Zara Rossi, Pursuing a Masterpiece
ZARA ROSSI quietly closes the door behind her and tiptoes into the Ancient Manuscripts Room in the Papal Archives in Rome. The young American Ph.D. candidate seeks information for her dissertation and surveys the scene, yearning to join the world’s elite scholars. Disheartened after a seemingly unsuccessful day hunting for little-known information about Henry VIII’s abdication from the Roman Church, she prepares to depart. But in the final moments before closing, Zara stumbles upon a letter, hidden for centuries. A desperate warning, scrawled upon crumbling parchment, informs Pope Clement VII of imminent disaster and reveals a conspiracy depicted by a stunning portrait: one that alters history.
Hoping to prove herself worthy of respect and love, Zara searches for the masterpiece, and begins to amass clues which reveal the painting’s extraordinary tale.
Praise for Pursuing a Masterpiece
Created as a multisensory complement to Pursuing a Masterpiece, the KLEIO Secret Archives artisanal candle offers a sensory history interpretation of the Vatican Archives, home to some of history's most famous treasures.
"...the many players are each unique and imaginatively portrayed; the story follows the painting from King Henry VIII himself to a servant girl of noble birth, a pirate, a wealthy landowner in the Caribbean, a dressmaker in Paris, and even a survivor of the Titanic. Overall, Vasoli offers a complex tapestry of historical documentation and creativity that readers of historical mysteries are sure to find entertaining. An engaging...tale of an academic’s quest for the truth."
“In this gripping and beautifully complex novel, Sandra Vasoli invites us to travel across both time and space in pursuit of the discovery of a lifetime: a long-lost piece of artwork by Hans Holbein the Younger relating to the seismic and scandalous relationship between King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn. In doing so, Vasoli has crafted a thrilling, emotional masterpiece; a thick and sublimely descriptive journey which not only leads to the recovery of a lost provenance trail, but which also leads to spiritual enrichment and self-discovery. Vasoli’s characters are rich, relatable, and messy, and at its heart, this is an artful account of the triumphs courage, of friendship, and of growth. A sensation.”
“Pursuing a Masterpiece is a riveting, fast-paced historical adventure story, with a rich and nuanced cast of characters who remain with you long after you’ve bid them a reluctant farewell. Beautifully written and astoundingly well researched, Vasoli artfully takes the reader on a spellbinding journey through the ages. A delight for any history lover!”
“Sandra Vasoli expertly guides us on a gripping, twisty journey through the ages on the hunt for one of history’s most remarkable portraits. Readers will cheer for Zara as she uncovers each clue with her stunning knack for solving the most enigmatic of puzzles. True to form, Vasoli has recreated each era with incredibly rich detail. One can’t help but feel the tingle of salt spray on their face as they sail across the Atlantic, inhale the sweet island and spicy rum scents of the Caribbean, hear the charged whispers of the demi-monde, and feel a tremor of fear in the presence of sly aristocratic Nazis at the height of their power. Pursuing a Masterpiece is a triumph!”
“A joyous and sumptuous read! Sandra Vasoli indubitably crafts a wonderful tale of discovery, intrigue and determination; blended with a marvelous passion and methodical capacity for archival research. Pursuing a Masterpiece transports the reader through the centuries, breathing life once more into some of history’s most tumultuous and enigmatic periods’. Zara Rossi’s pursuit of a painting of the sixteenth century’s most infamous and legendary royal couple reflects the dreams and aspirations of every Tudor historian, author, reader and enthusiast. History doesn’t get more alluring than this!”
“From the opening scene you are hooked on this gripping historical thriller. Beautifully written, so the reader is drawn in, feeling as though they are with the characters. Sandra Vasoli has fit the story into eras so extraordinary, that one has no choice but to follow the quest for the painting as desperately as does Zara, the heroine.”