Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Set yourself a place at The Secret Supper

Javier Sierra's The Secret Supper takes place in the Italy of 1497,where the mysterious death of a noblewoman by poison leads a top inquisitor,Father Agostino Leyre to Milan in search of a conspiracy that may involve Leonardo Da Vinci's current work-in-progress,the Last Supper. Father Agostino is also in search of a man known only as The SoothSayer,a supposed defender of the faith who takes violent means to stop those who seek out an earlier painting of DaVinci's that also holds clues to the hidden message encoded in the Last Supper painting.

At first,this may seem like Davinci Code Redux but even if I had read DVC(which I didn't),I do believe that I would still enjoy this book for it's own merits. For one,the narrative voice(mainly that of Father Agostino)of the story has a lively yet serious tone as events unfold and puzzle pieces fall into place(there is more than one riddle for the characters and the reader to solve)and Father Agostino is not the cold,pious figure that you would expect-rather,he's in the mold of such detectives as John Dunning's Cliff Janeway or Nelson Demille's John Corey-educated,amiable,firm in his convictions yet open minded as to the possibilites set before him and around him.

Several of the characters in Secret Supper are actual historial figures(there's a full list at the end of the book along with some author's notes)and many who read this novel will no doubt debate the historical accurancy of it but keep in mind that this is clearly marked as fiction(none of that James Frey business here). Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose will also be mentioned in comparison with the Secret Supper but if you couldn't finish the Eco book,don't worry;Secret Supper(well translated by Alberto Manguel)is much easier to get into and will give you a thought provoking thrill ride that holds you unto the very end.

Secret Supper is due out in March,so keep your eyes open at your local bookstore. You can visit the official website for TSS by clicking the title link above. I hope that Secret Supper does well and will give such authors as Javier Sierra a wider audience. It's been awhile since I've read a good mystery and now,thanks to this book,I'm eager for more.

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