Church bells chime in an ancient bell tower as architect Jordan Mayfair, from Savannah, Georgia, and her travel-writer uncle, Alexander Carlyle, arrive at Convento di Santa Francesca Firenze in Florence, Italy. Jordan expects the 15th century convent with its exquisite gardens to offer a safe and serene retreat from the crowded, bustling, touristy district of Europe’s premier Renaissance city, and anticipates a romantic interlude with Paul Broussard, charming patron of the arts, who is flying in from Paris, just for her.
But the polizia municipale are on site, investigating a burglary by jewel thieves, and a mugging has occurred outside the convent walls. Several guests of the convent are not who they seem to be, and one is soon dead. A suicide, the police say. Jordan suspects murder.
Her attempt to find justice for the victim leads her to discoveries as dark as the labyrinths of the convent that she explores with an architect’s eye, and as far-reaching as the spectacular Tuscan hills. But Jordan’s findings give little comfort as she uncovers the truth about Paul’s unstable daughter, Bella, who has come to Florence with evil intentions. In the third book of the Jordan Mayfair Mystery Series, treachery tears a prominent family apart, takes an innocent life, and threatens Jordan’s relationship with Paul that has evolved, through three books.
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TREACHERY IN TUSCANY by Phyllis Gobbell is 100% to my liking. It is evident that this award-winning author has put in hours of time and effort and research writing this wonderful book for readers like me to enjoy. I am so impressed by the way the characters are introduced throughout the story with such ease and clarity and the way she works in the famous historical sites, as the clever mystery plot unfolds. I have never been to Florence, Italy, but feel like I am actually there dining and traveling with Jordan and her Uncle Alex and socializing with her uncle's friends at the vineyard. Jordan from Savannah is a spunky architect who is hard to fool. Her uncle is a travel writer and is doing research. They stay at a convent. Jordan is there to meet her love interest, Paul Broussard, and their many interruptions by Paul's newly discovered daughter, Bella, causes friction. Jordan has met young energetic Sophia earlier. The police report concludes that Sophia has committed suicide by jumping out a window. Jordan doesn't believe such a thing at all and becomes involved with the police for more investigating. If readers have an inkling of who commits the crime, they will be intrigued by the way Jordan uses her architectural knowledge in solving the mystery. This intriguing book is clearly and orderly written for smooth reading and will be a favorite thing to give for a gift.
I love a mystery set in a seductive, foreign location with some sort of hook drawing on the art, history or culture of the locale. I felt like TREACHERY IN TUSCANY was billed to be this sort of book. This is more of a formulaic mystery and while I didn't get the historical angle I was looking for, the book was an enjoyable, entertaining read. Jordan Mayfair is an architect traveling in Florence with her uncle, a travel guide writer. Joining Jordan in her adventure is her love interest, Paul and his daughter, Bella. A series of robberies, one of which ends in murder, draws the investigative interest of Jordan and she soon finds herself in the middle of the police investigation. Although an entertaining and light read, I did not find the level of suspense or tension that I enjoy in a mystery. The plot was somewhat predictable and I felt that the culprits were readily apparent. That being said, I enjoyed the descriptions of the landscapes and architecture of Tuscany, I was just hoping for a little more intrigue and suspense. Thank you to the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own.