The Collector’s Apprentice by B.A. Shapiro

The Collector’s Apprentice

From The Bestselling Author of The Art Forger and The MuralistIt’s the summer of 1922, and nineteen-year-old Paulien Mertens finds herself in Paris—broke, disowned, and completely alone. Everyone in Belgium, including her own family, believes she stole millions in a sophisticated con game perpetrated by her then-fiancé, George Everard. To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she creates a new identity, a...

Details The Collector’s Apprentice

TitleThe Collector’s Apprentice
Release DateOct 16th, 2018
PublisherAlgonquin Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Art, Cultural, France

Reviews The Collector’s Apprentice

  • Linda
    Schemers and scoundrels hide and blend behind the scenes like the blurred textures within an art masterpiece. Within time, though, the eyes focus more readily and true colors are ultimately revealed.It's 1922 at a small estate in Belgium and we find Paulien Mertens lost in the pangs of love. Her nineteen years on this earth don't adequately prepare her for the waves of ill-intent by one George Everard. George has presented her with a sizable enga...
  • Colleen
    B.A. Shapiro has done it again. If you loved The Art Forger, you will love this one. Mystery, romance, art, and intrigue - what's not to love? Highly recommended and suspenseful. A great novel and a great read. You won't be disappointed - true to character and story line, you won't want to put it down!
  • Daniel Villines
    This is my second novel by Shapiro. The first, The Art Forger, was impressive. She used the magic of words to make paintings come alive so that they could be loved by the reader as they were loved by her main character; just as art has been loved by me from time-to-time. And while the novel was technically a mystery novel, this tired format took a backseat to the power and beauty of art.Almost in direct contrast with The Art Forger, The Collector...
  • Julia
    Two and a half stars. I think I would have liked this book more if I weren't thoroughly knowledgeable about Albert Barnes, the Barnes Foundation, and the battle over Barnes' collection. Shapiro states in the afterword that the book is "loosely based" on Albert Barnes and Violette de Mazio and that is very much the case. Why she even bothered to "loosely base" her book on Albert and Violette when most of the book was complete fiction, I cannot ans...
  • Laura Rash
    A Ponzi scheme leads a woman to start a new life with a new identity in the art world. Just not my cup of tea tho I enjoyed her last book. This was a Goodreads win.
  • Lisa
    Paulien Mertens, a young woman from a distinguished family, finds herself alone and penniless in Paris 1922. Her fiancé bilked her family and friends out of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme and believing she played a part in the deception her family disinherits her. Although innocent of any duplicity, she must rebuild her life by reinventing herself with a new name Vivienne Gregsby. She meets a wealthy art collector named Edwin Bradley from...
  • Rljulie
    I’m probably too close to the material to read this objectively, but it’s a frolicking and fun art-centered historical fiction, even when it gets the “history” part wackily and egregiously wrong. My least favorite aspect is how the main character seems to have time-travelled from the 21st century, with its mores, attitudes and expectations—so much so that at one point she’s trying to figure out how to work her art history degree into ...
  • Natalie
    This is an incredibly interesting novel about the young woman who worked with the fictioalized Albert Barnes in assembling the magnificent Barnes Collection in Philadelphia. Vivienne had been duped by a con man and lost her comfort and her family. She totally reinvents herself and finds work as an assistant to the millionaire art collector. She works with him in Europe and ultimately moves to Philadelphia as his aide. What should have been a happ...
  • Lynn
    I think this book should be subtitled "Who's the Real Con Artist?"It's a delightful story about a man, who fleeces a French family and their friends out of all they possess using a pyramid scheme, and escapes with "suitcases full of money". He changes his identity and does it all over again. And again. Meantime, the daughter of the family has also reinvented herself and has a great job with an American billionaire art collector. Names change, loc...
  • Julie Klein
    In The Collector's Apprentice, B.A. Shapiro takes readers back in time to the art world of the 1920s where we meet Matisse, Gertrude Stein and other visionaries of the day. It's a wonderful historical novel for anyone interested in art and art history, in particular. The story is well written, fairly fast paced, and exciting. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Shapiro's earlier work, The Art Forger.
  • Linda Quinn
    This is another gem from Shapiro. A young woman is preyed upon and tricked by an older con man, leading to the ruin of her family and her banishment from them. The rest of the story moves forward from her banishment and into the past to show how she got there. Full of passion, betrayal and a satisfying denouement this one will keep you hooked.
  • Melissa
    Not bad. I liked the parts with Matisse best.
  • Cyndi
    Shapiro is an excellent writer, a master of historical fiction. I loved how she integrated historical figures into the plot. I found the storyline to be intriguing and suspenseful and the ending completely satisfying.Many thanks to Netgalley, Algonquin Books, and B. A. Shapiro for my complimentary e-copy ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
  • Lynn Horton
    Maybe I'm over clueless, entitled heroines. And immoral/amoral heroines who course along in life on the coattails and hard work of someone/everyone else. In either case, Paulien didn't do it for me.I very much enjoyed the Art Forger and was looking forward to The Collector's Apprentice. But at the 25-percent mark I got bored and struggled to finish the book. Paulien was neither engaging nor relatable, so was unable to propel my interest through t...
  • Julie
    Not quite as good as her other two but....had a great twisty revenge element at the end. Loved the art topic.
  • Jennifer
    I liked this book a lot. Love Shapiro and her representations of art. Sometimes I wish there were photographs to show the paintings she describes. I loved Vivienne and her courage to start a new life and be her own woman, learning a new trade and having an important job. I didn't love the back and forth with the court case, but I did like the ending a lot. Quick and satisfying.
  • Beverly Diehl
    4.5 Stars.Having recently been to Paris, and spent a fair amount of time in the art museums and cafes, admiring the paintings, I was immediately captured by the scenes in Paris. Paulien Mertens, who reinvented herself as Vivienne Gregsby, is on trial for murder. Using time cuts to draw the picture of how she came to be in such a situation (and wondering, perhaps, if she actually DID the deed), we see a spoiled, pampered, and naive Belgian girl wh...
  • Lynn Pribus
    Very nicely done. I realized I had read her previous novel THE ART FORGER and enjoyed that one as well. It appears she builds her stories around art and this one in no exception. An interesting sidelight is that I have actually visited the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia where the works are arranged as described in this book. An entire wall will be a symmetrical presentation of paintings, sculptures, candlesticks, chairs and such. A very intere...
  • June
    I have been lured into each book Shapiro wrote by her proficiency in fine art of the painting world. Though a bigger disappointment here, she opened my eyes to rejuvenate my interest in Matisse’ paintings and be able to see more! The plot has no major loopholes, but the effect on me is chintzy, esp. the heroine’s affair with Matisse, grouse to conjure up.
  • Marianne
    Paulien Mertens, AKA Vivienne Gregsby, is determined to get back what's been taken from her and her family by her fiance, a con man with global schemes. Can Vivienne beat him at his own game or will she find it impossible to let go of her feelings and join him for the ultimate con? B. A. Shapiro creates a world of mystery, romance and obsession that's sure to please readers and art history lovers.
  • Siobhan
    This is my first B.A. Shapiro novel and it did not disappoint. The novel takes place throughout the twenties, switching point of views and going between first and third person depending on the narrator. If you are into impressionist artists, the roaring twenties and some mystery/con artists, you will enjoy this book! It was slow to start but once everyone is introduced, the plot starts to pick up. Paulien grows from an innocent teen into a woman ...
  • Tina Panik
    Shapiro has done it again: art, intrigue, mystery, and betrayal, all rolled into one!This was an ARC from Book Expo NYC.
  • Sharon
    I enjoyed the Art Forger so much and was looking forward to Shapiro’s latest work and perhaps it my level of expectation that jaded me, but whereas I was sympathetic to the forger in her first book, I found no likable characters in this one. Vivienne’s rich parents were more in love with their money and lifestyle than their daughter, and when she needed them, they cast her out. Vivienne goes into survival mode, developing her art appreciation...
  • Alissa
    A rich mystery with a historical setting and an unreliable narrator. The story shifts between the first meeting of Vivienne and Edwin and also the tale of the trial going on.
  • Chris Markley
    Paulien loves art and her dream is to share art with the world. After her world is shattered by her con man fiancee she has to reinvent herself and becomes Vivienne. As Vivienne she has the opportunity to reenter the art world as the adviser to wealthy collector Edwin Bradley. But when Bradley dies will Vivienne be able to survive? A story of art and love and betrayal that provides a fascinating glimpse into the art world of the early 20th centur...
  • Danielle
    This was a highly fictionalized book inspired by Albert Barnes who created the collection now housed by the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. It's 1922 and Paulien Mertens is on the run after her fiance is revealed to be the head of a Ponzi scheme that everyone believes she too had a hand in. She assumes the name Vivienne Gregsby and moves to Paris where she becomes connected to the art world rubbing elbows with people like Gertrude Stein and H...
  • Gail
    This book has something for everyone: art, murder (or not), skullduggery, Paris, Philadelphia, and more art. Taking place in the 1920’s, it’s easy to follow along the jumps in time. Recommended.
  • Dottie Resnick
    Beautifully written book following a young Belgium woman in the 1920's. After being deceived by her fiancé, and her family and many others being conned by the same man, she moves to Paris to restart her life. After many menial jobs she is able to land a job as an interpreter, then assistant, then apprentice for a wealthy American art collector. She is welcomed into the Paris art scene, including Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse. She then moves t...
  • Caroline
    A great escape! And just when you think you know what will happen next, surprise. Discovered B.A. Shapiro a few years ago and absolutely love her books. Who knew the art world could be so thrilling!