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Historical Fiction
Publication Date
17 September 2015
Paperback (also available as an ebook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Ltd


The Alvise Marangon Mysteries - Book 1
by Gregory Dowling - Find out more about the author



eBook also available from the iBookstore

‘Among the best of the ancient Venice thrillers are Gregory Dowling’s two Alvise Marangon mysteries’ –

'A special thriller set in the Venetian past – its colours and intrigues so vividly described' – Francesco Da Mosto

‘Blends a laconic, amused style informed by American detective literature with a profound knowledge of Venetian geography and history. Stylish, clever and gripping’ – The Times, Historical Fiction Book of the Month

'Alvise is a terrific character, the murder mystery is absorbingly ingenious and, if you are a sucker for Venice, the sights, sounds and smells of its streets and canals ooze up from the page' – Daily Mail

'Packed with drama, intrigue, action, adventure and excitement, I loved the beautiful descriptions of Venice, the gentle dry humour, the well drawn characters and the intrepid and courageous Alvise' – Jenny Itzcovitz

'a wonderful page turner with a fabulous cast of characters' – Historical Novels Society

‘… the reader is treated to vivid, highly detailed descriptions of the Venetian sights and the historical landmarks. An evocative picture is painted of everyday life in the beautiful city of Venice, as well as the goings-on at a festival as large and important as that of The Ascension… The striking imagery and extensive vocabulary used in Ascension will transport any reader to the streets, canals, theatres of the novel.’ – DURA

Venice in 1749. The city has lost its political and financial primacy but has become Europe's pleasure capital, famous for its gambling dens, its courtesans, its hectic carnival, its music, art and theatre - and the most highly organised secret service in Europe. Alvise Marangon, born in Italy but brought up in London, returns to the city of his birth and quickly becomes involved in the protection of a wealthy young Englishman and his beautiful cousin. He is then forcibly recruited into the city's powerful secret service to investigate a murder case. A reluctant spy he may be, but he is a gifted one. Amidst the world of gambling dens and courtesans, something momentous is being planned for the Feast of the Ascension, Venice's most important and spectacular holiday, and it seems that only Alvise can prevent the day from turning into bloody mayhem.

Gregory Dowling grew up in Bristol before studying English at Christ Church, Oxford. He moved to Venice in 1981, where he is Associate Professor of American Literature at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Gregory has published four novels, co-edited two anthologies of poetry, written various non-fiction books, and academic articles on Italian, British and American literature. He has a special interest in British and American writers in Italy, from the Romantic age onwards.

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