THE TOWN BOOK STORE
~ Satisfying Book Lovers Since 1934 ~
Anne's Pick of the Month


                     The Curse of Pietro Houdini
                     by Derek B. Miller
                     $29.99

                             From the Dagger Award–winning author of
                        Norwegian by Night comes a vivid,
                        thrilling, and moving World War II art-heist-
                        adventure tale where enemies become heroes, allies become villains, and a child learns what it means to become an adult—for fans of All the Light We Cannot See.

August, 1943. Fourteen-year-old Massimo is all alone. Newly orphaned and fleeing from Rome after surviving the American bombing raid that killed his parents, Massimo is attacked by thugs and finds himself bloodied at the base of the Montecassino. It is there in the Benedictine abbey’s shadow that a charismatic and cryptic man calling himself Pietro Houdini, the self-proclaimed “Master Artist and confidante of the Vatican,” rescues Massimo and brings him up the mountain to serve as his assistant in preserving the treasures that lay within the monastery walls.

But can Massimo believe what Pietro is saying, particularly when Massimo has secrets too? Who is this extraordinary man? When it becomes evident that Montecassino will soon become the front line in the war, Pietro Houdini and Massimo execute a plan to smuggle three priceless Titian paintings to safety down the mountain. They are joined by a nurse concealing a nefarious past, a café owner turned murderer, a wounded but chipper German soldier, and a pair of lovers along with their injured mule, Ferrari. Together they will lie, cheat, steal, fight, kill, and sin their way through battlefields to survive, all while smuggling the Renaissance masterpieces and the bag full of ancient Greek gold they have rescued from the “safe keeping” of the Germans.

Heartfelt, powerfully engaging, and in the tradition of City of Thieves by David Benioff, The Curse of Pietro Houdini is a work of storytelling bravado: a thrilling action-packed adventure heist, an imaginative chronicle of forgotten history, and a philosophical coming-of-age epic where a child navigates one of the most enigmatic and morally complex fronts of World War II and lives to tell the tale.






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Welcome to The Town Book Store

The Town Book Store has been serving Westfield and neighboring communities since 1934. We are one of the last independent bookstores located in Union County, New Jersey. In today’s rapidly changing retail environment, The Town Book Store remains one constant where shoppers can find a first-rate literary selection with friendly, personalized service in an attractive, convenient setting. Whether you are reading for escape, for comfort, to gain knowledge, for pure pleasure or as a source of lively conversation, visit or call us at The Town Book Store and we can match you up with the right book.

Anne Laird
Owner, The Town Book Store