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Guest review from Andrew Geller:
This is an exquisite whodunit, drawing the reader into worlds only liberal arts professors dare dream about to solve  some fairly bloodless murders.  Perez-Reverte deftly interweaves the worlds of art and medieval history, chess, and music to solve the crimes, providing the necessary background and even pictures to aid the novice in any of these fields.   If one doesn't know art, chess, or Bach, this book will inspire deeper delving into all three.  If one knows any or all of these,  the book reads even better.


Orrin says:

I wholeheartedly agree.  Zack just finished Perez-Reverte'sThe Club Dumas  & sent it to me & demanded The Flanders Panel in return.

The book is as erudite as anything Umberto Eco has ever done, but is much easier to read.  The mystery centers  around a medieval painting (the panel) which depicts a chess game between a duke and a knight, but the position on the chessboard does not make sense. Moreover, there's a hidden inscription on the painting that asks "Who killed the knight?"

When the young art restorer heroine discovers that the knight in the painting was actually murdered, she gets drawn into a murderous mysytery that is great fun.


Grade: (B+)


See also:

Arturo Perez-Reverte (2 books reviewed)
Arturo Perez-Reverte Links:

    -AUTHOR SITE: Arturo Pérez Reverte
    -EXCERPT: from Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte: The Tavern of the Turk
    -INTERVIEW: Arturo Pérez-Reverte: "The story of a sailor without a ship has already been told hundreds of times." (interviewed by Ron Hogan, Beatrice)
    -INTERVIEW: The Accidental Author, A conversation with Arturo Perez-Reverte (
    -ARTICLE: Spanish authors caught up in tale of literary piracy (Giles Tremlett, September 25, 2003, The Guardian)
    -Arturo Pérez-Reverte (Wikipedia)
    -Arturo Perez-Reverte (Stop, You're Killing Me!)
    -Arturo Pérez Reverte (Spain 1951) (don Quijote)
    -ARCHIVES: Arturo Perez-Reverte (Find Articles)
    -REVIEW ARCHIVES: Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte (Reviews of Books)
    -REVIEW: of Captain Alatriste (Janet Maslin, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Captain Alatriste (Michael Dirda, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW: of Captain Alatriste (Toby Clements, Daily Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of Captain Alatriste (Steven Poole, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of Captain Alatriste (Guy Fiortta, Times of London)
    -REVIEW: of Captain Alatriste (Jorge Antonio Renaud, Book Page)
    -REVIEW: of Captain Alatriste (Nora Seton, Houston Chronicle)
    -REVIEW: of Captain Alatriste (Carlo Wolff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
    -REVIEW: of Captain Alatriste (BookBrowse)
    -REVIEW: of Captain Alatriste (Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly)
    -REVIEW: of Captain Alatriste ()
    -REVIEW: of Purity of Blood by Arturo Perez-Reverte (John Dugdale, Times of London)
    -REVIEW: of The Flanders Panel (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Flanders Panel (FS, The Mystery Guide)
    -REVIEW: of The Seville Communion by Arturo Perez-Reverte (Paul Baumann, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Seville Communion (Clay Stafford, Book Page)
    -REVIEW: of The Fencing Master by Arturo Perez-Reverte (Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Reviewing the Evidence))
    -REVIEW: of The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte (Margot Livesey, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Club Dumas (Daniel Foster, Classic Bookshop)
    -REVIEW: of The Club Dumas (George Cowmeadow Bauman, Book Page)
    -REVIEW ARCHIVES: The Nautical Chart by Arturo Perez-Reverte (Reviews of Books)
    -REVIEW: of The Nautical Chart (Geraldine Bedell, The Observer)
    -REVIEW: of The Nautical Chart (John Carlin, Daily Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of The Nautical Chart (Daniel Mendelsohn, New York Magazine)
    -REVIEW: of The Nautical Chart (Adam Mazmanian, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW: of The Nautical Chart (Dan Crowe, The Observer)
    -REVIEW: of The Nautical Chart ()
    -REVIEW ARCHIVES: The Queen of the South by Arturo Perez-Reverte (Reviews of Books)
    -REVIEW: of Queen of the South (Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW: of Queen of the South (Julia Lovell, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of Queen of the South (Susan Kelly, USA Today)
    -REVIEW: of Queen of the South (Michael Dibdin, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Queen of the South (John Ziebell, Las Vegas Mercury)
    -REVIEW: of Queen of the South (Catherine Taylor, The Guardian) FILMS:

    -FILMOGRAPHY: Arturo Perez-Reverte (
    -The New York Times > Movies > People > Arturo Perez-Reverte
    -REVIEW: of The Ninth Gate (Elvis Mitchell, NY Times)

Book-related and General Links:

    -ESSAY: The Mysterious Romance of Murder: The enduring highbrow fascination with detective stories (David Lehman, Boston Review)
    -ESSAY: The case of the chess-playing sleuth (David Norwood, 27/09/2003, Daily Telegraph)
    -ESSAY: Pawn brokers: For Schumann, it was a symphony; for Shakespeare, it was politics. And for Duchamp, it was life itself. Steven Poole explores artists' enduring obsession with chess (Steven Poole, July 5, 2003, The Guardian)