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BookBrowse Reviews The Curse of Pietro Houdini by Derek B. Miller

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The Curse of Pietro Houdini

A Novel

by Derek B. Miller

The Curse of Pietro Houdini by Derek B. Miller X
The Curse of Pietro Houdini by Derek B. Miller
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  • Published:
    Jan 2024, 384 pages

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Kim Kovacs
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An absorbing tale of a fictional art heist set against the real-life bombing of Italy's Montecassino Abbey during World War II.

Derek B. Miller's sixth novel, The Curse of Pietro Houdini, opens in the town of Cassino, Italy, in 1943. The titular character is on his way to Montecassino, an ancient abbey, where he's been hired to restore the church's crumbling frescoes. Passing through the village, he sees a child being beaten by several others and intervenes. He learns the 14-year-old, whom both agree will be called Massimo, has been orphaned by the Allied bombing of Rome and is heading to Naples, alone, to find relatives. Pietro, aware that Naples is at the war's current front line, convinces Massimo to join him as his assistant. The teen soon discovers, however, that Pietro is a con man, hoping to steal "loot" from the abbey before the Nazis can, and together they form a daring plan to "rescue" three works by the Renaissance master Titian. Along the way the pair are joined in their exploits by a colorful ...

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