Malice of Fortune
By Michael Ennis
Doubleday, 2012. 396 pgs. Mystery
A beautiful Vatican courtesan is sent by Pope Alexander to the remote city of Imola to uncover the conspiracy he believes is behind the death of his favorite son, Juan. Damiata has several driving motives for aiding the pope. First, Pope Alexander is holding her son hostage. Second, the murdered Juan is her child’s father. Though she has many of the skills necessary to navigate the politics and intrigues surrounding the murder, she will also require the aid of new friends, Niccolo Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci.
Malice of Fortune contains a nice balance of mystery, history, and romance. The events fictionalized in the novel are based on some historical facts and Ennis has an interesting way of incorporating Machiavelli’s theories. A great read-alike for The Da Vinci Code or Robert Harris’s Pompeii.