The Medici Murders

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Pub Date 04 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2022

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The first in a brand-new mystery series from the acclaimed author ofThe Killing and Devil’s Fjord.

‘Serious history buffs are in for a treat’ –Kirkus Reviews

Venice is a city full of secrets. For hundreds of years it has been the scene of scandal, intrigue and murderous rivalries. And it remains so today.

1548, Lorenzino de Medici, himself a murderer and a man few will miss, is assassinated by two hired killers.

Today, Marmaduke Godolphin, British TV historian and a man even fewer will miss, is stabbed by a stiletto blade on the exact same spot, his body dropping into the canal.

Can the story of the first murder explain the attack on Godolphin? The Carabinieri certainly think so. They recruit retired archivist Arnold Clover to unpick the mystery and to help solve the case. But the conspiracy against Godolphin runs deeper than anyone imagined.

The first in a brand-new mystery series from the acclaimed author ofThe Killing and Devil’s Fjord.

‘Serious history buffs are in for a treat’ –Kirkus Reviews

Venice is a city full of secrets. For...

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ISBN 9781448306565
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Average rating from 26 members

Featured Reviews

You just soak up the atmosphere of Venice like a sponge in this start of a new series. The history of the city brings a mystery in the murder of a member of the De Medici family. The solving of this mystery will draw in a new murder in present time of British TV Historian Marmaduke Godolphin. The local Carabinieri and you the reader will find all the answers you need in the recounting of that night by retired archivist Arnold Glover. For lovers of the history of Venice combined with a mystery with many complicated suspects will leave you very happily engrossed for a few hours. Characters you will wish to revisit in the next story.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Wonderfully Atmospheric…
The first in a new series - A Venetian Mystery- and the reader is transported to the canals of Venice through two timelines as a present day murder and a murder from 1548 draw disturbing parallels. A richly woven murder mystery combines with an equally rich history of Venice and a cast of impeccably drawn characters providing a wholly satisfying and immersive reading experience.

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Thank you NetGalley and Severn House for the eARC.
This is the first book in a new series featuring Venice and Arnold Glover, retired archivist, who moved from England to Venice after his wife passed.
Marmaduke Godolphin, TV historian; vain, cruel and opinionated, is murdered in the same spot Lorenzino de Medici was assassinated in 1548.
Arnold Glover is questioned by Capitano Fabbri, who wants an account of everything that happened up to the murder.
With outstanding descriptions of Venice, fascinating historic truths and non-truths and a great cast of characters this is an absorbing read.
Definitely recommended!

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288 pages

5 stars

I’ve read several of David Hewson’s novels, and I think that this is my favorite so far.

Expat Englishman Arnold Clover recently lost his beloved wife to illness. They had been planning to retire to Venice for quite some time before her death. Arnold is a lifetime archivist and his wife worked at a renowned museum and archive.

Arnold decides to move to Venice anyway; the house is sold. He meets and makes a very good friend in fellow Venetian archivist Luca Volpetti.

When a person they both know is murdered, Arnold is taken to the police station by Capitano Valentina Fabbri. The Capitano wants to know everything Arnold knows about the last days and the subsequent murder of Marmaduke “Duke” Godolphin. Valentina is smart, clever and dead set on learning who murdered Duke Godolphin.

Arnold is “held” in the Capitano’s office for long periods over several he tells his story about Duke Godolphin.

Duke was an arrogant, narcissistic man of about seventy-five years of age. He was a brilliant academic who held his “Gilded Circle” of students in thrall. In his later years, he was caught by the television bug. He signed on to the BBC and hosted archeological and historical-based “lectures” on historical figures. He began not to care about the accuracy of the information he put forth. He was looking for the startling, the bomb dropping to wow people.

His new theory is that Michelangelo was involved in two murders in/around 1548. He hires Arnold and Luca to search through a mountain of documents to find the proof. Duke is negotiating a new contract with a broadcaster in America. He wants the position very badly. Duke has recently received several boxes of documents from a mysterious person named Wolff. It looks like so much garbage until Arnold takes a closer look.

Between Arnold’s story, Valentina’s investigation and the sheer beauty and mystery of Venice has me captivated. The sounds and sights of Venice. The history of this very old city. The food and the atmosphere during Carnivale. It sounds like a dream come true.

There are many twists and periods of high tension in this story. Hold on to your hats for the huge surprise at the end!
This book is the perfect blend of history and a “what if” story. The characters are all interesting and colorful. Mr. Hewson is a fantastic writer who could make mud sound fascinating. I was so taken with this novel that it has taken me several days to decide what I wanted to say in my review. I surely hope that there is another book showcasing Arnold, Luca and Valentina.

I want to thank NetGalley and Severn House for forwarding to me a copy of this absolutely wonderful book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

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This is not just an investigation, this is a collection of characters woven into the most detailed description of walking the streets of Venice and also enjoying some of the cities unique gastronomic delights! I will say this will not be appreciated by those looking for a quick fast paced adventure, but if you are patient enough a most intriguing result.

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A very enjoyable murder mystery told through the eyes of our narrator. I loved this book, I've never been to Venice and as well as being entertained I felt I learned a lot (Google definitely came in handy to look up various works of art refenced!)

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The story: a bombastic, aging TV historian named Marmaduke Godolfin gathers together members of his "gilded circle" from his university teaching days to launch a new history special with an explosive revelation about a historical figure. However, he doesn't quite have the proof of it yet and enlists two archivists to sift through a trove of documents looking for it. Godolfin has made many enemies over the years and trampled over the careers and personal lives of many for his personal gain. Before long, he is floating in a rio (river) with a stiletto blade in his chest. Archivist Arnold Clover and his friend Luca assist the carabinieri in solving the murder while pursuing Godolfin's historical mystery and enjoying La Bella Vita in the murky streets of Venice.

The setting: Venice in all its glory. Not the Venice of gawping tourists but the Venetian version of unknown campos and secret restaurants, the peaceful lagoon and streets sprinkled with snow.

The verdict: I LOVED IT! The characters are engaging and believable, the history, real and imagined, is fascinating and the story moves along at a good pace. The setting is an integral part of the plot and I really appreciate that it isn't just a sideshow, but rather the story couldn't have taken place anywhere else. I certainly hope there will be a sequel! So much thanks to NetGalley and Severn House for introducing me to this great novel.

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Readers who enjoy both history and mystery should have a great time with David Hewson’s MEDICI MURDERS, WHERE Renaissance murder spawns contemporary skulduggery. A pompous TV historian has been murdered in Venice and there is no shortage of suspects to be sifted through amongst his contentious circle of hangers-on and bickering scholars. The wonderfully realized Venetian setting, intriguing historical background , and an effectively twisty plot make this a title not to be missed.

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I've come to know David Hewson as an author who seamlessly weaves historical facts with an interesting amount of fiction. The Medici Murders is no exception.
The body of a well-known television personality is found dead in Venice, and retired archivist Arnold Clover has to spend a long, long day in the company of the local Carabinieri because it seems he's the only person with a clear view on what (could have) happened.
At times, the writing is a bit tedious because there is so much history involved, but there is enough action to stay focused. It took me longer than I thought to finish because I wanted to read more about the background of the story so I spent a lot of time on Wikipedia and other sites to read up to better understand what happened.
I enjoyed it a lot, especially because I didn't see the twist at the end coming!

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Arnold Clover spent his working life researching historical documents. Married to Eleanor an archivist. Working in Kew, living in Wimbledon. When they are about to retire, they sell their London house and move to a one bed apartment in Venice. Plenty of history to research. Unfortunately Eleanor died suddenly and Arnold finds himself alone in Venice.
When Arnold was at Cambridge University there were well to do students known as the Gilded Circle. Headed by tutor Marmaduke Godolphin, his wife Felicity, students Caroline, Bernard and George ( who goes into Publishing ).
Today it is now sir Marmaduke and he has had a sparkling TV career. He is a bully, a braggat and a womaniser. He brings his Gilded Circle to Venice, along with a young American woman who works for an American TV station. Godolphin says he has evidence of a surprising famous person involved in the murder of one of the Florence Medici clan from the 16th century.
Arnold and his friend Luca have been commissioned by sir Marmaduke to sift through historical documents from a benefactor called Wolff to prove his claim.
When Godolphin is found murdered in one of the canals, Arnold finds himself ordered by Valentina Fabbri, the female police chief, to help unmask the killer. As it's Carnival time in Venice this is appropriate.!
A very well researched and informative book. Well written and keeps your interest throughout. Captures the mystery, the changing weather of a cold winter in Venice. It's awhile since I last read anything by this author, but I've definitely been missing out. Recommended.

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Can an archivist solve a murder? That's the question for Arnold Clover, newly living in Venice when the obnoxious Marmaduke Gandolfin is killed. Arnold, who recently lost his wife, walks the Venetian police, who wants answers asap, through Gandolfin's theories about the Medicis and Michaelangelo. There's good atmospherics and meticulously researched history here (although it somewhat overwhelms the mystery). Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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All Arnold wants is to enjoy his retirement in Venice but the Capitano has different ideas as she needs your help to solve a murder. Valentina Fabbri is a hard woman to please and she needs him to help her understand who wanted Marmaduke Godoplhin dead. He needs to start at the beginning of the strange events that have taken place.
Arnold and a fellow archivist Luca have been hired by Duke Godolphin to solve the mystery of the Medici murders as he has found paperwork that we help them. Arnold wonders if the Gilded Circle with follow the Duke to Venice? He knows the members and he is certain that all played a part in what is about to happen.
What him & Luca find proves to be useless as someone conned the Duke into believing all their clues and now it doesn't matter as someone took matters into their own hands.
Will Arnold & Valentina be able to find the killer as they have a few to question about what really happened. They find a few surprises and the truth shocks them all.
Where will this leave Arnold now?
A great read full of twists & turns. Arnold had a huge weight to carry after Eleanor's death and what promise she asked him to carry out.
Thank you Netgalley & the publisher for the ARC copy. This is my voluntary review. Always enjoy David's books.

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Medici Murders, The Venetian Murders #1 by David Hewson from NetGalley and Severn House in order to read and give an honest review.

” … Hewson’s writing is brilliant, his descriptions of Venice are rich and atmospheric, his prose beautiful, his cast of characters authentic, it has an intelligent complex plot that seamlessly blends historical fiction and fact …”

Recently widowed and retired archivist Arnold Clover keeps his recently deceased wife’s wishes to move to Venice. When his friend Luca entices him to assist with a freelance job for famed television historian Marmaduke Godolphin (Duke) his leisurely retirement becomes more than he bargained for. Arnold remembers Godolphin who once a renowned academic of his alma mater traded his ethics for the spotlight. Brash and Duke and his entourage, also known as the Gilded Circle from back in the day descend on Venice to solve of a historical mystery that Duke hopes will reinvigorate his fledging career. A mysterious benefactor has bequeathed documents that contain the secret, but nothing is as it seems. The Gilded circle consists of some of Arnold’s former classmates making it a reunion of sorts.
When the body of Godolphin is found floating in a Venice canal, the retired archivist is asked to assist the Carabinieri to offer a concise view of what happened. At the police station Capitano Valentina Fabbri questions Arnold for hours using his version as the truth to measure against the multiple suspects. The story unfolds as Arnold tells his version of events to Capitano Fabbri.

This book is somewhat difficult to review, there was so much to love about this book. Hewson’s writing is brilliant, his descriptions of Venice are rich and atmospheric, his prose beautiful, his cast of characters authentic, it has an intelligent complex plot that seamlessly blends historical fiction and fact. My one complaint is that it was marred by almost too much historical detail that could have been toned down a bit. You can tell the author is passionate about history and the book is thoroughly researched but it I almost abandoned it in the beginning as it moved too slowly for me, but I am glad I did not it turned out to be an intriguing mystery with a twist at the end that makes it worth the read. I will definitely read any further books in the series, and I recommend it to lovers of classic whodunits with a historical bend.

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A treat!

A twisted tale of murder, at once engaging and satisfying. Arnold Clover, a retired archivist has retreated to Venice to live out his retirement surrounded by the places he and his wife loved. Except his wife died just as they were about to embark on a new order of life. Still Arnold came, and is now ensconced in Venice.
Captaino Valentina Fabbri of the Venetian Carbonierri has a corpse on her hands, not just any corpse but an English lord, or rather knight, Sir Marmaduke.
Arnold had been offered a contract position, along with his friend Luca Volpetti, by the aging historian eager to startle the world with a theory about the assassination of Lorenzo de’Medici and the involvement of Michaelengelo for a populous history program.
The historian is Marmaduke Godolphin, a man he’d known in his early days at Cambridge. A man surrounded by those referred to as the Guilded Circle, who joined Godolphin as more like a family, though in reality anachronistic and rebellious satellites. A man who has been most foully murdered.
As Arnold and Valentina retrace the footsteps and mindset of those in Venice with Godolphin the antics of the Guilded Circle come under scrutiny. Who has the most to gain? Tantalising clues of jealousy, greed and vengeance are looked at.
I drooled over the food, was envious of Arnold’s acquaintance on a daily basis with all Venice has to offer, and wanted to join him quietly living the dream!
An exciting new series by Hewson that I’m already hooked on.

A Severn House ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.

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A superb read that I thoroughly enjoyed. The blend of history and mystery makes this an absolute winner for me. Richly atmospheric with enough detail to keep you intrigued but not so much that you get a sense of information dumping. Good pace of novel and hugely enjoyable to read.

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I would like to thank Netgalley and Severn House Publishers for an advance copy of The Medici Murders, the first novel set in Venice to feature retired archivist Arnold Clover.

Famed TV historian Marmaduke Godolphin is in Venice to uncover new information and reveal a controversial theory about the murder of Lorenzo de Medici in 1548. He doesn’t get that far when he is murdered in the same area as de Medici. Are they linked in some way? The Carabinieri as Arnold Clover to help them sort through the nuances.

I enjoyed The Medici Murders, which is as much a stroll through Venice and its history as it is a murder investigation. I like the format which switches from the present to the past few days before Duke’s death and reaches further back to the 16th century to provide context. It starts with Arnold meeting Capitano Valentina Fabbri and her asking him to relate the events of the past few days as Arnold was working for Duke. He builds a picture of a bullying, driven Duke and his coterie of “friends” and family, the same people he taught at university four decades ago and whom Arnold knows from then. He paints a picture of hatred and resentment in the group and peppers his story with the murder of Lorenzo de Medici and the politics surrounding it.

I was interested in the group dynamic surrounding Duke, but got a little lost in all the history. In fact, I feel that the history smothers the murder investigation at some points in the novel and that’s a shame as they are so dysfunctional I would have liked to see a bit more of it or have it explored in a bit more depth. As it stands the suspects are rather one dimensional, defined by their relationship with Duke.

The ending is the best part of the novel with the author adding twist after twist. Just when the reader thinks it’s all resolved he throws in another curveball. It’s clever and well done.

The Medici Murders is a good read that I can recommend.

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‘Remember, always, that in Italian story means both ‘history’ and ‘story’. The gap between truth and fable is slender, sometimes barely visible at all.’

I enjoy David Hewson’s writing, the clarity and precision of his prose, well-constructed plots, and the meticulous research such that his are steeped in local colour, you can hear and smell Hewson’s Italy. In THE MEDICI MURDERS Hewson returns to Venice, the setting of LIZARD’S BITE, one of his Nic Costa mysteries, and his standalone, THE SHOOTER IN THE SHADOWS. His new novel is unlike either of those books, but just as readable.

THE MEDICI MURDERS is narrated by Arnold Clover, a retired archivist who had planned to retire to Venice with his late wife but now lives there alone. Clover is unexpectedly recruited by Carabinieri Inspector, Valentina Fabbri who claims that Arnold can help her solve the murder of famed British TV Historian, Marmaduke Godolphin, ‘The Duke’ having employed Clover as a researcher for a proposed documentary series planned to reveal the ‘shocking’ truth about the 16th Century murders of two members of the Medici family. As Arnold recounts the events leading up to the discovery of Godolphin’s body in a Venice canal, we are introduced to the members of The Gilded Circle, former students of The Duke, a university group the younger Clover envied, wishing he was a member. We also meet Godolphin’s wife and son, and various characters, whose livelihoods, in publishing and television, are intertwined with Godolphin’s.

Hewson has great fun with the history, both real and speculative, and mocking Godolphin, in whom we can see many TV historians who rarely let facts overpower salacious conjecture. The mystery is intriguing, full of red herrings and with a full cast of suspects and a satisfying conclusion. It is perhaps a little less realistic, not as gritty as the Costa novels, but no less entertaining for that. But the novel’s greatest strength is its evocation of Venice, the sights and sounds and smells. It really made me want to return to this unique city.

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An enjoyable murder mystery in the city of Venice. The story transported me to the streets of Venice, its history and culture. The plot is intriguing with twists that kept me engaged to a satisfying and solid ending.

ARC was provided by NetGalley and Severn House in exchange for an honest review.

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The research for this novel has to have been fun! Hewson immerses us in 21st century Venice as his detective investigates a contemporary death with links back to a murder in the mid 1500's. The death of Lorenzino de' Medici is planned as the subject of a documentary television program, and the flamboyant t.v. host believes he has uncovered shocking evidence linking Michelangelo to the murder. The historical investigation by a pair of archivists runs in parallel with the contemporary criminal investigation, with surprising results.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This is one of the most intriguing and gripping mystery I read this year. A fascinating mix of historical fact and fiction, a cast of characters including a villain/victim I would have throttle myself.
I was fascinated by the research as the author did a lot of reaserch in Venice about places/history/museums and the nearly forgotten stories about Alessandro il Moro and Lorenzaccio.
It would be easy to compare this mystery to Donna De Leon but I think that the only common element is Venice, each author delivers a story set in Venice but with a different way of looking at the town and its ihnabitants.
The cast of characters is intriguing, they share a common past but also a lot of hate and traumas.
Arnold is a great, well rounded, and relatable character, I like him and I want to read more about him.
It was a gripping, compelling, and entertaining read and I can't wait to read the next book in this series.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine

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