Posts Tagged ‘The Pope’s Conspiracy by Lew Weinstein’

* a great book club appearance in the Florida Keys

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 15, 2013

DSCN0467-Weston Book Club group-cropped

Pat and I had the great pleasure of meeting with the Weston (FL) Book Club to discuss my novel “The Pope’s Conspiracy.” We met in the glorious surroundings of Hawk’s Cay resort in the Florida Keys.

It was very exciting for me since all of the ladies proved to be extremely intelligent and perceptive readers. Their questions, about the book and the writing/publishing process, made for a terrific two hour discussion.

I want to thank especially Kelly Tepper, who found my book in a Google search (novels-Jewish-Florence) in preparation for her recent trip to Italy and who graciously hosted the event.



I really enjoy meeting with book clubs, and would love to meet with yours,

either in person or via SKYPE.

You can contact me at authorlewweinstein@gmail.com.

Lew's 5 novels Apr 2013-centered


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* excerpts from a review of “The Pope’s Conspiracy” by Shirrel Rhoades

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 22, 2012

“The Pope’s Conspiracy is a literary time machine putting you in Renaissance Florence at one of the most spectacular periods in human history.”

great characters … a historical thriller … exciting twists and turns

Lew Weinstein is a serious-minded writer, political analyst, and historian. He’s an accomplished novelist, coming to the avocation late in life (if 55 can be called late these days).

His four published volumes have a common theme that he doesn’t mind acknowledging.

“My novels tell the stories of injustices perpetrated by people in power – the Catholic Church, prosecutors who abuse their power, and the FBI,” Lew says.

His latest – “The Pope’s Conspiracy” – is a historical thriller that takes place over the first six months of 1478, mostly in Florence, Italy. Based on historical events, “The Pope’s Conspiracy” brings the Renaissance alive. The story focuses on a young Jewish printer and his wife who become caught up in the political machinations of the Vatican. It is an adventure in the style of Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose.”  

You will enjoy Weinstein’s attention to historical detail, from the workings of the Gutenberg printing press to a tour of Florence’s palazzi and piazzas. This verisimilitude serves as a literary time machine putting you (in your mind’s eye) in Renaissance Florence at “one of the most spectacular periods in human history.”

“I spent a good deal of time in Florence, virtually haunting the Palazzo Medici for several days,” he says. “I spent time with Masaccio’s frescoes, the Baptistry doors, and of course the Duomo. I attended mass in the Duomo, sat where Lorenzo was in my story, looked around to ‘see’ the assassins leap to the attack when the host was raised. Beyond that, I read everything I could find.”

“The Pope’s Conspiracy” is a sequel to “The Heretic,” which was published in 2000. However, either novel can stand alone, reading one not dependent on the other. Nonetheless, they form great companion novels and when I finished this epic, I was delighted to go back and read the other.

Like with the discovery of any great literary characters, I’m looking forward to a third installment of this brave Jewish couple’s exploits in a hostile Christian world. “There is a third book which is largely outlined,” Lew admits. “Maybe someday…”

But for now, Lew tells me he’s working on a novel set in 20th century Germany and Poland. “I intend to explore the process by which a decent likable German boy with no anti-Jewish feelings could be transformed into a Nazi killer.” 


Shirrel Rhoades is a syndicated columnist, book publisher, and former fiction editor for The Saturday Evening Post. He has held senior positions with Reader’s Digest Books, Scholastic, and Harper’s. He lives in Key West.

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* excerpts from Mike’s Goodreads review of “The Pope’s Conspiracy”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 8, 2012

The Pope’s Conspiracy is a great read which tightly binds the intrigue of a thriller with the lightness of a narrative history.

There is as much edginess and uncertainty as the historical template will allow, and the characters are extremely well depicted, both real and fictitious. Fans of historical fiction should read it as the thrilling introduction to a very interesting period in time; fans of Renaissance history should read it as the accurate walking tour of Europe’s most important city of the day that it serves as; and those who fit into neither category should read it because historical fiction, Florence and its history and The Pope’s Conspiracy have a huge amount to offer everybody.

The book is set in 1478 in Florence, which was at that time approaching the zenith of its powers as an unrivaled artistic, scientific and financial centre. Rarely can an city on earth have laid a claim to have been so important in the development of the modern world.

Into this world of political chess and creative mastery come the characters of Benjamin and Esther Catalan, whose story began with Lew Weinstein’s previous book, The Heretic. I will give nothing away of the story if I write that, as heroes of fiction should be, the couple are immediately likable, faults and all, and that this leads the reader to hope that they avoid the perils of European Jewry of that age, which surround them from the very first page. That, for reasons which will become clear further down this page, is where I will stop with the historical background.

The story slips by at a great rate and before one knows it, the last page is in sight and this reader was left hungry to find a copy of The Heretic and find out more fully how Benjamin and Esther came to be in Florence.

The story itself is captivating – clearly very thoroughly researched, balanced, and with a development and definition of character that sticks closely to known historical fact as much as possible while leaving room for enough to be changed to suit the direction of the plot without ruining the realism.

There was also enough information on the every day lives of Jews five hundred years ago to open my interests in a new subject altogether, and the book certainly has a wealth to offer in that respect.

Purchase   ** THE POPE’S CONSPIRACY   at amazon … paper or kindle


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