Really a 4.5
Set in Renaissance Italy, this book has it all--mystery, intrigue and a rich evocative atmosphere, as well as wonderful historical detail. It is well researched and well written with characters who are refreshingly different from what you so often find in currently popular historical fiction. Very enjoyable and highly recommended.
The publishers have also done a great job, gracing it with a beautiful cover, and I particularly like that a copy of the Robert Browning poem from which Ms Loupas drew her inspiration, was included at the end of the book.
This is an excellent debut from an obviously talented author. An author who has me eagerly awaiting her next offering :-).