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The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark

The Book of Unholy Mischief

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September 2009 Debut of the Month.

Fifteenth century Venice and a street urchin is ‘rescued’ by the Doge’s master chef and taken on as his apprentice. The court life and culinary snippets add depth to the mystery surrounding an ancient book and its dark secrets. The whereabouts of the book becomes the talk of Italy and the obsession of the Doge, and naturally our young apprentice becomes intrigued. There are secrets within secrets here, mounting in a suspenseful read with an unexpected twist or two. Good fun.

Comparison: Robert Goddard, Joanne Harris, Kate Mosse.

If you like Elle Newmark you might also like to read books by Kate Mosse, Robert Goddard and Joanne Harris.


The Book of Unholy Mischief by 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.

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'Rumour, court machinations and a rattling good plot' Fanny Blake, Woman & Home

'It is a clutching story, with love interests and court shenanigans, odd fellows and weird sisters, lurking in wait for their stage entrance, scenes of comic hilarity around the dinner table, and a high spirited tribute to the fruits of knowledge…In her own neat piece of alchemy, Newmark takes the heft of a potato and turns it into an ode for paying attention' Kirkus Reviews, US

‘Unashamedly fun and will appeal to fans of Kate Mosse and Dan Brown... full of twisting passageways, wall tapestries complete with spy holes, and all manner of skulduggery... The plot crackles along, piling up the murders and conspiracies among the culinary metaphors. A very promising new author’ New Books Magazine

About the Author

Elle Newmark

Elle Newmark is an award-winning writer whose books are inspired by her travels. She and her husband, a retired physician, have two grown children and five grandchildren. They live in the hills north of San Diego.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th September 2009


Elle Newmark

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Transworld Publishers Ltd


464 pages


Historical Fiction
Action Adventure / Spy
Debuts of the Month
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Historical fiction



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