The Book of Unholy Mischief

A Novel

The Book of Unholy Mischief

Read by: Raul Esparza
Elle Newmark's richly seductive prose brings to life the color and scandal of fifteenth-century Venice. Through Luciano, a street urchin apprenticed to a great chef in the palace of the doge, Newmark tells a wicked tale of political and papal intrigue. In Venice where every whisper is a secret or a lie, Luciano's initiation into the chef's spicy world makes for deliciously suspenseful listening.

The Book of Unholy Mischief is more than terrific historical drama; its a love story, an investigation into ancient religious secrets that haunt us today, and its a story of intrigue replete with pulse-pounding chase scenes, murderous assassins, torture chambers and conniving, desperate characters. It's beautifully written, authentically detailed, and fiendishly well plotted. Listeners will want their friends to read or listen to it so they can talk about it over dinner in their favorite Italian restaurant.
  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • ISBN 9780743578059 | 
  • December 2008
List Price $17.95
In Stock: Available for immediate download


Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book. 



“The art of cooking, like the art of living, must be savored for its own sake.”

In late fifteenth century Venice, a twist of fate takes orphaned Luciano from a life on the streets to the doge’s lavish palace. The young urchin catches the eye of the doge’s chef, both for the unusual birthmark on his face and for his daring act of stealing an exotic item, a pomegranate, from a street vendor. Luciano becomes Chef Ferrero’s apprentice and is introduced to a decadent world of culinary arts and palace intrigue.

The Book of Unholy Mischief unfolds against the backdrop of a city both beautiful and sinister, where every whisper is a secret or a lie. Soon everyone in the seaside republic, from paupers to the ruthless members of the ruling Council of Ten, is whispering about the existence of an ancient book of unimaginable power—said to be an alchemist’s dream with recipes for gold, immortality, and undying love. Headstrong and curious, Luciano see more

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About the Author

Elle Newmark
Steven Rothfeld

Elle Newmark

Elle Newmark is the acclaimed author of The Book of Unholy Mischief.  She lived and worked in the hills north of San Diego.