Philip Sington
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Zoia's Gold

Stockholm, December 1999. Madam Zoia, the enigmatic painter on gold, is dead. The last known survivor of the Romanov court, she leaves behind a house full of paintings, a collection of private papers, and a mystery.

Marcus Elliot, a former art dealer, travels to snow-bound Sweden to write the catalogue that will accompany the sale of her work. Zoia's paintings have been willed to her doctor, who is only too happy to sell to the Russian buyers gathering at the previews. But for Marcus something feels wrong. Behind the gilded serenity of Zoia's work lie the shadows of a secret life: a miraculous escape from the Revolutionary torturers of the Lubyanka; an artistic journey that embraced the excesses of Bohemian Paris; and an unearthly ability to command the devotion of beautiful men. Zoia, it seems, was a keeper of secrets, but Marcus holds what may yet prove the key to unlocking them: a golden painting kept hidden since his mother's death thirty years before.

Marcus is to be Zoia's last, triumphant seduction, but with time against him, he must lay his own ghosts to rest - the failed marriage, the scandal that ruined him, the tragedy that shattered his childhood - before the priceless truth can come within his grasp.

Zoia's Gold

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