New Mystery ‘Stolen Light’ Combines Art, Revolution, Murder

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Claudia Riess sets murder mystery in aftermath of Cuban Revolution.

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While at Vassar College, author Claudia Riess heard about a classmate’s father having his sugar plantation seized during the Cuban Revolution. Years later, Riess’s brother, an art historian, told her about Michelangelo’s unfinished painting “Battle of Cascina.” These two ideas came together and began to form into a story in Riess’s mind. She developed the story into her new novel, “Stolen Light” (published by Archway Publishing).

“Stolen Light” is a suspenseful novel set in the art world and involving the Italian Renaissance, the Cuban Revolution, and a love story. The book begins in 1958 Cuba with the art collection of American-born sugar plantation owner, William Delaney, being seized and Delaney killed during the incident. Attempting to recover the lost artwork over 50 years later, Erika Shawn, a young Art News writer, and Harrison Wheatley, an art history professor, become embroiled in a contemporary murder mystery, a hunt for a possible Michelangelo drawing – and a burgeoning passion.

With Cuban and U.S. relations in the news, Riess hopes readers will find her book intriguing.

Readers can find more information at

“Stolen Light”
By Claudia Riess
Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 354 pages | ISBN 9781480820661
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 354 pages | ISBN 9781480820654
E-Book | 354 pages | ISBN 9781480820678
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Claudia Riess, a Vassar graduate, is the author of “Reclining Nude.” She has worked in the editorial department of The New Yorker and has edited several art history monographs.

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