Please welcome Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours today as they bring you Donna Russo Morin’s Portrait of a Conspiracy. I was sent the book at no charge for my honest review. Read on and enjoy!
About Portrait of a Conspiracy:
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
eBook & Paperback; 290 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
One murder ignites the powderkeg that threatens to consume the Medici’s Florence. Amidst the chaos, five women and one legendary artist weave together a plot that could bring peace, or get them all killed. Seeking to wrest power from the Medici family in 15th Century Florence, members of the Pazzi family drew their blades in a church and slew Giuliano. But Lorenzo de Medici survives, and seeks revenge on everyone involved, plunging the city into a murderous chaos that takes dozens of lives. Bodies are dragged through the streets, and no one is safe. Five women steal away to a church to ply their craft in secret. Viviana, Fiammetta, Isabetta, Natasia, and Mattea are painters, not allowed to be public with their skill, but freed from the restrictions in their lives by their art. When a sixth member of their group, Lapaccia, goes missing, and is rumored to have stolen a much sought after painting as she vanished, the women must venture out into the dangerous streets to find their friend and see her safe. They will have help from one of the most renowned painters of their era the peaceful and kind Leonardo Da Vinci. It is under his tutelage that they will flourish as artists, and with his access that they will infiltrate some of the highest, most secretive places in Florence, unraveling one conspiracy as they build another in its place. Historical fiction at its finest, Donna Russo Morin begins a series of Da Vinci’s disciples with a novel both vibrant and absorbing, perfect for the readers of Sarah Dunant.
About the Author:
Donna Russo Morin is the award winning of author of historical fiction. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, she lives near the shore with her two sons, Devon and Dylan, her greatest works in progress.
This is the first book of a series and I can’t wait for the next one to come out. This period in history is one of my favorites as it is the time period of the Renaissance. The book opens with the murder of Giuliano de Medici which sets off a revenge spree by his brother Lorenzo. There had been a long simmering feud between the de Medicis and the perpetrators – the Pazzi family and it all came to a head with this attack. As history tells us Lorenzo wins and goes on the rule Florence.
But this novel mixes the fictional with the real and it does it incredibly well. The fictional are the heroines of the story – the women who come together to paint in secret since they are not allowed to pursue their art any other way. One of their group goes missing and they need to find out where she is and why she is gone. Could it have anything to do with a painting that might show the conspirators of the plot against the Medici? The women work together and with a surprising ally – Leonardo da Vinci – to solve the mystery.
This was a book rich in history, character development and with a unique take on presenting the time period. Ms. Morin really brings the period to life with her descriptive writing and fascinating players. She weaves her creations so smoothly in with those that actually lived you might forget that they are fictional. 15th century Florence is brought to life in it’s glory and it’s darker side. A riveting mystery for sure.
Other books by Donna Russo Morin: