The Book of Unholy Mischief

by Elle Newmark

Action / Adventure / Spy / Espionage Debut Books of the Month eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on The Book of Unholy Mischief


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.

The Book of Unholy Mischief Synopsis

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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The Book of Unholy Mischief Press Reviews

'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

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780552775212
Publication date: 10/09/2009
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780552775212
Publication date: 10th September 2009
Author: Elle Newmark
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 464 pages
Genres: Action Adventure / Spy, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Reading Groups,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Historical fiction,

About 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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