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The Botticelli Secret


Luciana is a prostitute in Florence in 1482. She meets a handsome monk, Brother Guido, who tries to convert her from her sinful profession. Luciana poses for Florintine artist, Botticelli, as "Flora" in his painting the Primavera. She makes a comment that angers Botticelli, and he sends her away unpaid. Before leaving, she steals his small copy of the painting, and immediately people are murdered around her. She, along with her friend, Brother Guido, begin running for their lives on a journey through Italy. Clues are revealed in the painting that help them unravel a complicated and mysterious conspiracy.


This book has everything: great characters like the lovable and foul mouthed Luciana, and cultured, intelligent Brother Guido. You will travel with them from Florence to Pisa, Naples, Rome, Venice, Bolzano, Milan and Genoa. You will meet religious and political leaders from history, with unexpected twists and turns along the way. This book is more than just good historical fiction. There is art history, a pope, the Medici family and several other complicated family relationships. Luciana is a riot. You also get a love story and mystery all rolled into one book. The frosting on the cake is a trip through 15th century Italy. Brava to author, Marina Fiorato!

Hope you will enjoy it!

Comments (4)

I'm sold! Too bad it's not in Italian... or is it?

I finished reading this book a few weeks ago. Luciana is a colorful main character, no? I found Fiorato's descriptions of the Italian towns you mentioned vivid and creative in her painting a visual image of Pisa. It was a fun read. I haven't read the Glassblower of Murano, have you? That has been added to my list as I enjoyed her literary style. Thanks for the post!

I also read the Glassblower of Murano, and enjoyed it, but it was much more predictable, and the writing is better in Botticelli.

Shelagh (SJ):

I just read this book last week; and loved it!
It is laugh-out-loud funny sometimes, at the
comments by Luciana.
I also really liked "The Glassblower....etc."
I hope the author is busy writing her next book now!

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