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The Book of Unholy Mischief: A Novel

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The Book of Unholy Mischief: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9781416590545
ISBN10: 1416590544
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a world of violence and intrigue, who guards the truth?

It is 1498, the dawn of the Renaissance, and Venice teems with rumors of an ancient book that holds the secret to unimaginable power. It is an alchemist's dream, with recipes for gold, immortality, and undying love. Everyone, rich and poor alike, speculates about the long-buried secrets scrawled in its pages and where it could possibly be hidden within the labyrinthine city. But while those who seek the book will stop at nothing to get it, those who know will die to protect it.

As a storm of intrigue and desire circles the republic that grew from the sea, Luciano, a penniless orphan with a quick wit and an even faster hand, is plucked up by an illustrious chef and hired, for reasons he cannot yet begin to understand, as an apprentice in the palace kitchen. There, in the lavish home of the most powerful man in Venice, he is initiated into the chef's rich and aromatic world, with all its seductive ingredients and secrets.

Luciano's loyalty to his street friends and the passion he holds for a convent girl named Francesca remain, but it is not long before he, too, is caught up in the madness. After he witnesses a shocking murder in the Palace dining room, he realizes that nothing is as it seems and that no one, not even those he's come to rely on most, can be trusted.

Armed with a precocious mind and an insatiable curiosity, Luciano embarks on a perilous journey to uncover the truth. What he discovers will swing open the shutters of his mind, inflame his deepest desires, and leave an indelible mark on his soul.

Rich with the luxurious colors and textures of Venice, The Book of Unholy Mischief delights the senses and breathes fresh life into an age defined by intellectual revival and artistic vibrancy. A luminous and seductive novel, it is, at its heart, a high-spirited tribute to the fruits of knowledge and the extraordinary power of those who hold its key. In a world of violence and intrigue, who guards the truth?

Review:

"Luciano, the wily hero of Newmark's entertaining first novel, is only a street urchin when the doge of Venice's chef finds him, but once dragged into the kitchen as an apprentice, he discovers more bubbling than boiling water. While the town is in an uproar over the rumor of an ancient book containing magical potions and lessons on alchemy, Luciano pines away for a girl and learns the basics of chopping, sweeping and eavesdropping. As he and his maestro become friendlier, Luciano begins to learn that there's more to his teacher than a garden of strange plants and a box of spices. Newmark does a fine job of building suspense and keeping the novel barreling along, and her knowledge of and affection for 15th-century Venice adds charm to this nicely told adventure yarn." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Newmark's transcendent debut follows a penniless orphan in Renaissance Venice as he is swept up from the streets and into a world of immeasurable passion and power on a journey that leads not only to betrayal and mystery, but also to love.

About the Author

Elle Newmark is an award-winning writer whose books are inspired by her travels. She and her husband live in the hills north of San Diego. For more information, visit www.ellenewmark.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

AvidReaderDianna, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by AvidReaderDianna)
THE BOOK OF UNHOLY MISCHIEF: A NOVEL was exciting and intriguing from the first page to the last. The setting was mysterious and full of lovely nooks and crannies for the plot to explore and take advantage of. The plot twisted continually, creating questions upon questions for the reader. And the wonderful information concerning food and recipes made my mouth water and intensified a desire for personally untried spices and concoctions. Likewise, the characters were colorful, some inviting, some repelling, but all so interesting and perfectly designed to support a plot which seemed not only plausable, but so captivating I couldn't put the book down. While I would not want to have lived in this setting, I loved fantasizing about how the "wisdom" of mankind might have been preserved and passed on through the ages too. If you like "history," travel, food, interesting people, plots you cannot figure out too far ahead of time, read THE BOOK OF UNHOLY MISCHIEF: A NOVEL by Elle Newmark.
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katknit, February 7, 2009 (view all comments by katknit)
Venice in the early Renaissance was a perilous in the extreme. Innocent or guilty, prominent or poverty stricken, an individual could be destroyed in the blink of an eye, if it suited the aims of the politically powerful. The age of scientific enlightenment was dawning, but superstition and “heresy” still abounded under the iron rule of the church. Luciano, a street urchin, is offered a rare opportunity to transform his life by the chef of the doge, who is not merely a culinary master. Chef Ferraro is one of the Guardians, a network of educated men who are living and dying to preserve priceless knowledge that church and government are eager to obliterate. Together, Ferraro and Luciano undertake the perilous task of preserving this knowledge and denying it to the autocrats.

The Book of Unholy Mischief is chock full of mystery, intrigue, hope, and violence. It is also an argument for “free thinking”, in such a way that the religious sensibilities of some readers will be offended. Those who can approach it with open mind will discover much to enjoy: vivid characters, food for thought, great atmosphere and period detail, an appreciation for humanistic values. Life in the kitchen of the doge’s palace is portrayed so expressively that the mouth waters. While the plot sometimes loses its tension, its underlying message, that true magic lies not in sorcery but in learning, is beautifully conveyed.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416590545
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Newmark, Elle
Publisher:
Atria Books
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
History
Subject:
Cooks
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Historical
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
December 2008
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Historical

The Book of Unholy Mischief: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Atria Books - English 9781416590545 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Luciano, the wily hero of Newmark's entertaining first novel, is only a street urchin when the doge of Venice's chef finds him, but once dragged into the kitchen as an apprentice, he discovers more bubbling than boiling water. While the town is in an uproar over the rumor of an ancient book containing magical potions and lessons on alchemy, Luciano pines away for a girl and learns the basics of chopping, sweeping and eavesdropping. As he and his maestro become friendlier, Luciano begins to learn that there's more to his teacher than a garden of strange plants and a box of spices. Newmark does a fine job of building suspense and keeping the novel barreling along, and her knowledge of and affection for 15th-century Venice adds charm to this nicely told adventure yarn." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Newmark's transcendent debut follows a penniless orphan in Renaissance Venice as he is swept up from the streets and into a world of immeasurable passion and power on a journey that leads not only to betrayal and mystery, but also to love.
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