* Nancy Petralia’s review of THE POPE’S CONSPIRACY … thank you, Nancy

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 24, 2014


Pope's Conspiracy - cover for blog

Nancy’s review …

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The story of the plot to assassinate the Medici brothers is right in the sweet spot of Italian history that fascinates me. The author interweaves this historical account with the tale of a Jewish printer and his family who come to in Florence fleeing Spanish persecution. The details of that storyline were new to me.

The arrival of Benjamin and Ester Catalan with their Gutenberg press causes a shift in both Florentine bookmaking and politics. Befriended by the powerful Medici family, they quickly discover that this is not the only alliance they need to make to survive. I found the parts about their Jewish heritage and religious practices nicely balanced the murder plot. Knowing the outcome, I found my attraction to the characters quite poignant. Even so, the pacing kept me wanting to see how things would turn out.

Mr. Weinstein has done his homework and he pulls in all of the real people who were involved in the plot, bringing them alive for the reader. I was especially pleased with the final section of the book that explains the liberties he took with their stories as well as the basis for his fictional characters. 

If you’re interested in Italian Renaissance history, or a good murder plot, this is well worth reading. Bravo!


Thank you, Nancy

Pope's Conspiracy - cover for blog

  purchase at amazon

The Pope’s Conspiracy

kindle $5.99 … paperback $13.46


The Heretic - new cover

The Pope’s Conspiracy is the sequel to THE HERETIC

purchase at amazon

The Heretic (Hereje)

kindle $5.99 … paperback $13.46


Nancy and her husband John are the authors of NOT IN A TUSCAN VILLA

tuscan villa

Nancy and John were in Key West this week, and Pat and I had the chance to share a drink and conversation. Their experiences reflect a willingness to seek adventure, and their telling of it is quite personal and entertaining.

Here is the review I posted on amazon and Goodreads …

This is a delightful book for many reasons.

For one, it is well written, every page taking the reader deep into the experience of two people who had the courage to take a year and do something totally different from their previous experience. There is a deep sense of adventure, a willingness and a sense of humor to accept that everything will not be as you planned, and the ability to change focus (and houses) when reality proves to be below expectations.

We go along with John and Nancy every step of the way, riding a bike, shopping, eating, volunteering at a food festival and a senior center, absorbing the culture and joy of Italy. There are great descriptions of many places you have heard of, and others not on the normal tourist radar.



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