Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Phoenix of Florence
BY Philip Kazan

Allison and Busby
21 February 2019/ ISBN 9780749022136
Historical FictIon

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde 


Onorio Celavini is the commander of the Duke Francesco de’ Medici’s police force in 16th century Florence. He and his team deal with the city’s many crimes, and one morning he is dragged out of bed to investigate two murders. He soon discovers that he has a connection with this incident, one that reaches back into his past and threatens to ruin everything he has worked for. He must investigate alone, and deal with the outcome before he ends up dead himself.

This is more adventure than whodunit and had me up late at night turning the pages, eager to see what else fate had in store for the protagonist and narrator. Expect surprises with this book as what at first looks to be another historical mystery soon turns into something more original. Something exciting happens on almost every page but it is not easy to review because saying too much would spoil it. The book deals with the kind of events that might easily make rather grim or depressing reading but the protagonist manages to keep the tone mostly upbeat without making things too easy or far-fetched. I always admire any author who can do this and Mr Kazan does it with style. 16th century Italy is a dangerous place; one where being somebody can get you killed almost as easily as being nobody. Alliances shift and friends can turn to implacable enemies in an instant. I hadn’t read anything by this author before but will certainly be looking out for more titles by him. Highly recommended.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2019