By Linda Ferreri
I chose the locations for The Matter of the Crown in two ways. First, the Crown itself has had heavy involvement with New York City where I first saw it. Second, I love and live part time in Macerata Province of Le Marche, Italy. So half of the story takes place here, where I am typing in the presence of my muse.
In New York City, the lights on the broad avenues and the side streets really do twinkle, like the lights of Paris. The Crown itself sparkles as it is, among many other things, the world’s largest collection of emeralds. Now and likely forever, it is encased at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City because The Met acquired the Crown just a couple of years ago. But the auction houses are luminous and the Crown has seen its time there, too. It is a work deliberately made of the most precious of metals, gold.
Le Marche, however, is quite a different story, isn’t it? Everything that symbolizes the beauties of the earth is here. It is the antithesis of urban sophistication.
Loreto near the Adriatic Sea is a hugely important place in the veneration of the Virgin Mary who is central to the story. Le Marche is, according to some, the most beautiful part of Italy. It certainly has all that Italy offers nestled right here in this one region: the blue sea, the dramatic mountains, and the rolling green hills covered with olives and vines between.
Le Marche’s hills are dotted by small medieval towns, one of which I named Castello Piceno in the novel. In the narrow streets of these picturesque towns many secrets are buried. Lives continue here, too. More stories unfold. It is a luscious but somewhat mysterious place. Unlike the grand palazzi of Rome, Venice and Florence that travelers know so well, these small buildings angle this way and that without telling who hid under the arches and behind the thick crenellated walls during the worst siege of the area in this era or that.
New York City and the Crown of the Andes are dazzlers, the very apex of urban sophistication in contrast to the very essence of bucolic splendor in Le Marche. The Crown of the Andes itself transcends many landscapes, cultures and centuries, the mortal and the immortal. In real life, the Crown of the Andes has had astounding adventures in magnificent places. This story deserves no less.
The Crown of the Andes, one of the world's most precious and beautiful sacred objects, has been stolen right off the stage at Satterling's Auction House in New York City. Five pounds of magnificent baroque gold that ransomed the Inca Ruler Atahaulpa, and hundreds of perfect Colombian emeralds, all gone without a trace! Will this legendary treasure be destroyed for its gold and emeralds? One woman is dead and another one in hot pursuit. Purchase from
Linda Ferreri is a well-known art lawyer and author. Her books include novels about the Crown of the Anes, a novella entitled The King of UNINI, and whimsical hand-illustrated iBooks. She is known, also, for her drawings. She divides her time between Italy and the United States, and lectures widely around the world about art and history. Her next novel is in progress.