Renaissance Florence at the zenith of its artistic splendor is the backdrop for this historically sequel to A Borgia Daughter Dies. Leonardo da Vinci uncovers a serial killer while working for the infamous Niccolo Machiavelli on a secret project for the Florentine Republic. A feared figure from Leonardo's past also seeks his help, forcing him to re-live the nightmare of his public arrest after he was anymously accused of homosexuality as a young man. Machiavelli's mistress Caterina and their daughter Nicola will help Leonardo while trying to protect Caterina's father, who lives in fear of death threats thrust under his door in the night. Are these events intertwined? Leonardo will find answers, while he strives towards his greatest artistic and scientific achievements, in company with some of the most famous artists in history.
Maryann Philip (a nom de plume) graduated with honors in Renaissance Studies (a self-created interdepartmental major) from Stanford University in 1975, having spent part of her junior year at Stanford's Florence campus, researching her honors thesis using original Italian texts in the Biblioteca Nazionale. She then went to law school (U. Chicago '78) and spent the next twenty-five years raising children and practicing law, with occasional time out to sing in small ensembles devoted to Renaissance music. She now lives in California, and has recently retired from law practice to brush up on her Italian and devote herself to her family and favorite period in history: the Italian Renaissance.