Nothing is ever simple in Budapest. It’s a lesson art expert Helena March learns the hard way when she visits that haunted city in Anna Porter’s latest novel, The Appraisal. Hired by a wealthy octogenarian to buy back his family’s Titian painting, Helena discovers she isn’t the only person interested in the masterpiece. A trail of dead bodies and a tangled history lead to the answer in Stalin’s notorious gulags.

Born in Budapest, Anna Porter is the award-winning author of seven books, including distinguished non-fiction (The Ghosts of EuropeKasztner’s Train, and Buying a Better World) and bestselling mystery novels (Mortal SinsHidden Agenda, and Bookfair Murders). A legendary editor at McClelland & Stewart, she founded Key Porter Books in 1982, launching an influential publishing house that helped establish Canada’s vibrant literary culture.

Today she is a writer, publishing industry consultant, and in-demand speaker on themes she has explored in her books and journalism: the future of the book in an electronic age; the importance of freedom of speech; morality in times of war; the Holocaust in Hungary; and how literature informs and enriches our lives. 

This year’s Robertson Davies Lecturer, Porter is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Appearing in: 35. Saturday Night SpeakEasy, 47. Robertson Davies Lecture