Portrait of Louise in a Blue and White Chemise
Although Charlotte Pacou, known to everyone as Charlie, rents an office in Berlin that was once occupied by a private detective, she has never had any intention of taking up that profession. But when Daniel Baum arrives at the door, asking her to track down a missing painting – Portrait of Louise in a Blue and White Chemise – she takes on the case. The picture was painted by the artist Jonas Jabal who committed suicide in 1959 in East Berlin, just as his promising career was getting off the ground. It was a portrait of his girlfriend from the West, and Charlie soon comes to realise that, if she is to fulfil her obligation, she must investigate what happened back then. Was beautiful, wealthy Louise the reason the artist took his life? What part was played in the drama by Jabal's friend Max Noske, who is now an art dealer in Paris? And why does her client Daniel Baum – who, much as she denies the truth to herself, is increasingly occupying her thoughts – have such a fervent interest in the painting? A love story, or perhaps two – sad, serene, affecting, offbeat, beautiful.
"Anyone who is still of the opinion that the Germans can't get together a really entertaining novel can eat their words." (Die Welt)