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Publisher's Summary

Elle Newmark's richly seductive prose brings to life the color and scandal of 15th-century Venice. Through Luciano, a street urchin apprenticed to a great chef in the palace of the doge, Newmark tells a wicked tale of political and papal intrigue. In Venice where every whisper is a secret or a lie, Luciano's initiation into the chef's spicy world makes for deliciously suspenseful listening.

The Book of Unholy Mischief is more than terrific historical drama; its a love story, an investigation into ancient religious secrets that haunt us today, and its a story of intrigue replete with pulse-pounding chase scenes, murderous assassins, torture chambers and conniving, desperate characters. It's beautifully written, authentically detailed, and fiendishly well-plotted. Listeners will want their friends to read or listen to it so they can talk about it over dinner in their favorite Italian restaurant.

©2008 Elle Newmark (P)2008 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Highly entertaining

I found this book engaging, often humorous, and well-written. It is definitely not young adult, as the first reviewer suggests. Although not everything is completely plausible, taken as a whole, it was well-researched and internally consistent. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Depends on how young you think young adut is..

First and foremost, a well written historical based fiction is appropriate for any age that can separate fact from fiction. Having said that, many adults aren't ready either. But I liked this story. And if the behavior of the early church is shocking and upsetting to religious folk - get over it. It's what it was. Mostly, it's a mystery and adventure with a nice big buttery chunk of history in a format that educates while entertaining. Think of it as Dickens for the Pope crowd - there's a lot of "scary" stuff in his work too. :)

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Delicious reading

Oddly, this book has been published under 3 different titles: Bones of the Dead, The Chef's Apprentice, and The Book of Unholy Mischief. I discovered this when doing research for my book club discussion. What a way to confuse! The premise is interesting (I won't spoil), but it's a little murky to me how the chefs' secrets began and were handed down from generation to generation. The narrative sparkles and provides insight into the daily lives, especially cuisine 15th and 16th century Venice. The wrap-up was a bit rushed and I'd like to have known more about what happened to Luciano and his family and why he...well, that would be a spoiler, too.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Mystery, historical fiction, and food!

What more can I ask for! I started it while traveling in Italy, finished while traveling in Spain. Perfect.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not the same as The Chef's Apprentice

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Says it's the same and is word for word, but skips parts of the Chefs Apprentice very noticeably. Great Narator but can't finish the book as it's incomplete. References things in the print version not in audible. Says it's the same book but is not. Don't know why and I'm disappointed that the complete audio is not available. The print version says previously published as The Book Of Unholy Mischief. Not sure what happened. Large chunks missing makes it impossible to.

Read the print version of "The Chef's Apprentice".

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • Chevy Chase, MD, United States
  • 01-24-09

Plodding and Simpleminded

This book should have been classified as Young Adult. Notwithstanding its anti-religious theme, it seemed like a Sunday school lesson. I never read or listen to abridged versions of books, but this time I wish I had. I gave it two stars because the narrator was good, though some of his characters sounded like Tony Soprano.

9 of 22 people found this review helpful