News & Reviews

Madame Gilflurt’s Excerpt from The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure

We have noted the popular fascination with Catherine the Great. While the Russian Empress may be among the trendier rulers from this period, historian Catherine Curzon points out that the Georgian era (1914-1837) was rife with “unique, eccentric and flamboyant monarchs.” And this is what she explores in her quirky website, Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life, a blog about all things Georgian. This week, the site features an excerpt from The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure. Read about Catherine as a protector and promoter of the arts, who oversees theatrical productions, debates philosophy, and amasses an art collection to rival any in Europe. Click through to read Madame Gilflurt’s excerpt from The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure…

The Small Hermitage, built by Catherine the Great to display her art collection, now part of the State Hermitage Museum.

Tony Wheeler Reviews Tsarina

We are so grateful to Tony Wheeler (co-founder of Lonely Planet) for blurbing The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure and now for reviewing it on his blog, Tony Wheeler’s Travels.

“The Vrouw Maria was of no great size, less than 30 metres in length, and of no great importance, just a two-masted wooden cargo ship. But what a cargo and what a story that cargo has told.” Read the full blog post…

Review on Shelf Awareness

The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure reads almost like a fiction as Easter and Vorhees explore the lives of the many figures involved in the historical shipwreck, as well as the modern oligarchs and academics battling in the courts for the right to the treasure. Readers of historical fiction, true crime or history books are all sure to enjoy The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure.” Read the full review on Shelf Awareness…

Smithsonian Magazine’s Books to Read

The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure is one of Smithsonian Magazine’s “Books to Read” in September!

“By the end of her reign, Catherine the Great had acquired more than 4,000 paintings, 38,000 books, 10,000 engraved gems, 16,000 coins and medals, and 10,000 drawings. But as writers Gerald Easter and Mara Vorhees point out in The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure, this collection—which later formed the foundation of the State Hermitage Museum—could have been even greater. A cache of Dutch masterpieces acquired by the art-loving Russian empress vanished when the ship carrying them sank in 1771 with its priceless artwork aboard.” Read more in Smithsonian Magazine…

A Mighty Mystery

A Mighty Blaze is a cool organization, founded by writers to help writers promote their books in the age of Covid. Many thanks to Sara DiVello for featuring us on her author interview series – A Mighty Mystery!

Sara’s invitation prompted us to think about The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure from a new perspective. Does it count as a Mighty Mystery? Certainly, there are no murder plots or bank heists. However, there is more than one element of mystery to the story. In fact, Publisher’s Weekly calls it “an intriguing portrait of an art world mystery” and historian Susan Jaques calls it “a true delight for fans of art, mystery, and maritime archeology.”

Curious? Watch our interview to find out more!

Tsarina Book Launch

Friends, yesterday was a magical day for the co-authors of The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure. We sent our book baby out into the world. Friends and family across the country received it with love. And we were so lucky to even celebrate the Tsarina book launch with some people *in person.*

Thank you to Porter Square Books for providing copies of our books to sell and sign at the Tsarina book launch party. Thank you to Remnant Brewing for making sure it was safe and comfortable for all – and also for the beer 🍺. And thanks to everyone who came to celebrate, sent love from afar, bought The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure, recommended it to friends, and/or posted a picture. Your support means everything to us. 💜

And now… happy reading! 📚

Can’t Get Enough Catherine

Seemingly, lovers of history and devotees of pop culture can’t get enough of Catherine the Great. As evidence, three popular television documentaries/series have come out in recent years. Ekaterina is a Russia-1 historical television series from 2015 (now available on Amazon) about the rise of Catherine the Great. Last year, HBO produced Catherine the Great, a four-part mini-series starring Helen Mirren as Catherine at the end of her reign. And most recently, Hulu has an “occasionally true” comedy series about the young Empress, called simply The Great, starring Elle Fanning.

The Great is the most unusual of the three. It is at times funny, dark, bawdy, and gory, and often surprising. It is not historically accurate (nor does it claim to be). But it certainly was good pandemic entertainment.

The single season of The Great has left viewers craving more. Good on The MarySue for offering 16 Books and 1 Zine to Read After Bingeing on Hulu’s The Great. The list includes a few biographies, Russian love stories (fiction and non), roundups of royal scandals through the years, juicy tales of sex and murder… AND one story of the shipwreck Vrouw Maria. Did you love The Great? Craving more Catherine? Turn your attention to The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure: Catherine the Great, a Golden Age Masterpiece, and a Legendary Shipwreck. Read the full list on The MarySue here…

Review on GoodReads

Our first review on GoodReads! Four stars!

“THE TSARINA’S LOST TREASURE is a delightful mix of: the life of Gerrit Dou, one of Rembrandt’s star pupils, Dou’s most famous painting which Catherine the Great tried to acquire, and the shipwreck of the Vrouw Maria, which condemned Dou’s art to the bottom of the Baltic Sea for centuries.” Read the full review on GoodReads…