FOOL’S GOLD (ORDER OF DARKNESS #3) by Phillippa Gregory

Our cast of characters – Brother Peter the suspicious priest, Luca Vero the Inquirer for a shadowy order (Order of Darkness) headed by a shadowy individual (Milord), Isolde the dispossessed noblewoman, her companion Ishraq, and Freize the general factotum and horse whisperer – have now arrived in Venice, where they are charged (by Milord) to find out about counterfeit coins.

Naturally in this bustling metropolis there is a lot of con artistry, swindling, embezzlement and so forth, and of course our characters catch onto this as they begin their investigation.

But at the end we (and they) are left scratching our heads. Why did Milord instruct the counterfeiters to make false coins? Why did he send our cast of characters after them to find them out? Was he trying to ruin the Ottoman Empire? Or did he have other, nefarious purposes?

Again, this was an enjoyable read, with brilliant descriptions of Venice at Carnevale, suitable for tweens and teens, or anyone curious about what Venice was like at the height of its power in 1460s Europe. Five stars.