the golden icon

The Golden Icon: Intense, Thrilling New Novel Embroils “Innocent” Opera Singer in Blackmail Plot to Recover Art Stolen by Nazis

The first in a compelling new trilogy, Janet Pywell’s ‘The Golden Icon’ derails the comeback of a former famous opera singer-turned-outcast, now embroiled in a plot to hide art treasures originally stolen by the Nazis. George Clooney’s ‘The Monuments Men’ and the ‘Woman in Gold’ starring Helen Mirren has driven international intrigue in the subject of Nazi thefts, making Pywell’s adventure the perfect read for those willing to explore the dark side of humanity.

United Kingdom – In November of 2013, a multi-million-pound stock of art, originally stolen by the Nazis, was found stashed in a Munich apartment. In her first novel, Janet Pywell weaves together a similar story of crime and vengeance – as a former opera singer’s secrets force her into an emotional blackmail plot she could never have envisaged.

It all plays out in ‘The Golden Icon’, the fascinating kick-off to a new trilogy.


Josephine Lavelle, a once-famous opera singer who became an international outcast, has one last opportunity to resurrect her career. She was born to sing Puccini’s Tosca and is determined to earn the right to perform again on the world’s most prestigious and celebrated stages. But her fight for the future she craves is derailed when her ex-husband embroils her in a cynical blackmail plot.

She is forced to take possession of a solid gold icon, part of a secret hoard of art treasures stolen by the Nazis – that dangerous men are prepared to kill for. As well as determining the fate of the Golden Icon, Josephine must come to terms with her past, and fight for her own life. If only her choices were simple…

“This book has been a labour of love, and research for it took me to Italy, Ireland and Germany,” explains the author, a prolific writer. “I also interviewed a string of notable opera singers and immersed myself in the architecture and surroundings of their international theatres. I didn’t want to just create a story – but an adventure readers can literally live and breathe.”

Continuing, “The next volume, ‘Masterpiece’, is currently on my writing table and due to be released by the end of 2015. Expect another unpredictable plot involving stolen works of arts, forgeries and reveals the protagonist’s deepest personal secret and the ensuing consequences.”

Since its release, this first volume has garnered a string of rave reviews. Doreen McKenzie comments, “For a debut novel, this book was so knowledgable about opera and art and obviously the writer has travelled! Glad it isn’t a one off and can’t wait to read the second novel to find out what is in store for Josephine.”

Julie Elizabeth Powell adds, “A well written story about a woman who is forced into a situation and the choices she makes. With believable characters that bring alive the plot, the strands of this story and pulled together nicely so that it made it an enjoyable read.”

‘The Golden Icon’, from Richmond Heights Publishing, is available now:

Other books also available by Pywell:

‘Red Shoes and Other Short Stories from Richmond Heights Publishing, is available now:

‘Ellie Bravo’ from Richmond Heights Publishing, is available now:

Author website:

Author blog:

About the Author:

Janet Pywell believes that her experience of living and travelling abroad has been invaluable adding perspective and depth to her writing, to help plot stories and create fictional characters.

With a background in travel and tourism, Janet has worked in administration and sales before becoming Director of her own marketing company. Pursuing her dream to write, Janet studied with the Open University followed by an MA in Creative Writing at Queen’s University Belfast whilst working full time.

This debut crime novel The Golden Icon is set in Lake Como, Dublin and Munich and is the first of a trilogy.

With a passion for travel and writing, Janet has combined her two loves to pursue the dream of a writing career.

She continues to travel frequently and widely with the excuse of gathering ideas and experiences which can be used in her writing.

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