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The Alchemist's Pursuit


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About the Author

Originally from Scotland, Dave Duncan has lived all his adult life in Western Canada, having enjoyed a long career as a petroleum geologist before taking up writing. Since discovering that imaginary worlds are more satisfying than the real one, he has published more than thirty novels, mostly in the fantasy genre, but also young adult, science fiction, and historical. Dave now lives in Victoria, BC.


When Alfeo, Nostradamus's apprentice, comes to him with the tale of the murder of his mistress's courtesan mentor, the clairvoyant astrologer takes on the dangerous task of using magic to solve an increasingly puzzling mystery. Duncan's latest entry in his fictional biography of the enigmatic prophet not only brings the Renaissance to vivid and passionate life but also demonstrates the author's genius for telling a good story. A top-notch addition to libraries boasting solid demand for historical fantasy. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Duncan's outstanding third Venetian fantasy mystery (after 2008's The Alchemist's Code) sends Alfeo Zeno, loyal apprentice to Nostradamus, in search of a killer who targets Venice's prostitutes. After three women are strangled, Donna Violetta Vitale, a courtesan and fond friend of Alfeo, begs Nostradamus to foresee and stop the next death. When the fourth victim is stabbed, Alfeo narrowly escapes the unseen murderer, thanks to the intervention of a magical cat. The prime suspect is lecherous nobleman Zorzi "Honeycat" Michiel, exiled years earlier for patricide, so his haughty mother, Donna Alina Orio Michiel, retains Alfeo to prove her son's innocence. Alfeo and Nostradamus must rely on more than clairvoyance to save Violetta and unmask the culprit. Duncan neatly blends a vision of magical Venice with an engrossing whodunit. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"One of the best writers in the fantasy world today."
-Writers Write

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