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Old Scores

(The Chris Norgren Mysteries #3)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  427 ratings  ·  35 reviews
It is the kind of news that would normally send champagne corks flying at the Seattle Art Museum. A famous French art collector wants to give the museum an original Rembrandt! So why isn't Chris Norgren, curator of Renaissance and Baroque Art, smiling? Perhaps because the gift seems too good to be true. And there are conditions that make Chris nervous: The collector is the ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 233 pages
Published June 1st 1994 by Fawcett (first published May 1993)
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  427 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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May 28, 2015 rated it liked it
One of these days I am going to find a good theme book that can balance the theme and the mystery. It's going to happen, really, but not with Old Scores.

Don't get me wrong; this book is fantastic if you want to learn about art history or know about art history, and that's why I gave it three stars and not two. I like art crimes and studying them, as I think there are a lot of good moral questions brought up when it comes to the ownership of old paintings and museums. This book does a great job o
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as Elkins' A Glancing Light, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I like his writing style - he injects a lot of self-deprecating humor into the stories. This one fell apart when it neared the end. It got way too complicated and hard to follow or to believe the characters' motivations.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
The beginning was so much like the last book in the series, I began to think I'd all ready read this one, but it finally moved on so I finished the book. Ok, but not my favorite of his series, I think I still prefer the Gideon Oliver series more.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Audiobook performed by Frank Muller. I really enjoy this brand of humor.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
And OK mystery but I prefer the Gideon Oliver series.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The answer just popped up at the end.

But I like the protagonist and friends, I enjoy the writing and plotting so -ok. I did wonder where everyone else was at the denouement.
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kim-f
Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight

Step inside this artfully created world where the paintings, and the mysteries they hold, are to die for!

Rene Vachey likes to make big statements in the art world, which usually involves making art experts and museums look like fools. So when he announces two previously undiscovered paintings by Rembrandt and Leger, the Seattle Museum of Art sends Chris Norgern to see the exhibition, in Dijon France, and decide if they are real or fake. Everything bec
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A good read, and good fun. This is the third, and apparently the last (dated 1993) of Elkins' stories about Chris Norgren, and art expert and inadvertent detective. I wish Elkins had kept them up. I liked all of them, and this the best. Elkins handles the art world with expertise, and its ins and outs are essential to the story--it's not just interesting color. He does the same for the local background (Dijon and Paris), and the historical background, and comes up with an intricate, challenging, ...more
Nov 16, 2013 added it
It's a headline-making story: the discovery of a previously unknown Rembrandt. René Vachey, the iconoclastic art dealer who claims to have uncovered it, wants to make a gift of it to the Seattle Art Museum, but curator Chris Norgren is wary. Vachey is notorious in art circles for perpetrating scandalous shams; not for profit but for the sheer fun of embarrassing the elite and snobbish "experts" of the art establishment. And thanks to the web of strings attached to Vachey's donation (e.g., no sci ...more
James Fearn
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is really quite interesting to me. It delves into the world of art, particularly painting and painters. Most of the book is set in France so some knowledge of french culture, France and the french language is helpful but not entirely necessary. Easy to read and a good proportion of verbosity; it is similar to Mr. Goldsborough's writings. Won the '93 Nero Award.

Chris Norgren acts as a procurement director at the Seattle Art Museum. He is given the opportunity to pick up a Rembrandt as a
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a good story and a fair mystery. What I mean is that the background story about the world of art dealing and dealers was more interesting than the mystery itself. I think this was partly due to the way the main character did not actually investigate the murder. He was mostly investigating the background of a painting. The cops told him to stay out of the way then they were never seen again until the last couple of pages. I think that reduced the mystery down to a subplot rather than th ...more
Christopher Borum
Elkins's Chris Norgren books are an interesting break from the Skeleton Doctor. This one ends up being as much a primer the world of art authentication as it does a mystery story. Rembrandt's that may or may not be real, forgeries and fakes (which are two different things), and a little Nazi art theft and collaboration thrown in. The mystery is a little convoluted, the clues are there, but hard to spot, and it seems to take a while getting up to speed, only to end, but overall "Old Scores" is an ...more
Nov 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
I don't hate this series (or I'd quit reading the books), but I like the Skeleton Doctor books better.

This one follows Chris as he investigates the donation of a "Rembrandt" to the Seattle Art Museum. The problem is that the donor tends to be a bit of a practical joker...and the day Chris arrives in France to examine the painting, the donor is killed. And someone seems to have it in for Chris as well.

Good story. Confusing and a bit busy, but good.
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
An interesting and entertaining mystery about the art world in Paris. A gift of a Rembrant to a museum which is too good to be true coming from a Paris junk shop with no provenance. Crhis Norgren from the Seattle Art Museum flies to Paris to determine if it is real but is not allowed to have scientific testing done. The book has to do with fakes and forgeries. And of course there is a murder as well.

Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, france, art
Chris Norgren suspects a scam when he hears that there is a recently uncovered Rembrandt being gifted to The Seattle Museum he works for. He has more doubts when he travels to Dijon, France to see it and the donor is himself gifted with a fatal bullet. Chris himself takes a header out a window that should have been a one way ticket out of his problems but he lands on his feet more determined than ever to solve the puzzle of the Rembrandt.
Sandra Strange
Oct 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I like Elkins' art museum official protagonist in this novel. He's realistically awkward with people, and frank about his failings, and he's good at what he does, which provides the author with opportunity to educate the reader about art and art dealings while he weaves a creditable murder mystery.
Catherine Schramm
Oct 15, 2015 rated it liked it
What is my go-to genre? Cozy mysteries...I know what to expect, light mystery, a generous dose of subject-area expertise and humor. I bought all three Chris Norgren Mysteries for the Kindle so that I might have a "waiting" book to read between other more challenging novels. In this case, I received exactly what I expected. A three means worth the reader's time, but no surprises.
Karen Hufman
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it- Chris Norgren works at a museum in Seattle and goes to France to authenticate a Rembrandt that will be donated to his place of work with some serious strings attached. The donor is murdered and in his quest to find out more about the Rembrandt he also inadvertently work on the murder as well. It was an interesting education in art history. I also loved reading about France.
Feb 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting beginning; hard to follow until closer to the end of the book. Liked the intrigue of the ending, but not sure I would read more in this series. However, lots of trivia re: the art world, so if one is interested in that, this book will be a good read!
Diane Wachter
Feb 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
AudioBook-B @ 1993, 5/00, while knitting Julie's afghan. Seattle Art Museum curator is lured by a newly discovered Rembrandt offered to the museum by a dubious French art dealer notorious for passing of thefts. Okay.
Emily G. Seanez
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third in the series I have read. I liked all of them.

It's great to read stories that don't depend on extreme violence and explicit sex scenes to sell. The series is interesting even though art has never been one of my interests.
Richard Parrott
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Old Scores and the glimpse into the world of art in Paris. Mystery, murder, and double cross all in a setting of buying and selling precious art. A good read
Mar 28, 2009 marked it as to-read
3rd in series 1993
Julie H.
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book will make you want to be an art historian! It's fun, full of cool art factoids and trivia, and an all-around entertaining read.
Sep 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Even in third book Chris manages to capture my sympathy, but the plot does. Interesting and very readable.
Diana Biggs
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoy Elkins' writing - higher vocab than the usual novel.
Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it
This book about trickery in the art world gets a bit tedious at times, and the mystery is rather convoluted. That said, I liked the book and enjoyed reading it. Recommended!
Gary Barrentine
Mar 09, 2013 rated it liked it
A short but interesting book.
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pretty good mystery/suspense involving art culture and crime. Good plot, character development. Clean. Set in France.
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
A cheeky, well done art history mystery.
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Aaron J. Elkins AKA Aaron Elkins (born Brooklyn July 24, 1935) is an American mystery writer. He is best known for his series of novels featuring forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver—the 'skeleton detective'. The fourth Oliver book, Old Bones, received the 1988 Edgar Award for Best Novel. As Oliver is a world-renowned authority, he travels around the world and each book is set in a different and ...more

Other books in the series

The Chris Norgren Mysteries (3 books)
  • A Deceptive Clarity (The Chris Norgren Mysteries, #1)
  • A Glancing Light (The Chris Norgren Mysteries, #2)