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Book Review

Book: The Secret Supper
Author: Javier Sierra
Published: March, 2006
Publisher: Atria

available at

Synopsis: Set in 15th century Italy, an unknown informant called The Soothsayer has warned the Holy Catholic Church through a series of cryptic messages that Leonardo’s Da Vinci’s painting The Last Supper contains a heretical message. Father Agostino has been assigned by the Secretariat of Keys of the Papal States to determine the identity of The Soothsayer and to discover the message in the painting. As the number of mysterious deaths increases and the list of suspects grows, Father Agostino must use all of his knowledge about theology and cryptology to solve a number of riddles that will assist him in his quest.

Editor’s Review: A bit of a disappointment, The Secret Supper didn’t live up to my expectations for a suspenseful and full-bodied mystery. It started out ever so slowly and although it began to show promise after the first several chapters, what Sierra delivered in the end was hardly worth the effort. I certainly learned a lot about the history of the Roman Catholic Church and its various heretical sects as well as the life of the Apostles. And I became quite familiar with The Last Supper itself. Much of the dialog between characters was enjoyable and at times, quite entertaining. I liked Sierra’s characterization of Leonardo, too. But the solutions to the riddles to me seemed a bit far-fetched, the identity of The Soothsayer came as no great surprise, and the secret that was revealed – well, it just wasn’t that startling. Significant character development or adventure could have redeemed the story but neither was present to a substantial degree. Although it is a well-written and informative book, I personally don't see what all the hype is about.

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Diana Blake is a professional artist and art history enthusiast. Her fascination with art history began when she encountered European art firsthand during several trips abroad as a young adult. As she began to compose a portfolio for her own art career, she called upon what she had seen in Europe and extended her knowledge to other styles of art through profuse reading and exhaustive research. As a result, Diana has written more than one hundred articles in which she delves into a variety of art history topics and she has compiled a list of links that she believes to be invaluable for art history enthusiasts. In addition, she also reviews books and movies on the topic of art history and has assembled an extensive list of online stores that sell books, movies and gift items related to art history.
   You can see Diana's own artwork by visiting her site at