A Novel about Leonardo da Vinci
October 1493. Florence is still mourning the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Columbus’ ships have only recently reached the New World. The modern financial system has just come into being thanks to the adoption of the letter of credit. Meanwhile, Milan is experiencing a renaissance under the leadership of Ludovico il Moro.
In those years, people wandering the environs of Milan’s Castle or along the Navigli canals often encounter a strange man in his forties, dressed in long pink robes, his expression calm, like someone lost in his own thoughts. The man lives above his workshop with his mother and a mischievous little boy whom he dotes on; he doesn’t eat meat, writes from right to left, and struggles to get paid by his employers. His name is Leonardo da Vinci. His fame extends beyond the Alps, to the French court of Charles VIII, whose envoys have been tasked with a secret mission that concerns Leonardo himself. It is rumored that the Italian inventor keeps his most daring designs—including perhaps the project for an invincible mechanical knight—in a notebook hidden under his robes, close to the heart. When a man is found dead in the Castle’s courtyard, il Moro turns to Da Vinci for help.
Five hundred years after Leonardo’s death, Marco Malvaldi combines literature, science, history, and mystery to bring back to life one of the greatest figures of the Renaissance.
Marco Malvaldi was born and lives in Pisa, where he obtained a PhD in Chemistry from the Normale University. His previous books include the Bar Lume series, featuring Massimo the Barman and the four elderly sleuths. He is the winner of both the Isola d’Elba Award and the Castiglioncello Prize for his crime novels.