Book Review: The Sign of the Weeping Virgin

February 22, 2013 Book Review 10


Romance and intrigue abound in The Sign of the Weeping Virgin an evocative historical mystery that brings the Italian Renaissance gloriously to life.

In 1480 Florentine investigator Guid Antonio Vespucci and his nephew Amerigo are tangled in events that threaten to destroy them and their beloved city.

Marauding Turks abduct a beautiful young Florentine girl and sell her into slavery. And then a holy painting begins weeping in Guid Antonio s church. Are the tears manmade or a sign of God s displeasure with Guid Antonio himself?

In a finely wrought story for lovers of medieval and renaissance mysteries everywhere Guid Antonio follows a spellbinding trail of clues to uncover the thought-provoking truth about the missing girl and the weeping painting’s mystifying and miraculous tears all pursued as he comes face to face with his own personal demons.

Published: January 9, 2013 | 384 pages |Five Star Publishing

An Italian mystery steeped in thorough research of history, The Sign of the Weeping Virgin takes us into the inner-workings of Florence during 1480 ~ a time of art, love and intrigue…..a time when the Medici family was the most powerful in the city.

I’ve always been fascinated by Italy ~ the people, the history and the beauty, so reading this novel so thoroughly researched and developed was a pleasure.  White has done a fine job of incorporating historical fact throughout the novel – including that of the protagonist being a real-to-life historical figure ~ Guid’ Antonio – lawyer and ambassador, friend to Lorenzo Medici.

The first few pages throw us into the political arena of Florence with the murder of Guiliano Medici Easter morning in front of hundreds during Mass.  From there we are introduced to a host of characters that can get overwhelming ~ especially with all the Italian names! I almost needed a word map identifying the characters but after getting more into the story it was easier to keep everyone straight.  Antonio is the flawed hero – dealing with a possibly unfaithful wife, challenging job and fatherhood.  Thrust into solving the kidnapping of a young girl and the “sign of the weeping virgin” while saving Florence from imploding in on herself, Antonio rises to the challenge.

Probably the real hero of the story is the rich setting Alana White introduces us to throughout Florence.  from the smells of “a bun sprinkled with cinnamon and oozing pure golden honey,” to the “forecourt scented with rosemary and basil and pots of prickly yellow roses” the setting is so descriptive and incorporates all of your senses. A delight to read.  I would recommend The Sign of the Weeping Virgin to anyone interested in Italian history, intrigue and historical fiction.

Many thanks to the publisher and Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Tours for the complimentary review copy!

To read what other bloggers are saying about The Sign of the Weeping Virgin; please follow along the tour below:

Monday, February 11
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Interview & Giveaway at Enchanted by Josephine

Tuesday, February 12
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, February 13
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Guest Post & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Friday, February 15
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Monday, February 18
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Feature & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 19
Review at A Bookish Libraria
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, February 20
Review & Giveaway at Ageless Pages Reviews

Friday, February 22
Review & Giveaway at The Book Garden

10 Responses to “Book Review: The Sign of the Weeping Virgin”

    • Stacy

      I’ve always been so fascinated by the Medici’s and snippets of Boticelli and Michaelangelo were woven into the novel ~ very very cool!

    • Stacy

      you are most welcome ~ thank YOU for such a unique historical fiction novel! a true pleasure to read!

  1. susanbright

    I always enjoy a good historical fiction and the mystery aspect makes it even more intriguing. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention!

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