork before it disappears forever.

This is my favourite of the Zelda Richardson series so far. The character of Zelda has matured and become a bit more of a thinker and a planner. I enjoyed the step up in her relationship with Jacob and the introduction of a bit of a more stable romance which in no way detracted from the main storyline. All in, a well research, well written and entertaining read.
Profile Image for Pamela Allegretto.
Author 2 books115 followers
May 30, 2019
Jennifer S. Alderson is an author who never disappoints. In Marked For Revenge, she offers a well-written and engaging tale complete with complex, interesting characters and a unique plot. Her extensive research adds an additional layer of appeal to the story line. An easy 5-stars.
Profile Image for Harriet Steel.
Author 20 books140 followers
June 7, 2019
This is the third book featuring art researcher, Zelda Richardson, but can be read as a stand-alone. Now in her first paid job at the Amstel Museum in the Netherlands, Zelda is plunged into the dangerous world of international art theft and drug dealing when she is attacked after going to help her artist neighbour, Gabriella, who has suffered a diabetic collapse. Before she is attacked, Zelda chances to notice a copy of a painting that has just been stolen from the Amstel Museum on Gabriella’s easel. Mentioning this brings suspicion on her and leads to her being suspended from her job. Desperate to clear her name and prove that her only connection to Gabriella is as a neighbour, Zelda teams up with art theft investigator, Vincent de Graaf, in an adrenaline-fuelled chase ending in the beautiful city of Marmaris in Turkey. The villains are suitably ruthless and complex, and Zelda is an engaging character. I enjoyed the detail on modern art that weaves into the plot as well as the great descriptions of Venice and Marmaris. If you like a pacey thriller with plenty of local colour, I think this would be a good choice for you.
Profile Image for Janice Richardson.
Author 7 books96 followers
April 1, 2019
Loved, loved, loved this story. Mystery and history, with enough suspense and excitement to capture any reader's imagination make this an exceptional read. This author does her research, and the result is educational and entertaining. This book can be read as a standalone or part of the
Profile Image for Elizabeth Lloyd.
557 reviews44 followers
May 14, 2019
This is the third of Zelda Richardson’s adventures in the art world. While working on her Master’s thesis she had been an unpaid intern. Now in her first paid job as a museum researcher she is anxious to make her mark, but little does she realise that she will soon be a suspect in a daring multiple art theft. This thrilling tale also allows us to view the situation from the viewpoint of the thieves and observe a bitter feud between Luka, a Croatian gangster and Ivan an embittered ex-collaborator, determined to get revenge for the tragic death of his daughter.
While Zelda’s boyfriend, Jacob, is working in Cologne, she spends her free time in Amsterdam, socialising with colleagues at the Amstel Modern Museum and getting to know her neighbour, Gabriella, a talented artist. Shortly after three sketches by famous artists are stolen from the Amstel Museum, Zelda stumbles into trouble when she inadvertently sees a copy of one of the sketches in Gabriella’s studio. After Gabriella disappears, Zelda’s admission that she has seen a copied painting puts her under suspicion. Zelda is desperate to find Gabriella and clear her name, so she is relieved when noted art recovery investigator, Vincent de Graaf, takes on the case, allowing Zelda to assist him.
This series of daring art thefts are especially intriguing because at each location a card is left by “Robber Hood,” criticising the gallery for lack of fool proof security. I took great pleasure in the delightful chapter titles, such as, “Balkan Bandits Strike Again” and “The Audacity of Art Thieves,” The authors descriptions of action and adventure in Venice and Marmaris bring each site vividly to life and made me keep turning the pages long after I should have turned off the light.
105 reviews
May 10, 2019
Exciting reading ! !

"Marked for Revenge: An Art Heist Thriller" is a fast pacing and page turning book. This novel is easy to read and extremely well done. The plot is well developed and characters are well designed.

The story is about stolen artwork, art forgeries, crimes and drug traffickers. But it is also on postmodern painting, museums and Amsterdam. Jennifer S. Alderson (the Author) carried out outstanding research on painting, postmodern art, museums and did a great job describing places in Amsterdam and in Turkey where a part of the story takes place. The result is instructive and entertaining. I really learnt a lot on these topics.

Through well organised chapters, we follow Zelda Richardson who just started working as an art assistant at a local museum and a Dutch art detective Vincent de Graaf. Both are embarked in an adventure in pursuit of an artwork thieves gang throughout Europe. This unusual and exciting activity is actually underpinned by an "ingenious" story of revenge of a father.

I highly recommend this book particularly to those who like fast pacing thrillers.

Read: May 2019
Format: Kindle
Source: NetGalley and the Publisher: BooksGoSocial. ARC received in exchange for a honest review

Profile Image for Coco.V.
46.4k reviews4 followers
Want to read
April 6, 2020
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (4/6/2020)! 🎁
Profile Image for Sandra.
266 reviews5 followers
July 17, 2019
Marked for Revenge is the third book featuring art researcher Zelda – now working in the Amstel Modern museum in the Netherlands. I had no idea that there were other books in this series and it did not matter at all; at no point did I feel that not having read the previous books in the series was affecting my understanding. It is a complex story told from multiple viewpoints and this works really well. We get insight into why the crimes are taking place, and not just a hunt for the perpetrators, which results in a much more nuanced narrative. It is obvious that a lot of research has gone into this book, the detail is convincing and the author’s love of art history shines through. The vivid descriptions of Venice and Marmaris are a highlight and will make you want to visit them and see the sights for yourself. It is well written, with believable characters and lots of action. The themes of art theft, forgery and revenge are woven seamlessly into this fast-paced thriller. I look forward to reading about Zelda’s next adventure. Thanks to the author for a free copy of Marked for Revenge that I review on behalf of Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT
Profile Image for E.J. Bauer.
Author 2 books59 followers
July 2, 2019
If you thought art galleries, their exhibitions and collections were boring and possibly a little stuffy, then you need to join Zelda Richardson in her latest adventure. Heists, forgeries, mafia art gangs and a chase across most of Europe provides a fast-paced read with lots of surprises and a final twist. An added bonus - I learned a lot as the author's extensive knowledge of art is skilfully woven into this dark tale of crime, greed and revenge.
Profile Image for Amy Shannon.
Author 98 books118 followers
May 17, 2019
An adventure in art
As a fan of Alderson's, I was anxious to start reading Marked for Revenge: An Art Heist Thriller. First, I like how Alderson shows a story. Yes, she shows it with all the details and fluidity of her writing that brings the reader right smack in the middle of the thriller. Filled with suspense, twists and just magnificent writing, the reader gets a view of this journey as it unfolds. The pace of the story is perfect, and the story brings the reader in at the right moment, and after reading the first few pages, this reader couldn't wait to read more. What happens next and how does this matter to the story? Questions that are soon answered as I continued on. Yes, I love Alderson's stories, and I love her Zelda, someone that is filled with zest and curiosity, and a lot of knowledge. Again, I was honored to read more of her stories, and as she writes, I will read. This one definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. Sometimes it's just a few words that bring a reader in, and in this case, it was Luca saying, "I am listening." And that's all it took.
Profile Image for Texas.
1,691 reviews391 followers
May 14, 2019
Marked for Revenge #3 - This book begins with her thesis being critiqued and three months into a new job at a new location. An interesting story of art theft and revenge, which had enough of the real world mixed with the fiction to hold the reader’s attention until the last page.

The descriptions are well done, the storylines believable and interesting, and the characters and their dialog were also well done. One of the Dutch laws about stolen art blew my mind, but I understand the reasoning behind it. I found this book on Booksprout. 4*

Rituals of the Dead #2 – This is my first read by this author and I found it interesting. The storylines flip back and forth between 2017 and 1962. This made for an intriguing suspense although it was easy to figure where the missing person ended up.

The characters were interesting enough to keep me immersed in the pages, along with the author’s easy to read writing style. The descriptions were well done as was the dialog and thought patterns of the characters.

I found this book somewhere but when I contacted the author to review Marked for Revenge, I read it first since it turns out this is a series. 4*
Profile Image for Grace Koshida.
586 reviews9 followers
May 12, 2019
Zelda Richardson is enjoying her job as a part-time researcher at the Amstel Modern museum in Amsterdam. Then a series of art heists occur throughout the country and the Amstel Modern becomes targeted by the thieves. Zelda is surprised when she helps Gabriella, her artist neighbour, and sees one of the stolen paintings as well as a forgery. But then Zelda is knocked unconscious by a male assailant and Gabriella and all her artwork vanish from the apartment. Zelda is worried when a menacing stranger named Marco arrives and persistently questions her about Gabriella. Suspended from her job and worried about the ever-increasingly zealous Marco, Zelda teams up with art detective Vincent de Graaf to find the stolen artwork and clear her reputation. The trail takes the duo on an action-packed chase from Amsterdam to Venice and then Turkey.

This was a fun and informative read with lots of details about art history and forgery.

I received an eARC via Netgalley and BooksGoSocial with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
Profile Image for Book Him Danno.
2,394 reviews54 followers
May 5, 2019
This is the perfect book for those who love history, mysteries toss in some good old fashion suspense and Marked For Revenge is the perfect read. The author bring history, art to life bringing readers into her world and keeps them there wanting more after the stories ends.

Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher Traveling Life Press for the advance copy of Jennifer S. Alderson Marked Revenge.
Profile Image for Heather W.
3,951 reviews25 followers
May 18, 2019
A fast-paced, suspenseful thriller. This book is full of in-depth information about art history, heists, forgeries, and museums. Excellent descriptions and well-developed characters bring this book to life and the reader feels all of the excitement, tension, and danger with Zelda throughout her adventure.

This was my first Zelda Richardson story but it won't be my last. I highly recommend this book.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy.
Profile Image for Dora Ilieva.
Author 6 books159 followers
August 14, 2019
Marked for Revenge is another masterpiece by thriller writer Jennifer S. Alderson. This time the trials and tribulations of the main character- the naïve and headstrong Zelda Richardson, take the reader from the Netherlands to Italy and from there to Turkey. Since the conflict is resolved only partially, the readers can expect more from the amateur sleuth and her creator. Fast-paced, informative and interesting, the novel offers enjoyment and a respite from the dreariness of everyday life.
Profile Image for Lucia Davis.
Author 4 books60 followers
December 3, 2019
I enjoy the Zelda Richardson Mystery Series very much. The books take place in the country where I grew up, and in Marked for Revenge my hometown was even mentioned as well, which does add to the mix! In contrast to the previous books, the second narrative in Marked for Revenge is not happening in the past but in present time, with sophisticated art-thieving thugs creating a lot of mayhem. Zelda gets pulled in and ends up traveling to fascinating places like Venice and Turkey, trying to help solve the case. The book is told from multiple points of view and at first I felt Zelda did not get enough "attention", but at the end this changes and the author ties it all neatly together.
Profile Image for Jerry Summers.
379 reviews1 follower
January 31, 2023
Zelda has a new gig at the Amstel Modern. This reminds me of our trip to Benelux and visiting museums and CoBrA modern artists. Zelda travels outside or The Netherlands this time: Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Turkey helping a detective, Vincent, hunt down stolen art. New career move?
Profile Image for Rosa Fedele.
Author 2 books12 followers
August 28, 2019
Zelda is back - still slightly off-beat, but now not quite so naïve.

This time, author Jennifer Alderson focuses on the modernist art movement – Pollock, Calder, Rothko etc. and the story begins with Zelda’s excitement over an exhibition titled “Conversations with American Modernists” held in the gallery at which she works … what could possibly go wrong??

Again I looked up the artists and paintings mentioned on the way, keeping the images beside me for reference. The reader is taken on an exhilarating ride through Amsterdam and then further afield to Croatia and Turkey, on a hunt to recover a cache of stolen paintings and drawings. We encounter a gang of Robin Hood-esque thieves, dodgy Croatian mobsters, and a team of artists who moonlight as art forgers. Quite a lucrative line of work it seems!

I most especially loved the little reference to Johannes Vermeer towards the end – could this possibly be a hint about the next Zelda adventure? If so, huzzah!

Another brilliant and well-researched story by Alderson and a must-read for art- and mystery- lovers.
Profile Image for Anne Janzer.
Author 6 books124 followers
May 10, 2019
In Marked for Revenge, Alderson once again dishes the inside scope on the museum world, but this time combines it with a clever art heist plot that will keep you turning pages right to the end. This Zelda Richardson mystery series just keeps getting better.
970 reviews15 followers
May 9, 2019
This is a nicely written story, with good language, a clear timeline and short chapters that all makes it easy to read. The characters are great, and the plot is OK, but there could be more points of suspense.
1,052 reviews3 followers
August 6, 2019
This is a great Art Heist Chase story. Rather unusual in its detail about how forgeries are made and set in Amsterdam as the starting town. Which gives lots of opportunities for haring across Europe easily of course. Interesting that it is the Balkans which are blamed for crime families and that the old Mafia gangs are no longer used.
I do wonder if the Dutch law about stolen art was real and if so, is it still in place? Obviously does not apply to holocaust Art but still. I did try and research the law but couldn’t find any reference to it so...
A different crime story with a good twist, and enjoyable romp into a different crime genre.
Profile Image for Mary Lu.
78 reviews
August 8, 2019
Fascinating window into the art world

Zelda expands the horizons of her chosen field, art, to include the many ways the underworld manipulates it. A clever plot and likeable character combine to pull you into the intrigue and appreciate the ending
Profile Image for Darren.
1,649 reviews29 followers
April 2, 2019
I got this as a arc e book for my i pad from Net Galley. I enjoyed reading it. It had a good story to it. It is my first book by this author. I hope to read more books by this author.
Profile Image for Billie.
5,451 reviews61 followers
May 23, 2019
An adrenaline-fueled adventure set in the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg, and Turkey about stolen art, the mafia, and a father’s vengeance.
When researcher Zelda Richardson begins working at a local museum, she doesn’t expect to get entangled with an art theft, knocked unconscious by a forger, threatened by the mob, or stalked by drug dealers.
To make matters worse, a Croatian gangster is convinced Zelda knows where a cache of recently pilfered paintings is. She must track down an international gang of art thieves and recover the stolen artwork in order to save those she loves most.
The trouble is, Zelda doesn’t know where to look. Teaming up with art detective Vincent de Graaf may be her only hope at salvation.
The trail of clues leads Zelda and Vincent on a pulse-pounding race across Europe to a dramatic showdown in Turkey that may cost them their lives.

This is the third of Zelda Richardson’s adventures in the art world.
Filled with suspense, twists and really good writing.
Loved the plot and locations this one had.
Really enjoyed the characters and the writing.
This one definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.
Recommend reading.

I received an ARC from the author and this is my honest voluntary review.
1,284 reviews6 followers
May 20, 2019
An intriguing art heist mystery!

Ivan Novak has waited three years for the revenge of his daughter’s death that his soul demands. Now the opportunity has come to make Luka Antic pay; by forfeiting his thriving art crime empire and, with any luck, his life. The timing is critical and the outcome uncertain, but the outcome will give him peace of mind knowing that Marjana’s death was avenged.

The targeted artwork is in numerous museums in the Netherlands including the Amstel Modern where director Julie Merriweather has brought together the works of an impressive group of renowned artists. After only six months as director, Julie intends for this exhibit to make her mark in the art world but a theft on opening night could put an end to her dream.

The book is a well-written crime novel with good character development. There were plot twists and subplots. I received a free copy but my review is honest and voluntary. The storyline is suspenseful and unpredictable which made it impossible to put down once I started reading.
Profile Image for Claire Lyons.
111 reviews12 followers
July 25, 2019
Another excellent and dramatic adventure with a little of everything to make a good book, there is tension, history, mystery and danger. As usual Jennifer S Alderson crafts a well paced and intriguing story that keeps you guessing and wondering as each character and moment reveals itself. A triumph.
Profile Image for Jamie Jack.
Author 1 book81 followers
July 6, 2019
Oh, my! The author must have done much research for this book. So many topics were gone into deeply. It is almost overwhelming at times, as sometimes too much detail can bog down a narrative and distract from what is actually going on. (Or if you don’t have knowledge of an item or setting, the detail overload can make it seem more opaque.) This book ranges all over Europe and is a classic art heist thriller with the Croatian mafia thrown in along with the band of art thieves. I felt like I learned a lot about modern art and museums while reading this. In all, it was a solid page-turning thriller.

I received a free copy of this book, but that did not affect my review.

Read my other reviews at https://www.readingfanaticreviews.com.
Profile Image for Helen.
Author 23 books197 followers
June 16, 2019
A fast-paced story with plenty of action that will keep you turning the pages to the end. Full of drama and intrigue, Zelda chases art thieves through Europe while trying to clear her name when wrongly accused of being involved.

It's a story of revenge, heartache, and misplaced loyalties, with the added bonus of learning some interesting facts about the art world and art in general. You can tell the author has done plenty of research!

Even though I'm reading this series out of order, each book is a stand-alone, so it's not difficult to get into the story right away. I look forward to reading the other books in the series!
Profile Image for Paula Ptomey.
105 reviews1 follower
June 20, 2019
I received a free copy of Marked for Revenge from Net Galley for an honest review. This was the first book by Jennifer S. Alderson that I have read, and even though this is book 3 in the series, it stands well on its own. This is a fast paced mystery with an excellent story line and telling of history and art. The characters are well fleshed out and the gang chasing them could be a real live gang. Amazing job telling this story. My son, who doesn't generally like this type of story (he is autistic) had me read it to him, and now wants to read the first 2 books as well. That to me is a winner right there! Great work!
Profile Image for Monica.
1,448 reviews
May 21, 2019
So I had no idea this was the third book in this series. Which is great because you can jump right into reading this book without feeling lost. I enjoyed this book even if I knew barely anything they talked about with the art. The book is in so many different point of views that you feel like your right there with the people. All the different places Zelda goes in this book has a great description of each place. I would read more in this series even though I know nothing about art.

*I received a free copy of this book via the NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.*
Displaying 1 - 30 of 49 reviews

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