Tag Archives | Isabella Stewart Gardner

Isabelle Stewart Gardner: the person, the heist, the paintings.

Isabella Stewart Gardner was a fascinating woman. From the get go she was an adventurous-do-her-own-thing kind of person. I loved reading about how she tried to run away to the circus or how she stole sleighs and would careen around Boston or how she managed to outbid large museums like the Louvre on famous paintings. When she became a widow, she slowly turned her house into the museum it is today. And this was in the 1800 hundreds.

Heist, my YA time travel mystery, is on a book blitz with Xpresso Book Tours for the next two weeks. The price for a limited time is marked down to 99 cents! Yay!

I thought I’d share a round-up of links concerning the museum, the heist, and the recent news release that the heist has been solved.

The facts: what happened, the stolen artwork, and images of the paintings.

The news release that the thieves had been identified.

A brief look into the incredible life of Isabella Stewart Gardner.

A wonderful video of the heist, it’s impact, and the museum today.


Check out Heist on sale for a limited time!

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Thanks! Keep a watch on my Twitter feed to links to guest posts, interviews and excerpts!

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Onsite research for HEIST at the Gardner Museum.

It was a hot, sticky day in August, when I walked through the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the summer of 2010. The cooler temperature of the building was a much-needed relief. My husband and I spent our anniversary in Boston, so I included this necessary stop all in the name of research.

At first, I was disappointed when I learned I couldn’t take inside pictures and I couldn’t use a pen to take notes. But, of course, I should’ve realized. The art in this museum is worth billions and they guard it carefully.

I asked about the 1990 heist, and they pulled out a photo album. The lady seemed a little annoyed as if they were tired of the fame of the heist instead of the art that remained on the walls.

I strolled through the museum, trying my best to follow the path of the thieves, soaking in the mystery. I sat on benches and recorded sights, smells, sounds, textures, tiled floors, the lavish decorations, grand ballrooms, and the flowering courtyard that sits in the center of the museum.

Then we toured the building. A thrill went through my chest at the sight of the empty frames, along with a little bit of sadness. What makes a heist so fascinating? Maybe it’s the fact that this was never solved (until recently) and due to Isabella’s will, nothing can be changed in the museum. Hopefully, the art will be found in the near future and returned to their rightful place. When it does, I’ll be sure to visit again.

I toured the grounds outside, walked down the narrow side street that coils around the building. When I found the small park, if it can be called that, next to the museum, the writer in me grew excited, because I could use that space for the art festival that Fiasco and Jetta visit.

Then I toured the public garden, walked the wide-paved paths, let my fingers trace across the heads of the ducks from the famous book, Make Way for the Ducklings. I found a bench in the shade, pulled out my notebooks, and took notes on the sights, sounds, and smells.

I arrived home, armed with details to add to my story.

Walk in the paths of my fictional hero as he solves this famous art heist.

 Add to Goodreads and be ready for the release next week! Eek!

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HEIST cover reveal–in case you missed it.

This past Tuesday, the cover for my upcoming YA psychological thriller was revealed on blogs around the web! Yay! But, just in case you missed it, I wanted to share it here.

This particular story has a long history and came very, very close to being shelved forever. But I’m so happy it’s finally ready. Somehow the muse kicked in and helped me revise it one last time. #thankful

The tentative release date is August 15th. Eek!

Click on the cover for Goodreads


Here’s the blurb:

Can one decision change the past?

Jack Brodie has a sixth sense that someone has been watching him. Following him.

One night he travels back in time to one of the world’s largest art heists, the Gardner Heist. Why that one moment in time? And what does it mean for Jack?

When he returns, his world is different. His best friend is rougher, meaner. His dad hasn’t been around in years. And then there’s Jetta. The girl who took over his heart the moment she stepped into his life. No one is safe.

Each time Jack goes back to the heist to fix his mistakes, he returns to face the fallout. Disaster strikes in the present until Jack must make a choice. His family and his own happiness. Or the girl he loves. Except, he learns that his sixth sense was right.

Someone has been watching him and wants him dead.

Thanks to everyone who helped to reveal the cover and tweeted for me!

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The largest unsolved art heist.

It was after midnight. Cold and dark.
Two cops approached and asked to enter the building. They gained easy access with the excuse that they’d heard of a disturbance.
The next morning empty frames hung on the wall. Priceless paintings ripped out and stolen. Paintings that now are worth $500 million.
The largest unsolved art heist ever.

When I was researching ideas for a heist novel I Googled simple terms. “Unsolved art heists”, “Largest heists”. I casually clicked on one link and was immediately fascinated.

How could twenty years go by and a crime this big not be solved?

How could it happen so easily?

I wanted to know.

And the fact that the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was in Boston captivated me. I love Boston. It’s the city I grew up knowing. (Though I don’t recommend driving in the city without a GPS and even then you never know where you might end up. Put it this way – I spent hours trying to find a restaurant and never found it!)

Where are the stolen paintings today? No one knows. I read books on it; and, of course, give a writer some research and they’ll want to write a story.

And I did. It’s called HEIST. Through fiction, I solved the mystery, creating characters and plots to explain the unsolved mystery. And I threw in a little bit of time travel too. (It’s on the backburner for now, but someday it will see the light of day.)

The amazing thing is that Isabella specified in her will that nothing in the museum be changed. So the empty frames still hang on the wall today, waiting for the paintings to be returned.


Why blog about this today? Well, this coming weekend marks the 21st anniversary of the heist. If you want to know more, you can read this interview with Ulrich Boser who authored, The Gardner Heist. A fascinating book.

Has research ever sparked a story for you? What kinds of research are you drawn to?

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