Portrait of a Conspiracy is the first Book in a new series by Donna Russo Morin. History, mystery, and art blend together in this story of a group of female artists who seek to find the missing member of their group and draw out conspirators who have created chaos in Florence.
After the brutal murder of Giuliano de' Medici, his brother Lorenzo seeks revenge on everyone involved. Despite the unrest in the city, five female painters secretly ply their craft. When a sixth member of their group goes missing and is rumored to have stolen a much sought after painting as she vanished, her friends venture out into the dangerous streets to find her. With the help of a young Leonardo Da Vinci, the women's art flourishes and they gain access to some of the most secretive places in Florence.
This novel is not for the faint of heart. Portrait of a Conspiracy starts out with the brutal murder of Giuliano. It is intense and it is bloody. The mix of historical and fictional characters against this backdrop is a character-driven reader's dream. You truly get to know these women, watch them flourish with Da Vinci's guidance, and go to place they never could have imagined they would go.
Morin has researched every detail of this fascinating novel and it shows. My only niggle is that I was over halfway through the book before I could begin putting the pieces together. I'm thinking this was on purpose to symbolize the chaos of the times, but it drove me a bit insane that the people and the happenings wouldn't just gel for me. There are a ton of characters to get to know, so that might have added to it.
That said, I will definitely be on the lookout for Book Two when it comes out.
If you're looking for a thrilling historical mystery, Portrait of a Conspiracy will fit the bill.
File Size: 2710 KB
Print Length: 298 pages
Publisher: Diversion Books (May 10, 2016)
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
I received a digital copy of this book from the author through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. This review contains my honest opinions, which I was not compensated for in any way.
I read this book for the following challenge: