The Queen’s Gambit: A Leonardo da Vinci Mystery

Written by Diane A.S. Stuckart
Review by Tess Allegra

Art is but one skill under scrutiny at Castle Sforza, Milan, in 1483. The Duke commands his court artist and engineer, Leonardo da Vinci, to orchestrate a live chess game in lieu of a duel with the French ambassador to claim ownership of a prized painting. When one of the “pieces” goes missing during intermission, Leonardo dispatches his favored apprentice, Dino, to search for the man who is found stabbed to death in the hidden garden. The Duke entreats Leonardo to find the killer with all due speed. He chooses Dino as his trusted assistant, and thus begins an adventure which takes the duo from castle to crypt, threading their way through the deceptive servants, scheming nobles and lascivious contessas to find a murderer who may kill again. This is a delightful and suspenseful tale of chess, art and detection set against a backdrop of human emotions. Highly recommended.