A Feast of Small Surprises

It's the summer of 1992 and a painting by the great seventeenth century Italian artist, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, is discovered in the basement of a church in Messina, Italy.  Is it an original or is it a fake?  The night of the opening of the exhibition of the painting in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, there is a car bombing involving an artist and his dealer.  A sinister Russian, a mime, an art forger and two American ladies, are all in Florence when the car explodes.  Who is responsible, and is the bomb connected to the discovery of the painting?  Twists in the plot keep the surprises coming until the end.

"A Feast of Small Surprises is a tour de force...There is an intelligence and craft that makes Van Houten's novella attractive and worth reading...We look forward to her next offering, a buffet of still smaller surprises that makes us hunger for the prose out of which her feasts are composed."

- Dr. Robert Detweiler, author professor at Emory University


"A lively tale for people who love art, Italy and reading thrillers.  Corinne Van Houten's first novel is, as the title promises, full of unexpected twists, and it's terrific entertainment."

- Paolo Gianturco, author of In Her Hands and Celebrating Women


"In a Feast of Small Surprises, Corinne Van Houten's profound knowledge of European Art History and Italy in general provides the backdrop for a brilliantly written novel of narcissim and deceit, theft and murder."

- Rene Detroye, an internationally acclaimed Art Curator and author


The Art of Being Your Own Guide: How to Relate to the Contemporary World of Art  Coming Soon!


Approaching works of art is much like entering a room full of unresponsive strangers at a cocktail party.  When you first encounter an unfamiliar artist or work of art, you may feel alienated, unwelcome, ignored but if you, the viewer, take the opportunity to make the first move you can begin a dialogue with the works of art which can be greatly rewarding.  Each with their drink, their attitude, their personality—the artworks are waiting to be explored, discovered, argued with, detested or adored.  Some works of art are shy and retiring, others are funny, others challenging, provocative, even insulting, but many of them have something to say that may be worth listening to, arguing with, and challenging in turn.


What makes The Art of Being Your Own Guide: How to Relate to the Contemporary World of Art unique among books on Contemporary art is the focus on the viewer/reader’s perspective rather than the traditional, academic Art Historical perspective.  The viewer is encouraged to engage with art from a personal rather than a theoretical perspective.  The purpose of The Art of Being Your Own Guide is to give the reader the confidence to relate to and discuss seemingly incomprehensible works of art.






The links below will bring you to Amazon to view and purchase the products.

A Feast of Small Surprises

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Wine Tour CD

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Mystery Novel | Art Novel | Novel Based in Italy | A Feast of Small Surprises | Corinne Van Houten Author | Freelance Writer