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The Botticelli Secret [Paperback]

Marina Fiorato
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

25 Oct 2012

The third unforgettable historical love story set in Italy from Marina Fiorato, author of the bestseller THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO. For fans of Philippa Gregory, Sarah Dunant and Alison Weir.

Florence looks like gold and smells like sulphur . . .In the colourful world of fifteenth-century Italy, Luciana Vetra is young and beautiful, a part-time model and full-time whore. When she is asked to pose as the goddess Flora for Sandro Botticelli's painting La Primavera, she is willing to oblige - until the artist abruptly sends her away without payment. Affronted, she steals an unfinished version of the painting - only to find that someone is ready to kill her to get it back.

As friends and associates are murdered around her, Luciana turns to the one man who has never tried to exploit her beauty, Brother Guido della Torre, a novice at the monastery of Santa Croce. Fleeing Florence together, Luciana and Guido race through the nine great cities of Renaissance Italy, desperately trying to decode the painting's secrets before their enemies stop them.

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The Botticelli Secret + The Venetian Contract + Daughter of Siena
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (25 Oct 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1848547986
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848547988
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 13 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 247,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Praise for Marina Fiorato:

'A great read'


'Captures the scents, passion and vigour of Italy' (Books Quarterly)

'Fiorato creates her own masterpiece' (Booklist)

'Mesmerising' (Waterstones Books Quarterly)

'Recommended' (Good Book Guide)

'A sizzling . . . read, and a must to pack in the suitcase' (Italian Magazine)

'The enchanting tale . . . is rich with passion, mystery and intrigue' (Booktime)

Book Description

The third unforgettable historical love story set in Italy from Marina Fiorato, author of the bestsekker THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO. For fans of Philippa Gregory, Sarah Dunant and Alison Weir.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A whore, a monk and a stolen painting... 27 Jun 2010
By Read Me
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sounds like the start of a bad joke, however this is instead a clever and indepth book. Luciana is the beautiful young whore of Milan who is asked to pose for Botticelli as Flora, offending the artist without truly realising why she steals an unfinished cartone of the Primavera. When she finds her housemate murdered and realises that she was the target she takes action by going to Santa Croce in the hopes of finding sanctuary. Instead she finds Brother Guido a young novice monk who she has unwittingly implicated in the theft, suddenly they are both on the run, an incongruous pairing who merely want to find safety again. This is until they take a closer look at Botticelli's planned masterpiece and try to reveal the secrets that are hidden within. Their quest takes them across Italy and involves them in the political machinations of the Medici family.

Fiorato tries to do for Botticelli what Dan Brown did for Da Vinci and it kind of works. For me the book is at its best when it is focused on the characters of Luciana and Guido, both flawed and judgemental but bound by a belief that they need to do the right thing and prevent political conspiracies taking over their country. While Guido is the noble, well educated and pious monk Luciana is the gutteral and foul mouthed young trollop. It is a pairing which works well as during their quest they obviously begin to appreciate each other more and both reveal that they have their own useful types of knowledge.

This is an interesting novel and the only reasons why I don't give it 5 stars is because there are some coincidences which are just too implausible and the level of detail that Fiorato goes into with the painting can leave you slightly dazed.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic storytelling... 17 Jun 2010
By Natalie
This book is absolutely entertaining from start to finish.
The heroine, Luciana, is a truly captivating character whom you instantly love. Her salty attitude makes her immediately authentic. A fantastic blend of irreverent humor and endless curiosity, Luciana is a perfect guide to this dangerous and fascinating world of fifteenth-century Italy.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read 18 Jun 2010
By A. Non
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato - I was engrossed by the storyline and couldn't put it down - you know it's good when you wish your morning rush hour tube journey was longer just to keep reading!! It was an easy read and I really liked the two central characters, Brother Guido and Luciana. I love the combination of history and fiction so this is exactly the book for me! And Marina's previous two books are excellent too. This book is highly recommended reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Botticelli Secret 13 Nov 2010
I found that I had to get past the first few pages in order to
get into the book. This was because it was so culturally different
from the first 2 books by Marina Fiorato.The language of the heroine
was totally different; from the streets.
Once I did so,I found it as absorbing as the others so it was worth
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars (3.5 stars) A map of murder..... 30 Jan 2010
By Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Or is it something else altogether? The basis of the novel and the mystery is Boticelli's famous painting Primavera. Asked to sit as "Flora" prostitute Luciana Vetra unknowingly says something that sends the artist into a fit of anger, and sent off without pay she decides to steal a smaller version of the painting (the artist would use this to *map out* his larger painting), but it doesn't take long before people are dropping dead left and right around her. Luciana eventually hooks up with a very good looking monk who goes by Brother Guido (who of course has not taken final vows yet) and the game is on to solve the pieces of the puzzle in the Primavera and stop "The Seven" before.......

Well, you know I can't tell you that don't you? This was a lot of fun and I enjoyed watching Luciana and Guido unraveling the clues that abound in every portion of this painting, as well as their own secret pasts (both are doozies). The story takes the pair from Florence to Pisa, Rome, Venice, Milan, Naples, near death on the high seas, a massive earthquake and even a spooky castle in the high mountains with a secret underground as they are chased by the ever-so-creepy leper with a talent for murder.

While I did enjoy the pairing of Luciana and Guido, I really would have liked to see less banter and more sexual chemistry between the two - this book is definitely heavy on the mystery and light on the romance. I also didn't care for the way Luciana was written, prostitute or no her language was extremely course and filled with potty words and I didn't warm to her as much as I should have. I also found her a tad bit too modern - using phrases like "get a move on" that just felt out of place - and for those reasons I'm knocking this one down a half star to 3.5/5.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another page turner... 23 Jun 2010
I think this book is really clever. It's all based in the Botticelli painting - the whole story is in the detail of that piece of art. At first I thought I was bound to figure it all out long before the end, but not a chance... so it was a real page turner to get the next mystery and clue revealed. I thought the characters were great - especially the brazen heroine - a little foul mouthed, a little shocking, but it made it all the better read for that. It's tense, there's drama, emotion, intellect, suspense. Great read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Dan Brown for romantics
Set in the C15th, the cast of recognisable characters include Lorenzo di Medici, Christopher Columbus and Botticelli,. Read more
Published 16 days ago by MG
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!!
Brilliant read. Couldn't put it down, would recommend it to anyone. The characters were plausible and very likeable, the historical content was also very good.
Published 3 months ago by allie johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
I absolutely loved this historical novel It reminded me of the Dan Brown books
It included history romance and geogra[hy and would like to read another of her books
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. S. A. Challis
4.0 out of 5 stars A secret plan to unify the northern cities of Italy
Fascinating story woven around the famous painting Primavera by Botticelli, which is interpreted as an allegory representing a concerted action by the independent states.
Published 4 months ago by peekay
1.0 out of 5 stars Rather too explicit
Call me a prude, but I hate this kind of gratuitous sex. Didn't read much of it and deleted it.
Published 6 months ago by Flamenca
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Held my interest throughout. Well constructed with plenty of unexpected twists. Far fetched but that made it all the more enjoyable.
Published 6 months ago by Tricia 2
1.0 out of 5 stars not for me
Plenty of atmosphere but too much modern bad language which did not fit the feel of the novel.
Finished it though.
Published 6 months ago by Stella
4.0 out of 5 stars Benissimo...
I really liked this book. Set in Italy but written by a clearly English girl (in terms of mindset, way of speaking etc) and her inner thoughts are hilarious to read! Read more
Published 6 months ago by SB
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction
This is the first book I have read from this author but it will not be the last. There are plenty of twists in the story line to keep the readers interest.
Published 6 months ago by Ellie almond
5.0 out of 5 stars Have a print of the picture to hand!
Clever, clever plot.
The redemption of the heroine is not quite believable, but the Italian Renaissance political chicanery is brilliant.
Published 6 months ago by Picky
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