The Book of Unholy Mischief is foodie heaven. Elle Newmark's historical thriller set in fifteenth-century Venice simply oozes food and recipes from every page. The story is narrated in retrospect by its main character, Luciano, who at the start of the book is a young scrap of a boy living on the city's mean streets and canals. Luck and fate conspire: he is spotted by the Doge's chef who, for reasons that become clearer as the story progresses, hires him to work as his assistant in the palace. There is a heavy serving of Da Vinci Code-esque mystery and La Serenissima is decidedly un-serene: everyone in Venice is talking about and looking for a strange book that allegedly contains the secret to eternal life (among other things). Together with his good-for-nothing friend and the chef, Luciano becomes increasingly embroiled in the search for the mysterious book. Before he knows it, he has to make some big decisions about where his loyalties lie and what his future holds.