Sunday, April 27, 2008

Queen's Gambit

A book review from (Richmond Times) Sunday April 27, 2008 By JAY STRAFFORD TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER When art and life connect, can the intersection of art and death be far behind? Not in Diane A.S. Stuckart's The Queen's Gambit (336 pages, Berkley Prime Crime, $23.95). It's 1483 in Milan, and Ludovico Sforza, the acting duke, has arranged a living chess game to settle a dispute over a painting with the French ambassador. The painter is none other than Leonardo da Vinci, whom the duke chooses to arrange the game. When one of the bishops is found fatally stabbed, the duke gives Leonardo the task of discovering the killer. With the help of one of his apprentices, Dino (the basis of a fascinating subplot), Leonardo solves the case. And there's a clue that's reminiscent of the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Stuckart creates her plot with confidence and describes Renaissance Italy with expertise. "The Queen's Gambit" is perfectly played.

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