Fiona Paul is a writer and registered nurse who lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
Deftly balancing beauty and death, Venom renders the canals of renaissance Venice frightening and irresistible in a sensual tale where no one can be trusted and passions kill. Andrea Cremer, New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade trilogy Wonderfully sinister and thrillingly romantic, Venom has it all secret trysts in graveyards, Venetian canals, murdered courtesans, and masquerades! Fiona Paul created a lush, compelling mystery I couldn t put down. Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked"
Gr 9 Up-As a young noblewoman in Renaissance Venice, Cassandra feels trapped in her confined role, but everything changes when she finds the body of a murdered courtesan in a crypt when she goes to bid a recently deceased friend farewell. An exposition-heavy start gives way to an addictive mystery as Cass sets out to discover the whereabouts of her friend's body and the truth behind the courtesan's death. Debut author Paul constructs a tantalizing web of intrigue, deception, and danger as Cass delves into the darkness behind the city's sumptuous facade, going undercover in a brothel and stumbling onto a storehouse of cadavers. As the stakes grow higher, Cass doesn't know who to trust: the rakish young artist helping her solve the mystery, or her gentlemanly fiance, both of whom seem suspiciously connected to a series of murders plaguing the city. Romantics will thrill at an alluring love triangle with two equally appealing choices. Characters are well developed; in particular, Cass exhibits a remarkable amount of growth. Initially self-absorbed, she makes mature decisions by the story's conclusion. The conflict in this first volume in a trilogy is satisfyingly resolved, with a few plot threads deliberately left dangling. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from the fictional Book of the Eternal Rose, but that volume never comes into play within the narrative, and only the barest hints are given as to what the Eternal Rose might be. Readers will surely be eager for the sequel to find out.-Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.