Seventeen-year-old seamstress Sofia Genotti is on the run, falsely accused of theft. Penniless and desperate to avoid the perils of whoredom, she is introduced to a troupe of travelling actors, who ask her to join them as costume mistress. Within weeks she begins to learn how to act.
Acting will bring her closer to Beppe Bianchi, the young man with whom she is developing a passionate relationship. But after a fted performance at an aristocrat’s castle, Sofia is accosted by the owner and the following morning he is found dead.
Who was the dead nobleman, and how did his secret past lead to his murder? Uncovering blackmail, violence and sexual jealousies, the true killer will be revealed and the power of theatre will conquer all.
Now I have been lucky enough to have read both of Gabrielle’s previous books and so was extremely excited when this book landed on my door mat. Loved the look of the cover and without hesitation I delved straight in.
We find ourselves in Italy in 1582 with all the smells and poverty that was around for those not fortunate enough. Sofia has a hard life that only gets worse when she doesn’t allow the advances of a gentleman so she finds herself on the run. Thankfully there are good people around who help Sofia and welcome her into their touring Theatre company. obviously nothing is fair sailing and jealously and greed get the better. Before Sofia knows it she is at the centre of a murder.
Like all Gabrielle’s books, it is brilliantly written, fabulous placement and descriptive writing of the locations, people and situations which transports you into the time. It’s not a light and easy historical read, it will get you thinking and turning the pages quickly will good to succeed. It’s a real who done it … loads of red herrings making you think you know who it was!!!
I am a huge fan of all Gabrielle’s books and this book does not disappoint. It really is a fantastic read and I can’t recommend it enough. My only criticism is that I will have to wait another 12 months for her next book!
Available via Amazon UK The Girl with the Painted Face