Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Bolt from the Dead, Diane A.S. Stuckart, 2010,Penguin Group

It is spring 1484 in the Duchy of Milan and Leonardo da Vinci is court engineer to the Duke of Milan. The Duke asks da Vinci to invent a flying machine and Leonardo hires Angelo della Fazia, a master craftsman to help him.

Delfina della Fazia is a star apprentice to da Vinci and uses the name Dino to help disguise her sex. After Dino's father Angelo arrives, a fellow apprentice Constantin is murdered and now Leonardo's project is at risk as well as the threat of more murders and war.

Written about Renaissance Italy, Stuckart exposes the reader to the life, customs and the social system of that time while weaving her tale.

'A Bolt from the Blue' is a different take on a mystery mainly because of the characters. But I had a difficult time associating with either Dino or Leonardo because they weren't convincing enough for me.

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