This book could have had so much going for it. History, a glamorous location - Venice, Venetian Courtesans, political intrigue, but oh dear what a disappointment. It was poorly, sloppily,written, with stereotypical characters, cliche ridden and evil baddies. One almost expected Monty Python to appear with " no one expects the Spanish ( whoops Venetian!) Inquisition"!
When books like this are published it makes one despair. It is written by an American author, clearly for an undiscerning American market. At one point the modern history graduate heroine, turns to her history(!) student travelling companion, on landing in Italy, (the student had not heard of the 2nd World War - one wonders do they have an education system?), and instructs her that without the Americans, Europeans would all be speaking German! It is this crass, lack of respect that typifies this novel. If I had been in a gondola the book would have been confined to the watery depths!