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Botticelli's Bastard

Art restorer Giovanni Fabrizzi is haunted by an unsigned renaissance portrait. Obsessed to learn the truth of its origin, he becomes increasingly convinced the painting could be the work of one of history's greatest artists, which if true, would catapult its value to the stratosphere. But in learning of the painting's past, he is faced with a dilemma. He believes the portrait was stolen during the greatest art heist in history -- the Nazi plunder of European artwork. If true and a surviving relative of the painting's rightful owner were still alive, Giovanni, in all good conscience, would have to give up the potential masterpiece.

 

His obsession with the portrait puts a strain on his new marriage, and his son thinks his father has lost his mind for believing an unremarkable, unsigned painting could be worth anyone's attention. Regardless, Giovanni persists in his quest of discovery and exposes far more truth than he ever wanted to know.

ABOUT MICHAEL

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Emeralds Never Fade

Before World War II, two German boys enjoy playing piano, and one visits twice each week to teach the other. When the Nazis seize power, the lessons must end—one of the boys is Jewish.

 

Leo Bergner, the Jewish pupil, escapes Germany while his piano teacher, Bruno Franzmann, is called to serve the Fatherland. His assignment to work at a concentration camp turns to peril as the war nears an end. With the Allied forces closing in, he risks capture and prosecution as a war criminal.

 

After the war, Leo begins a career in banking and uncovers a conspiracy of further Jewish persecution, involving the assets of concentration camp victims. His investigation into the corrupt dealings of his own bank puts him in direct opposition to his beloved Israel, while also jeopardizing his career, his marriage, and his life.

 

Bruno escapes to Buenos Aires and must begin anew, lost in a strange land where only his wits can save him. He hatches an unscrupulous plot to finance a multi-national corporation, and in time, his efforts require a business trip to London—his first visit to Europe since he escaped.

 

After forty years, a lost family heirloom will decide their fate.

Ambition

Having it all will never be enough for George Tazoli, an ambitious dealer on the trading floor of a prominent California bank. He is hand-picked for a special assignment to sell off bad loans, but not because he is dating the daughter of the bank's president, rather for his skill at working the market.

 

The promotion sends him to New York, putting a strain on his relationship, but then a scandalous discovery lures him into the gamble of a lifetime. George must gauge the risks -- his direct superior is the bank's president and his potential father-in-law, who is married to an heiress worth billions, all the more reason for George to vow his fidelity.

 

Back at the bank's headquarters, the president and his father, the chairman and grandfather of George's L.A. girlfriend, are embroiled in a long-standing feud with another family of stockholders competing for control of the bank. The boardroom tension and ultimate showdown keeps everyone busy while George makes difficult choices that will teach him a lesson learned the hard way -- even wealth has a price.

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Hero On Three Continents

Leo Bergner, the Jewish pupil, escapes Germany while his piano teacher, Bruno Franzmann, is called to serve the Fatherland. His assignment to work at a concentration camp turns to peril as the war nears an end. With the Allied forces closing in, he risks capture and prosecution as a war criminal.

 

Hero on Three Continents is a chronicle of a century with the protagonist Henry Brown participating in events both cataclysmic and personal, and interfacing with characters both famous and imaginary. From the jazz age of the 1920’s to the war-torn 1940’s, to the international crises of oil and terrorism in the 70’s, this novel makes history intimate, the work of any epic. The world needs a hero, and Henry Brown is such a man. Maitland-Lewis demonstrates the importance of uncompromising research as well as the art of presenting material in a fast-flowing, enjoyable, “can’t put it down” style.