Friday, 19 February 2010

FICTION REVIEW: The Book of Unholy Mischief - Elle Newmark


It is 1498, and the whole of Venice is abuzz. Hidden somewhere in the labyrinthine city is an ancient book, rumoured to contain thorny heresies and secrets of immeasurable power. Luciano, a penniless orphan, has been plucked from the street and taken on as apprentice to the chef at the doge's palace. While learning the alchemy of cooking, he quickly finds himself entangled in the search for the ancient tome, even suspecting the chef, his maestro, may be concealing valuable information. But lurking in the wings are some of the most powerful, dangerous men in Venice, and Luciano's secret will lead him through a perilous maze to the centre of an intrigue that will test his deepest desires and loyalties.


Books often succeed or fail by their principle protagonist and that’s the first thing that Elle got right (or write) as the case may be. Here, presented with a fascinating mystery is a protagonist that just jumps straight from the pages into the reader’s imagination fully formed and in such a way that you just can’t help but like them.

Beautifully written with almost picturesque descriptiveness tied up with the positive aspects of mankinds characteristics each having their place within going to show that doing the right thing does have its own rewards. A good bit of fun and perhaps an ideal book for a holiday read where you can imagine that you’re travelling with the characters instead of being stuck at home as you seen the Venice of the 15th Century. Who knows it might even save a murder or two. LOL

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