The Borgia Portrait
by David Hewson

A noble family, a legendary painting, a cursed palazzo. The new Venetian mystery from master storyteller David Hewson.

When Arnold Clover is recruited by Lizzie Hawker to help her look into her family inheritance, he cannot begin to guess the journey he is about to embark on.

Lizzie’s mother, an Italian countess, disappeared thirty years ago, presumed dead. Her father, a famous, some say infamous, music promoter, has just died and now the family home Ca’ Scacchi, a leaning palazzo in Dorsoduro, has fallen to her. When her mother vanished so too did a priceless painting, supposedly an erotic portrait of Lucrezia Borgia, which has captivated men for generations.

When a body is discovered in a hidden crypt beneath the checkerboard courtyard of the palazzo, other secrets are unearthed with it. Lying with the body is a document, a story of an episode in Casanova’s colourful life, and within it a set of clues that might lead to the location of the painting. But it quickly becomes apparent that Lizzie and Arnold are not the only ones interested in finding the painting.

The search for the lost Lucrezia quickly becomes a race through the secret history of Venice, one with potentially deadly consequences.


“An atmospheric thriller studded with lurid tales of Venice”

Kirkus Revews

“A murder mystery, an eye-opening tour of Venice, a lesson in Italian history, and a titillating tale of love, loss, and revenge, this is one for fans of the unusual”


“A genuine love letter to the parts [of Venice] most tourists never see. If you’ve never been there, take this as a guide book”

Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine

“An elaborately detailed historical series, heavy with Venetian atmosphere”

Library Journal on The Medici Murders

“Fans of Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti, Michael Dibdin’s Aurelio Zen and Henry James’s The Aspern Papers will love it”

The Times on The Medici Murders

“Serious history buffs are in for a treat”

Kirkus Reviews on The Medici Murders

“[A] character-rich, history-drenched reading experience”

Booklist on The Medici Murders

“Hewson educates and entertains in equal measure”

Publishers Weekly on The Medici Murders

“Hewson writes with both power and grace, and is a true master of his craft

Craig Russell, author of The Devil Aspect, on The Garden of Angels

“Vivid and compelling. At once a richly wrought thriller, a love story and a warning that spans decades. I was thinking about this book for days after I'd closed it”

Sarah Pinborough, No 1 bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes, on The Garden of Angels

David Hewson

David Hewson is a former journalist with The Times, Sunday Times and the Independent. He is the author of more than thirty novels, including his Rome-based Nic Costa series which has been published in fifteen languages, his Amsterdam-based series featuring detective Pieter Vos and the brand-new Venetian mystery series. He has also written three acclaimed adaptations of the Danish TV series, The Killing. He lives near Canterbury in Kent.@david_hewson |

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The Borgia Portrait by David Hewson is available in the following formats

Hardback97814483065721st August 2023150 X 220mm288£21.99
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