A Historical Mystery Conspiracy in Bologna

If you are in the mood for a light historical mystery, Conspiracy in Bologna may be the book for you.

In Renaissance Florence, a young orphan wakes in the night to scary sounds. He climbs from bed to uncover a frightening conspiracy. A volunteer who works at the orphanage worries about the mysterious disappearance of healthy boys. She badgers her brother, Nico, into investigating.

Cover of a historical mystery, Conspiracy in Bologna

In Renaissance Florence, a young orphan wakes in the night to scary sounds and uncovers a frightening conspiracy. A volunteer who works at the orphanage is worried about the mysterious disappearance of healthy boys. She badgers her brother, Nico, into investigating.

Ken Tentarelli’s Conspiracy in Bologna is the fourth in his series featuring Nico, the young lawyer working for the Florentine Security Commission in the 1460s. Nonetheless, it reads well as a standalone, always an excellent feature in a series book.

Read this complicated, action-packed, suspenseful mystery. It starts in Florence and moves to Bologna. The main characters travel through the countryside and encounter threatening mercenaries. They argue with city officials, and comfort peasants. There are healthy doses of legal complications that allow us to learn something of the Renaissance legal landscape. Each city state had its own laws about everything, it seems. Yet this adds to the suspense rather than bogging down the story. The author’s descriptions of the cities and customs of the times add to the atmosphere. Still, he focuses on the mystery and avoids overloading the story with historical detail.

Action and Adventure

There are several story lines, many secondary characters, and a touch of love interest. The book would benefit from streamlining, but the extra adventures entertain. The central plot weaves its way throughout the story. Its unexpected plot twists keep the reader curious to discover what will happen next.

My biggest disappointment with the novel lay in its use of language. For me, it read too much like a modern detective novel. I wanted the characters to sound as if they lived in the fifteenth century. But for those who don’t share my tastes, the mystery will satisfy and the details about Italian law fascinate.

In sum, this historical mystery, Conspiracy in Bologna, is light and easy-to-read. It will delight those who want an Italian setting and an intriguing plot.

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