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 September 7 2012 — 12:00 AM EDT
- Radiohead release new teaser
- Robert Downey Jr. gives Jimmy Fallon acting lessons
- Kristen Bell & Mila Kunis play 'Never Have We Ever' with husbands
- Shondaland Revealed on heartbreaking Calzona-centric 'Grey's Anatomy'
- 'Project Runway All Stars' season 5 winner feels 'validated'
- Justin Timberlake's new song 'Can't Stop the Feeling' is here
- The new Han Solo is …