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The Four Horsemen: Alvise Marangon    by Gregory Dowling order for
Four Horsemen
by Gregory Dowling
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Four Horsemen is the second in a mystery series set in eighteenth century Venice and starring tour guide Alvise Marangon. In the first episode, Ascension, he became a reluctant spy for Missier Grande, who is subordinate to the Council of Ten and the Three Inquisitors. This did not please the love of his life, Lucia, bookseller Fabrizio's daughter who is very protective of her father.

Alvise was raised in England by his actress mother, so speaks both English and Italian fluently, making it easy for him to guide English noblemen on the Grand Tour. As this episode opens, Missier Grande orders him to investigate a secret society known as the Four Horsemen, with members belonging to noble families. Turkish citizens have been attacked and one of Missier Grande's agents has died under suspicious circumstances. The Inquisitors have told Missier Grande to 'leave it in their hands' and are doing nothing.

Clues lead Alvise to the salotto of Isabella Venier-Querini, the femme fatale of the piece. She claims to be descended from Venus - and acts the part! Alvise and his gondolier Bepi rescue kidnapped Turkish women, and Alvise is framed for murder. Someone wants him out of action before the grand finale. Luckily, Lucia warns him in time. With Fabrizio's and Bepi's help, they stop a maniac with an axe and foil a dastardly plot against the Republic. If you enjoy an atmospheric historical mystery, then dive into this series.

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