From Publishers Weekly
Duncan (Children of Chaos
) mingles arch fantasy and a whodunit plot in this alternate vision of old Venice, the launch of a new series featuring alchemist and astrologer Maestro Nostradamus and his nobly born apprentice, Alfeo Zeno, who narrates with panache. Nostradamus foresees the murder of Procurator Bertucci Orseolo, who's poisoned right beneath his nose during a dinner party. When suspicion falls on Nostradamus, Alfeo must solve the mystery—with a bit of help from his adored chameleon-like courtesan, Violetta—to prove his master's innocence. Nostradamus and Alfeo's adventures provide more amusement than chills in this charming farce, which comments lightly on class prejudice, political chicanery and occult tomfoolery. (Mar.)
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Duncan's new series opens with a clever mystery set in a fantastic alternate Venice. Legendary clairvoyant, physician, astrologer, and physician Nostradamus is at a gathering of noblemen when one is poisoned. Rumor accuses him because he had predicted that the day would be inauspicious. Instead of fleeing, he charges young apprentice Alfeo Zeno with finding the killer. As much comedy of manners as mystery, and with Alfeo a skillfully drawn, self-centered but clever adolescent in a perfect setting for intrigue, bravado, and a touch of tragedy, this should appeal to fantasy, adventure, and mystery fans alike. Roland GreenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved