Join us


The best new historical fiction

Author: Nick Rennison
Newspaper: The Sunday Times
Date: Oct 27 2019

It demands a degree of chutzpah to make the Renaissance’s greatest genius the central character in a novel, but the Italian Marco Malvaldi succeeds in creating a vivid portrait of Leonardo da Vinci in The Measure of a Man (Europa £12.99). Malvaldi is best known in his own country for his crime fiction, so it is little surprise that the plot focuses on a body found in the courtyard of Castello Sforzesco, the seat of Milan’s ruler, Ludovico il Moro. Leonardo, the autocrat’s independently minded savant, diagnoses murder and proceeds to work out the conspiracy behind it. Malvaldi’s archly knowing jokes, told from his 21st-century perspective, can become tiresome, but his novel mostly proves an ingenious jeu d’esprit.