The Alchemist's Pursuit

The Alchemist's Pursuit

Dave Duncan

Book 3.0 of Venice Trilogy

Language: English

Publisher: Ace

Published: Feb 11, 2009

Words: 90217
Pages: 335


Hampered by arthritis, Nostradamus is in no mood for granting favors or running about looking for trouble. But when his apprentice Alfeo's mistress asks him to investigate the murder of her beloved courtesan mentor-and promises a fortune in payment-he comes around. It appears that someone is murdering the courtesans of Venice. All were well-known, admired for their skills-and somehow connected by a sinister event involving one of the great families of the city. While Nostradamus attempts to use the dark arts to solve riddles which confound explanation, Alfeo finds himself led by a possibly demonic force through a maze of deceit and death. And when the master and apprentice come to the end of their intertwined paths, there may be hell to pay. ** ### From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. Duncan's outstanding third Venetian fantasy mystery (after 2008's *The Alchemist's Code*) sends Alfeo Zeno, loyal apprentice to Nostradamus, in search of a killer who targets Venice's prostitutes. After three women are strangled, Donna Violetta Vitale, a courtesan and fond friend of Alfeo, begs Nostradamus to foresee and stop the next death. When the fourth victim is stabbed, Alfeo narrowly escapes the unseen murderer, thanks to the intervention of a magical cat. The prime suspect is lecherous nobleman Zorzi Honeycat Michiel, exiled years earlier for patricide, so his haughty mother, Donna Alina Orio Michiel, retains Alfeo to prove her son's innocence. Alfeo and Nostradamus must rely on more than clairvoyance to save Violetta and unmask the culprit. Duncan neatly blends a vision of magical Venice with an engrossing whodunit. *(Mar.)* Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. ### From Booklist The conclusion of the trilogy begun in The Serpent and the Rose (2007) opens with both protagonists in great danger. Averil is queen of Lys, much of which was destroyed in the battle that brought down her uncle, whose most powerful allies survive, some in Averil’s train. Geraint, a mage of growing powers, is also in her train but doesn’t know what can defeat the growing power of the Serpent. Averil concludes that traditional combat won’t save Lys. Ending with a stirring battle and so many changes that more tales of Queen Averil are likely, the yarn should please romance and fantasy fans. --Frieda Murray