Predator (Kay Scarpetta Mysteries) by Patricia Cornwell Well, this is the first Kay Scarpetta (the lead detective/character) book that I’ve read, so I am not sure that this book is an accurate portrayal of the whole series. Generally, the book is a solid enough mystery and while there are not a lot of twists in the story, the ‘big’ twist attempts to sort of pull the various pieces together. Does it work? I’m not sure. It feels kind of hurried and a little unfinished, sort of soap opera-ish. Honestly, it seemed to me that in spite of the fact that these folks are supposed to be professionals in their respective fields, they seem kind of aware of what really goes on around them and very unprofessional in demeanor to colleagues and each other in general. A lot of dsyfunction, dsyfunction, and more dysfunction.

In the company of the courtesan by Sarah Durant Sarah Durant wrote Birth of Venus, which I enjoyed greatly. Birth of venus is a historical novel set in the Renaissance about a young girl/artist and her experiences in that society including an element of romance (in the true tradition of courtly love). Because I enjoyed that novel, I read In the company of the courtesan, which is interesting in its own. The characters are engaging although perhaps not as much as in the Birth of Venus. The story of the novel is that a courtesan, Fiammetta Bianchini, who escapes a pillage of rome (1527) sets off for Venice with her trusty assistant/pimp, Bucino (also the narrator of the novel), to make their fortunes in the city of her birth, Venice. A solid enough read, but Bucino is by far the most interesting character with his intelligence, various fears and obsessions, and restraints of physical stature (he is usually referred to as a dwarf, although I do not know if that is an accurate portrayal) to the somewhat shallow Fiammetta. Rich in the culture of the times, and lots of pageant and atmosphere.