The Lion and the Rose by Ricardo Bruni



I love stories set in times gone by. It doesn't matter what age, either. 

This one is set in the 1500s, and was originally written in Italian. Add to it that its a murder mystery, and how good can it get?

 Well... as it turns out the book is just a little bit on the tedious side. Character development is not as good as it should be, the mystery/tension is basically put on the back burner while the reader tries to understand the motivations of a monk called to Venice to solve the mystery. 

Instead of one mystery, you've got three to unravel, and because of that, none of them are done well.

I think the potential for a great book is here especially with all the ingredients, but the editing was not good so the story fell flat. Terror hovers just beyond reach, and with the number of characters the reader must keep up with make the book rates just 2 stars.



Translated by Aaron Maines
In sixteenth-century Venice three bodies surface in the dark waters of the Canal Grande. Entrenched in a terrible war with the Turks and caught in a political struggle between power-hungry Pope Alexander VI and the newly elected Doge Loredan, the people of Venice fear that a demon has come to exact divine punishment for their sins.
Doge Loredan is determined to find the real culprit before the Pope can turn the people against him. To do so, he hires unorthodox German monk Mathias to investigate the murders. Soon Lorenzo Scarpa, a young printer and nephew to one of the victims, joins in the search. The mystery leads them into Venice’s underground printing industry, where they learn of a dangerous book hidden somewhere in the city, a book whose secrets could determine the destiny of the Republic—a book that others are more than willing to kill for.

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