The Real Da Vinci Code

Who needs The Da Vinci Code when you can have the real thing? Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa by R.A. Scotti is a harrowing account of when the Mona Lisa was really stolen for two years in 1911. The book chronicles the 90-degree day in which a guard closed down the museum, only to return to a dark spot on the wall. The missing painting sent France into a national depression—“it was like Diana’s death without ‘Candle in the Wind’”—and the story follows the wild goose chase for the thief (Pablo Picasso was a prime suspect!). According to The New York Times, the edge-of-your seat details in Vanished Smile “push this book past something even Dan Brown could concoct.”