Right on the Monet
by Malcolm Parnell
Claude Monet painting is stolen
Of all the things Harry Chase had imagined in his life, being a drummer on a cruise ship band was not one that would have occurred to him. And yet, there he was. Centre stage, behind a young female singer along with his mates, Dave, Tony and Steve.
Which meant that getting involved in a jewelry theft, an on-board massage parlour and the hunt for an Old Master was even further from his mind as he cracked the snare drum.
And yet, this was exactly how he found himself being questioned by Interpol …..
Read an Excerpt
Two Weeks Ago
“Do we have to have that thing on?”
“Shush, I’m listening.”
“You know I hate the news.”
We were sitting in the kitchen enjoying a hearty breakfast and Cara had switched the television on. Breakfast telly is something I find really irritating, particularly when I’m eating breakfast and I can’t escape. The morning news is never going to get you off to a positive start; filled as it is with doom, gloom and despondency, so I never watch it. In fact, because of their jaundiced portrayal of the world, I never watch or listen to any news programmes or read any newspapers. One thing I do enjoy, however, is a leisurely breakfast but now on this lovely sunny morning, I found my enjoyment marred by a bleached blonde newsreader on the screen.
Having inherited a very sizable sum of cash some years ago I am in the fortunate position of not having to leave the house to earn a weekly envelope and I have never tired of the fact that Cara and I can take our time enjoying the start of a day ploughing through bacon, eggs, croissants, toast, or whatever takes our fancy, whilst chewing the fat over whatever topic raised its head.
But not today it seems. Today I was irritated.
“Never mind shush, turn the bloody thing off.”
“Harry please shut up, she’s talking about art.”
I paused at this revelation. Art is and always will be a major player in my life. I am a painter of watercolours and oils, and for a number of years, I have been running art classes for groups of amateur painters. I almost gave this up some years ago when one member of a group tried to kill me, but that is another story.
I picked up the remote control and pressed pause. The screen froze, and I cut off the newsreader mid-sentence. Behind her was a picture of a landscape depicting a river with boats and riverside houses. I must say I liked it immediately and felt that I ought to know who the artist was.
“I wonder who painted that?”
“If you press play you’ll see. It’s actually a Monet.”
“Really?” Despite myself, my interest was piqued, and I did as I was told and pressed the play button. The newsreader continued her report:
“The painting was stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in the early hours of yesterday morning. It’s entitled Houses on the Achterzaan and was painted in eighteen seventy-one during a trip Claude Monet made to the Netherlands. It was taken from gallery 957 and police are as yet unsure how the thieves gained access without tripping the highly sophisticated alarm system.”
“Bloody hell!” I stabbed a piece of sausage with great gusto. “Somebody’s managed to pinch a Monet. How on earth did they do that I wonder? Probably gone to a private collector never to be seen again.”
The newsreader then began to prattle on about sport, so Cara grabbed the remote and switched the TV off.
About the Author
Malcolm Parnell has a passion for painting and teaches art and drawing skills when he is not working on his next novel.
His other passion, apart from his good lady wife, Marion, is Leicester City Football Club. Becoming an author and Leicester win the Premier League have been two of his greatest ambitions realised.
Social Media Links
Twitter – @PaintAuthor
Facebook – malcolmparnellbook