The Immaculate Deception

by Iain Pears | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0743422082 Global Overview for this book
Registered by jenny-lou-who of St. Catharines, Ontario Canada on 5/23/2003
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!
10 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by jenny-lou-who from St. Catharines, Ontario Canada on Friday, May 23, 2003
Since I'm an art historian and a mystery fan, the idea of an "art history mystery" really appeals to me. This is the first Iain Pears book I've picked up, but I'm looking forward to reading more.

From the back cover: "When an important, politically sensitive painting is kidnapped in Rome, Flavia di Stefano, acting head of the Italian Art Theft Squad, is told to get it back at all costs - without causing any embarassment to the country and without paying the ransom. Put in an impossible position, she turns for help to her old mentor General Taddeo Bottando, who casts a wholly unexpected light on the crime.

In the meantime, her husband, English art historian Jonathan Argyll, embarks on an investigation of his own. As a gift to Bottando, he decides to establish the provenance of a small Renaissance painting, an Immaculate Conception, currently hanging on the wall of the general's apartment.

Absorbing and ingeniously plotted, The Immaculate Deception is both a fascinating art-history puzzle and a gripping murder mystery as the search for the truth uncovers shocking secrets from the past and leads Argyll and Flavia into the path of some very dangerous enemies indeed."

[note: I bought this book in the UK, so the cover art is quite different than what is pictured above]

Journal Entry 2 by jenny-lou-who from St. Catharines, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Well, I have read about half of this book (busy week = slow reading) and I am loving the whole art history mystery concept. There are a few irritating editing errors, but I'm trying my best to simply ignore them and focus on the story.

As an aside, I must say that I really identify with Argyll's procrastination - he sets out to discover the identity and history of a particular painting partly out of curiosity and partly as a clever way to avoid working on a paper he doesn't feel like writing. I found this especially appropriate as I am reading this book instead of working on a paper I don't feel like writing! The following quote could certainly describe me:

(p.125) "Argyll...loved distractions. He sought them out, in fact, finding almost any reason, good or bad, to avoid settling down, concentrating, and putting pen to paper."

Hmm...perhaps procrastination is a universal trait for all art historians??!? I wonder if someone has done a thesis on this...

Journal Entry 3 by jenny-lou-who from St. Catharines, Ontario Canada on Thursday, June 05, 2003
Just finished this one - a fun little romp through the world of art theft and corrupt governments. Wee hee!!

I did find it a tad hard to follow in some places, but I'm certain that this is mostly related to my overwhelming sense of sleepiness these days.

Ok...time for this little book to find a new home!

Journal Entry 4 by jenny-lou-who from St. Catharines, Ontario Canada on Friday, June 06, 2003
Alrighty then! It looks as though we've got a book ring going for this one. Here is the list of people who have expressed interest in reading this book. As usual, please PM the person ahead of you to get their mailing address if you haven't already got it. The last person can go ahead and release this book in the wild. Enjoy!


Journal Entry 5 by jenny-lou-who at -- Controlled Release in Kingston, Ontario Canada on Monday, June 09, 2003
Released on Monday, June 09, 2003 at Private Release to Another Book Crosser in Kingston, Ontario Canada.

Mailed to LadyGothic.

Journal Entry 6 by LadyGothic from Warner Robins, Georgia USA on Thursday, June 19, 2003
The book arrived safely today, Thanks for sharing! This looks like a mystery I'm going to enjoy :) I'll definately start it over the weekend and keep it moving on it's journey!

Journal Entry 7 by LadyGothic from Warner Robins, Georgia USA on Monday, June 23, 2003
I found this novel extremely slow, comprised of many uninteresting dialogues. The authors attempt of dramatic action literally made me laugh out loud, though I am sure that was not the result intended.
Soon en route to Seferim.

Journal Entry 8 by LadyGothic at -- Controlled Release in Brampton, Ontario Canada on Sunday, June 29, 2003
Release planned for Tuesday, July 01, 2003 at another bookcrosser by mail in Brampton, Ontario Canada.

Travelling to the USA to visit Seferim :)

Journal Entry 9 by Seferim from Columbia, Maryland USA on Monday, July 14, 2003
I received today and I am looking forward to it! Thanks for starting this bookring Jenny-lou-who! I will mail to Silkana when I finish.

This was a pretty quick read, but it was dreadfully slow in some places, and I found myself drifintg off, wonderfing why the author even included this long narratives... they seemed unnecessary. Like Jenny-lou-who mentioned, I was thinking I love art history, and I love mysteries, so why would I not love this book? Well, simply put, the writing style was boring... I expected a little more from Pears after reading Instance of a Fingerpost. I have another Argyll book on my shelf, and I will give that one a try. Hopefully it will be better.

Nevertheless, thank you Jenny-lou-who for sending this one around.

I will mail off to Silkana tomorrow or Thursday.

PS--I like the Travel Diary in the back of the book, that is cute! :)

Journal Entry 10 by silkina from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Saturday, August 23, 2003
This book arrived in the mail last week and I'm looking forward to reading it as soon as I'm done with the one I'm currently reading (Oryx and Crake). I've read "An Instance of the Fingerpost" by Iain Pears and totally loved it - I hope this book is as good!

Journal Entry 11 by silkina from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Wednesday, September 03, 2003
Like Jenny and Seferim, I was initially a bit disappointed. The writing style seemed somewhat tedious, and nowhere near as good as An Instance of the Fingerpost. However, as I read more of the book, I got hooked - I thought it was well plotted and I liked the characters very much.

I put this book in the mail to 16stepper yesterday - enjoy!

Journal Entry 12 by 16stepper from Gilbert, Arizona USA on Friday, September 12, 2003
This arrived today along with SEVEN other bookrays. Oh my! And I already have 15 here. So I am engaging warp drive and reading faster!

Journal Entry 13 by 16stepper from Gilbert, Arizona USA on Wednesday, October 15, 2003
I've had this for a few days past a month. I am seriously backed up with rays and reading as fast as I can. I hope to read this one in the next 2 weeks.

Journal Entry 14 by 16stepper from Gilbert, Arizona USA on Monday, November 10, 2003
Excellent read! Now I have to read the other Jonathon Argyle books! ARGH! I was particularly taken by this quote on page 153: "I have a vague image of tidiness I keep in my mind, rather like some people have a notion of eternity in paradise. You never approach it, but it's good to believe that you might get there one day." Upon reading that, I instantly bonded with Flavia and must read more of her exploits!

Thanks for sharing this, Jenny-lou-who! I'm sorry I had it for so long. I will get it in the mail to fofum tomorrow!

Journal Entry 15 by Fofum from Beverley, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, January 03, 2004
This got 'lost' in the Christmas rush and I didn't get around to journalling it when it arrived. Sorry.
It is now on the TBR pile - I'm in the middle of 'The Poisonwood Bible' at the moment which might take a bit of time to finish and then I'll be on to it. I'm looking forward to it. I really enjoyed the last Iain Pears I read. Thanks for sending it on.

Journal Entry 16 by Fofum from Beverley, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, January 30, 2005
At long last this book reached the front of the bookshelf! I do always get to them in the end, even if it takes a while. In the meantime it has thoroughly entertained my Mum, who loved it, and my friend Maureen, who felt it wasn't as good as the other Iain Pears she has read.
I enjoyed it and read it in one reading while recovering from a rather unpleasant visit to the Dental Hospital in Leeds on Friday (to clarify, the people at the Dental Hospital were great, and it really didn't hurt that much, but as the anasthetic wore off I felt like I'd been in a boxing ring...)
Back to the book: as usual the mystery was intriguing and the setting glorious. What concerned me was that characters we have come to believe were ruthless in the persuit of honesty and integrity - both interms of the art & the crimes - suddenly changed. Not sure the premise fitted with what has gone before, but it was an excellent devise for changing the context of their work, and this, I presume, was the purpose of the story.
So yes, I enjoyed it and no, it wasn't as good as some of the others I have read in this series...and yes, if you have any more I'd love to read them!
I am last on the list so I will offer it out again to the bookcrossing world. I am sure it will be in demand.

Journal Entry 17 by Fofum from Beverley, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Thanks for your interest in this book. THere is a little list thus far, and if anyone else wants to join, I'll add them to the end of the list.Once it gets to the end, could the last person see it safe into the bookcrossing world?

Sterile Lancashire, UK
ekaterin4luv Germany
Duffy USA
Mary Zee USA

Journal Entry 18 by Fofum at on Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Released 15 yrs ago (2/8/2005 UTC) at



Continuing its journey around the world!

Journal Entry 19 by Sterile from Burnley, Lancashire United Kingdom on Friday, February 11, 2005
I received the book this morning,just in time for the weekend, thankyou Fofum. Will set to and start to read immediately! I have also signed and dated the Travel Diary in the back cover.

Journal Entry 20 by Sterile at on Sunday, February 20, 2005

Released 15 yrs ago (2/21/2005 UTC) at



Continuing the bookring by travelling to Germany Airmail

Journal Entry 21 by ekaterin4luv from Nürnberg, Bayern Germany on Thursday, February 24, 2005
The Immacualte Deception arrived today. I can't wait to read it!

edit: currently reading, will be finished in a few days.

Journal Entry 22 by ekaterin4luv from Nürnberg, Bayern Germany on Monday, March 28, 2005
A quick read, with some dry wit and a grip on human passions.
"..his predecessor had been go-getting, dynamic, determined to drag the musty museum into modernity and was shortly to be let out of gaol." (p6)
"Far more than politics and religion, even more than noise and dirt and indecent behaviour, laying claim to someone else's parking space is just the sort of thing to let the pasions rip." (p107)
But I didn't really get into it. It just flowed like a slow river, no great hindrance, but virtually no speed either.
I think I would read another one of this series, but I don't think I will actively go looking for it.

Right on to dufffy

Journal Entry 23 by dufffy from Coventry, Connecticut USA on Saturday, May 07, 2005
from ekaterina4luv. Thanks so much! Will read and relase again.

Journal Entry 24 by Genielady from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia USA on Monday, June 27, 2005
Sorry it took so long to journal - having big time computer problems. I look forward to reading this one. Thanks for sharing.

Journal Entry 25 by Genielady at Alexandria, Virginia USA on Friday, February 08, 2019

Released 1 yr ago (10/26/2018 UTC) at Alexandria, Virginia USA


Left with my son for his LFL.

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