My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the sixth, and the best I have read yet, of David Hewson’s series featuring Rome Detective, Nic Costa. The Garden of Evil features all the characters I have come to enjoy in the previous books, all of them more mature and in different circumstances. Life seems to happen to Hewson’s characters both in these books and between them.
This story takes place in Rome and involves a previously undiscovered painting by Caravaggio and an unsavory secret society whose activities include violence and murder, developed around said painting. Hewson, as usual, delivers a complex plot with a sense of place so compelling that one can almost smell the flowers in the Campo di Fiore. There is an ancient Palazzo, the last remaining member of a powerful noble family, and political and religious intrigue such as we have come to expect wherever Nic Costa and his friends happen to be. The story has more twists and turns than a maze, but the plot, for all that is never hard to follow. I might mention that Hewson is past master of the art of ending chapters with a cliff hanger. Don’t start one of his books at bedtime unless you want to stay awake half the night.
This is my favorite thus far of the Nic Costa series. I strongly recommend that the series be read in the order written. I stumbled on them by accident and have been trying ever since to get the family histories of all the characters straight. There are nine books available now and I sincerely hope Mr. Hewson is working on his tenth. I could not recommend a book in this genre more highly. For me it is right up there with Donna Leon’s wonderful series featuring Venetian Detective, Guido Brunetti. Both authors write for a sophisticated and literate audience.
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Following are my published novels. Go to my Goodreads page, to find more info and reviews.
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• The Memory of Roses ~ The story of a secret and how it impacts two generations of the McQuaid family. It unfolds on the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu and is a tale complete with beautiful and passionate women, handsome and fiery men, and an intriguing mystery.
• Delighting In Your Company ~ Delighting In Your Company is a paranormal romance set on an exotic Caribbean island, featuring a handsome ghost and an adventurous heroine who travels back in time to solve a mystery!
"Delighting In Your Company is a unique paranormal romance that brings together island folklore, history, and mystery with an unlikely romance between the past and present that had me going through a torrent of emotions and made it impossible to put down." -- The Romance Reviews
• Sonata ~ Sayuri McAllister has just arrived home to Vancouver to find some shocking situations:
~ A robbery has taken place at her family home, and it is being investigated by her old flame;
~ Alyssa James who she barely knows, is about to become her new stepmother;
~ and Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, is a charming Irishman who is intent on bedding and wedding the rich and beautiful Sayuri.
It’s a confusing and difficult time for Sayuri, especially when dangerous accidents happen to her father and herself – or are they accidents?
• Abigails Christmas (short story) ~ An enchanting tale of love and romance, with a magical touch of fantasy.
Abigail's Christmas is a holiday story about Abigail who goes looking for a tree on Christmas Eve, and ends up with the man of her dreams in a sleigh in the Rockies --- with a wedding in the offing! Is it real? Is she dreaming? Or is it just Christmas magic?