Cate does not yet know, but opening the chest in the storage closet is opening Pandora’s Box. Inside is an exquisite old painting reminiscent of an artist from The Spanish Golden Age. She calls it “La Gloria” and thinks this is a lost work; worthy to be her doctoral dissertation. So far Dr. Jones has axed her every idea. Removing the painting, she takes it home with her. When circumstances prevent her from returning it to the university, she takes an impromptu research trip to Spain over Christmas. While there, she meets Antonio, a struggling Lord who is trying to keep his estate out of bankruptcy. He joins Cate in her search for clues on the timeline of the painting. She keeps running head first into obstacles, but now Dr. Jones is encouraging her in her project.

“Attribution” leads the reader through the restoration of precious art and gives an interesting overview of academic arguments surrounding Velasquez. Cate is determined, and concerned with truth and not consequences. Torn between revealing the truth and helping Antonio adds bitter conflict. Dr. Jones is a misogynist, willing to let Cate have her day as long as she furthers his career. Antonio is a very likable character, yet he has little depth. The story drags with art jargon which may be unfamiliar to the lay person. Cate’s guilt about “La Gloria” and her brother’s death are felt throughout the novel, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. Deception runs rampant throughout, adding to the mystery. A puzzle to the very end, readers will enjoy solving the mystery with Cate and Antonio!

Belinda Wilson