Isn’t it amazing when movies or songs inspire an entirely different story? Why am I asking this? Read the Author’s post to find out 😀 I also love the title, btw.
Theft Between the Rains by Luba Lesychyn released in August 2019 in the International Art Theft Mystery genre.
What would you do if you worked at a reputable international museum and art works listed as still missing since WWII began showing up on your doorstep? That’s the substance of the newest urban art theft thriller Theft Between the Rains by Luba Lesychyn.
Drawing on her more than 20 years at Canada’s largest museum, Luba reintroduces many of the affable and quirky characters from the prequel, Theft By Chocolate. Also resurrected is the malicious art thief who has been on the world’s most wanted criminal list for decades.
Theft Between the Rains takes readers behind the scenes at museums and to parts unknown of Toronto. And with water being a character unto its own, Luba uses both humor and thriller elements to weave a page-turning story while simultaneously illustrating how changing weather patterns and flash flooding are impacting metropolitan centers globally.
The establishment’s boutique served as a retail antechamber to the dining area, and it would take every single molecule of self-control to bypass the exquisite jewelry-case-like displays that were making all of my senses dance. Rather than gems, however, the delicate glass cabinets were appointed with rows of truffle delicacies infused with Bombay chai and Tahitian vanilla, Seville orange and sweet curry.
The chocolaty delights sported deliciously creative names like Thai Me Up, Curry in a Hurry, Hot Mess, and Belle du Jour. From there my eyes wandered to wall displays strategically populated with pastel-hued macarons flavored with lavender and cassis, figs and red wine, passion fruit and pistachios. The white floors and walls formed a perfect backdrop highlighting the vibrant wares. I dug in my heels and cantered forward like a horse with blinders on.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Luba Lesychyn is a popular Toronto-based mystery writer, a graduate of the Humber School for Writers, and a respected author in the library readings and events circuit.
In her two books, she draws from her more than 20 years of work experiences at the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada’s largest museum), and her time working for a private museum consulting firm to write humorous, international art theft thrillers featuring amateur sleuth Kalena Boyko. Her newest book, Theft Between the Rains, is a sequel to Theft By Chocolate (about a woman looking for chocolate, love and an international art thief in all the wrong places) published in 2012 by Attica Books and launched in Canada and the UK.
Luba currently spends her time writing and virtually touring Theft Between the Rains in which lead character Kalena Boyko returns to find herself pulled into international art theft intrigue when masterpieces missing since WWII start appearing on her doorstep.
What is the inspirations for Theft By Chocolate and Theft Between the Rains?
I had been blogging about film for many years, but writing a book had never been on my radar. But when I read Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic, I had an epiphany. I had my own addiction, namely chocolate – and I had first-hand knowledge of a really spectacular setting in which to set a story, namely Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, Canada’s largest museum.
The people with whom I worked were such a creative and fascinating collection of academics and specialized technicians, so I had much from which to draw for both amusing and nefarious characters. And I had a plethora of anecdotes from my twenty plus years at the ROM. So, I set out to craft a story about a woman looking for chocolate, love and an international art thief in all the wrong places.
I built the tale around museum employee and reluctant sleuth Kalena Boyko’s coordination of the blockbuster exhibition Treasures of the Maya and of her fearfulness of a renowned art thief preying upon its key artifacts, a gold jaguar mask and the world’s oldest piece of chocolate. But it was only after a few rewrites that I had a fortuitous encounter with a security consultant who had some astonishing insider information about a cold case heist that had taken place at the ROM in the 1980’s.
A thief had absconded with a pricey opal collection after figuring out how to circumvent the Museum’s protective barriers in use at that time. The incident led to an upgrading of security technology around the world so, I incorporated the real-life and little-known circumstances into the book resulting in what became a richer, chocolate-infused fictional thriller.
After publishing Theft By Chocolate, life interrupted, as it often does, and there was a long gap before I started getting some ideas for a new book – and then it seemed that inspirations came flooding in.
The initial notion for Theft Between the Rains came from an unusual source – or perhaps it wasn’t so unusual because one of my most beloved passions is documentary cinema. There were two films that sparked very different ideas for the plot.
The first documentary that lit a fire under me was Lost Rivers which is about how cities have undergrounded their urban rivers and streams and use them as part of their sewage systems. This may seem like an odd notion to excite a writer, but the Royal Ontario Museum is situated above a well-known undergrounded creek that runs through a good portion of Toronto.
The second film that provoked my imagination was The Rape of Europa, about the plunder of art during the Second World War. I think many of us are intrigued by stories of art that was confiscated or stolen during the war, but I knew I had to give my plot a fresh twist. I asked myself what my lead character Kalena would do if art work listed as still missing since World War II started showing up on her doorstep. And that became my primary premise.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to weave these two diverse concepts, but I began to devise scenes that would take place in lost river settings in the city of Toronto and, in general, to use water, weather, and storms as running motifs throughout Theft Between the Rains. The sequel appropriately remains in the genre of a humorous international art theft thriller but, at the same time, I have been able to take readers to some particularly unusual, little-known, and dramatic locations in the city of Toronto.
This post is part of a Tour. The tour dates can be found here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/12/vbt-theft-between-rains-by-luba-lesychyn.html
- a print copy of Theft Between the Rains to a randomly drawn winner (US or Canada ONLY)