Nothing says ”back to school” quite like The Malice of Fortune, a hefty novel about the politics of 16th-century Italy. Luckily, this one reads like a pulpy mystery. Inspired by the real-life assassination of Juan Borgia, an illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI, and a series of serial-killer murders, the story follows Borgia’s mistress Damiata and Niccolò Machiavelli, future author of The Prince, as they investigate these crimes with help from Leonardo da Vinci, who works for the Pope’s surviving son, Valentino. It’s a thrilling whodunit — and a pretty good primer on da Vinci’s ”science of observation” as well as Machiavelli’s ”science of man.” B+
WHODUNIT This mystery, with its string of historical figures, makes 16th-century Italian politics thrilling
Genre: Historical Fiction; Author: Michael Ennis; Publisher: Doubleday
Posted January 17 2015 — 5:04 PM EST
- '12 Monkeys' exec producer: THAT Ramse arc 'planned from the first minute'
- Prince sued in recording battle over 'Voice' singer Judith Hill
- James Bond enters a 'hurricane' in first 'Spectre' teaser
- 'Legend of Zelda' for Wii U delayed
- Kit Harington fights terrorism in 'Spooks: The Greater Good' trailer
- Billie Joe Armstrong musical 'These Paper Bullets!' coming to LA, NYC
- 'It Follows': The story behind the score
- 'Grey's Anatomy': 10 years, 20 defining moments
- 'Batman v. Superman' character portraits: Like the looks?
- 'American Crime Story' cast: Think each actor looks the part?
- Double trouble: Movie/TV characters who fight themselves
- Patricia Field on 5 costume gigs before she got 'Younger'
- Jimmy Fallon, Liv Tyler, Emilia Clarke & More!