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The Symphony Heist Melody Cavatina, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s new and exceptionally talented cellist, is scheduled to premiere a finger-cracking solo in Rio in conjunction with the signing of a controversial trade agreement. It’s her first solo, and she’s traumatized, barely able to play normally let alone in front of an assembly of world leaders. As the orchestra heads to the airport, their priceless instruments are hijacked.

Genial police Lieutenant Lowell is called to find the truckload of instruments. Many people suspect a populist group trying to stop the trade agreement, but Lowell assembles a long list of other suspects, which includes Melody.

She must conquer her psychological shock and clear her name. She must get to Rio and dedicate her performance to a person she had wronged. She must use her perfect pitch and meticulous musical sensitivity to find the thieves.

Told with a focus on music, irreverent and witty, The Symphony Heist is a thoroughly satisfying mystery, fun and informative. Lowell is becoming one of the most delightful characters in literature. Anyone who likes to solve a mystery or enjoys music will fall in love with this book.

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In the early morning hours after St. Patrick’s Day, 1990, two men disguised as policemen gain access to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a stately four-story Italian mansion in the Fenway district of Boston. They handcuff the guards, wrap their mouths with duct tape, and proceed to commit the largest robbery in history. The stolen masterpieces, including Vermeer’s The Concert, a Degas, a Manet, and three irreplaceable Rembrandts, are valued at half a billion dollars. Despite a multi-million dollar reward and the combined efforts of the FBI, Scotland Yard, INTERPOL, and the Canadian Mounted Police, the treasured art is never recovered.

Jump forward twenty-five years. Paris, an ex-con classics professor and superbly gifted art forger, is passing the time at a self-storage facility in out-of-the-way New Mexico to earn a living while figuring out what to do next with his life. When a suspicious out-of-towner arrives to check on his belongings, Paris’ curiosity gets the best of him. He breaks into the man’s storage unit only to find the stolen art now missing for a quarter of a century. With a $10 million reward money under his belt, Paris sets off for Boston to fulfill his dream of building a classical museum of his own. In order to help the eccentric Lieutenant Lowell nab the illusive thief, Paris dives back into the world of obsession and deception which may send him back to prison.

The Museum Heist, based on the real-life robbery of the famed Gardner Museum, is a fast-paced, wily whodunit filled with intrigue, romance and stimulating scholarship. Author Kameel Nasr has created a wonderfully satisfying mystery novel for anyone interested in historical fiction. The Museum Heist takes you on a roller-coaster ride of suspense, a meticulous portrait of the underbelly of the art world at its highest echelons.


In 1981, Kameel Nasr hopped on a bicycle from Chicago to San Francisco. He didn’t know what he was doing, but during the next years he rode around the world, bicycling in 70 countries and logging 40,000 miles. The World Up Close recounts fifteen stories that try to illuminate the culture of the places he traveled. He sought to see how people live, usually simple rural people because on a bicycle he ventured into the small back roads and met them.

Having to rely on people for food, water, directions, and accommodations, he got a glimpse into the culture of the different countries he visited. The world was a different place when Nasr took his trips: It was still the era of the Cold War, of war in Central America, of a unified Yugoslavia, of South African apartheid. Through these fifteen stories, Nasr gives a taste, sometimes grim and sometimes funny, of the bicycling experience. He rode in foul weather, on terrible roads, and over some of the world’s tallest passes. What he saw challenged many of his beliefs. This is a story of discovery and self-discovery.

As recommended by the author, Rob Sullivan: Rob Sullivan’s Bookstore of Highly Recommended Books!

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