When a well-known British TV historian, Marmaduke Godolphin, is found murdered in the canals of Venice during carnival, stabbed by a stiletto blade, the Venetian police are eager to have the case solved and cleared up within a day – murder is bad for tourism!
The police recruit the help of retired archivist, Arnold Clover. Godolphin had hired his services on arriving in Venice to help sort through some historical papers of note. These dusty documents may contain previously unknown information about the assassination of the murderer, Lorenzino de’ Medici, 500 years previously.
How coincidental that Godolphin meets his death in the same place as the Medici murderer, Lorenzino, on a cold, dark, bloody night. Can Arnold use his powers of perception to establish a link and solve the murder of Godolphin?
Hi and welcome to my review of The Medici Murders!
Massive thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invite and to Canongate Books for the eARC.
I adored David Hewson’s The Garden of Angels (and not just because of Richard Armitage’s excellent narration) so when I got the chance to join the blog tour for The Medici Murders, I didn’t hesitate. And good for me: I ended up having a great time with it!
The Medici Murders is told from the perspective of Arnold Clover, a retired British archivist. Arnold has been living in Venice for a couple of months, still recovering from the sudden death of his wife and trying to stay busy. As such, he jumped at the chance to help Marmaduke Godolphin, a well-known British TV historian, with his latest project, which kinda backfires when Godolphin ends up dead in a canal and Capitano Valentina Fabbri of the Venice Carabinieri enlists his help to find out what happened.
I adore Italy, and Venice is at the top of my travel bucket list so of course I enjoyed the setting tremendously. David Hewson’s vivid writing made me feel like I was actually there. I could picture everything perfectly, from the canals and the alleyways to the Carnival costumes and the food, and it made for a fascinating, luscious read.
Another aspect that made for fascinating reading was the historical aspect. While not historical fiction, The Medici Murders brings up quite a lot of interesting information about 16th century Venice and the Medici clan and all their intrigues.
The Medici Murders is rather slow-paced but it’s the kind of book that gets away with that. It’s as much a character study and an exploration of some very violent history as it is a contemporary murder mystery, and I got so caught up in all the intrigue between the characters and in the Medici murders that my inner Miss Marple completely forgot that there was a culprit to find. And believe me, that doesn’t happen often.
The Medici Murders is as intriguing and mysterious as the city it’s set in and I had a ball. It keeps its cards close to its chest, waiting until the very end to show its hand and there was something extremely satisfying to having the niggle I’d had from the start resolved at the very ending.
The Medici Murders is the first in a Venetian Mystery series that will comprise at least two books, the next one is called The Borgia Portrait and I can’t wait to go back! In the meantime, I would recommend any and all armchair travellers / detectives / history buffs to add The Medici Murders to their TBRs.