Published by CUSTOM BOOK PUBLICATIONS The Mona Lisa was stolen from her place of repose in the Salon Carre in the finest museum in the world, the Louvre, on 21 August 1911... and returned in 1913. That much is fact... in 1986, it happened all over again. The date was 25 July, 1986. 'To business, Ladybird; you and I are going to steal a small painting for a fee of two and a quarter million - after Gerard, doubt, has taken his cut.' Paul paused until the waiter placed the coffees down in front of them. 'We have several days to review the idea before we commit. I've told Gerard we will decide by this coming Friday and then if we go ahead, we have maybe three weeks to complete the task.' 'And where is this Holy Grail located?' 'Close by... in fact just over the road at the Louvre.' 'Oh, great, with their security, why t try something easy, like the vaults of the Banque de Paris, ' she mocked quietly. Whispering almost into his ear, she pondered whether to kiss or nibble. Deciding to lightly kiss, she added, 'Next thing you will tell me we are going to steal the Mona Lisa?' 'Quite right, my dear; exactement, madame.' 'Merde! We are plainly mad.' ***** MONA LISA: THE VIRGIN MOTHER is the compelling story of the intrigue surrounding the 1986 robbery of Da Vinci's icon of the art world. An enthralling and engaging scheme of double-cross, conspiracy, murder and a deadly vendetta. Set in Paris, the persuasive plot moves from Florence and Hong Kong, to Nice and Majorca - a tale rich in atmosphere and alive with the imagery of the locales - and an unexpected conclusion. Gerard Colbert, and Paul Davaine, once again combine their talents with Ladybird, Europe's premier jewel thief. After eight years in the Legion, twenty more had followed in the clandestine Deuxiemme Bureau of the Securitie Nationale. Finally heading that shady equivalent of the CIA or MI6, Colbert attained the highest rank outside the services - that of full Colonel. In retirement, his business was merely a cover for all manner of covert operations - robberies, insurance frauds, assassinations and accidents. His main operative, Paul Davaine, was born Simon Rosenberg. After the war he joined the exodus of orphaned Jewish children to Israel where, in time, Mossad recruited and trained him as an assassin. Returning to his beloved France as an infamous Nazi-hunter, a consuming hatred burned in him, such that few of his captives ever returned to Israel for trial. La Coccinelle, the legendary Ladybird, remained Europe's most mysterious jewel thief. In ather life, she was the daughter of one of England's most enigmatic baronets, the Earl of Berkeley. The aristocratic family, though t one of the oldest, was certainly amongst its wealthiest. Lady Annabel Peregrine-Forster, thirty-four, twice married and divorced, lived as she always had - a life of excitement, privilege and luxury. Although able to buy those she stole many times over, her insatiable penchant for diamonds drove her. A tall, handsome woman, chic and Paris-elegant with a model's figure, her lustrous black hair was cropped fashionably short. Behind the slightly olive complexion was a tenacious mind. Not a person to trifle with - a markswoman and fitness fanatic, she was clever and intelligent. Annabel was successful because she was careful, her tradecraft such that she instinctively took extraordinary precautions. She was simply the best. Read some of the comments of reviewers: 'A most engaging and plausible plot ... 'A gripping suspense filled story and an entertaining read ...' 'Move over Dan Brown ...'