cover image The Medici Murders

The Medici Murders

David Hewson. Severn, $29.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4483-0656-5

The murder of British TV historian Marmaduke Godolphin, found floating in a Venetian canal with a stiletto blade in his chest, propels this gripping mystery from Hewson (The Garden of Angels). With the annual Carnival festival under way and tourists swarming the city, the police are determined to put the case to rest as quickly as possible. Enter retired archivist Arnold Clover, who was helping Godolphin search historical documents for clues Godolphin believed would reveal the identity of the assassins of Lorenzino de’ Medici 500 years earlier. Meanwhile, Godolphin’s acolytes, known as the Gilded Circle, have gathered in Venice and have competing theories about whether Lorenzino, who murdered his cousin Alessandro, the ruler of Florence, deserves his evil reputation. Could one of them have had motive to kill Godolphin? Clover must use the aged papers and his own 21st-century research skills to determine the truth and whether there’s a connection between Lorenzino’s death and Godolphin’s. The wet, dark, cramped alleys of Venice provide an atmospheric backdrop as the action shifts in time before and after Godolphin’s murder. Hewson educates and entertains in equal measure. (Oct.)