If you thought The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, the pick up a copy of The Secret Supper. It is a fascinating account of the painting of the masterpiece by Leonoardo DaVinci on the refectory wall of the convent of the church Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. It is more erudite and less Hollywood-esque than Brown's best seller and gives the reader another perspective in the mystery that surrounds.
Told in flashback by narrator Father Agostino Leyre the novel is set in 1497. The Vatican has been receiving mysterious correspondence from "the Soothsayer." The messages warn that the Catholic Church will in harm's way if DaVinci is allowed to continue to paint. Father Leyre is sent to Milan to investigate the death of the Duchess, one that was foretold before it happened. Was the Duke trying to establish an alternate culture based on the glory of Athens, why were there more murders and how were they connected. It is all for the good Father, whose official title is Master General of the Secretariat of Keys of Bethany, to solve. He has a note, written in Latin, that will hopefully help shed some light on the motives for the murders.
There are numerous subplots to this novel and all the historical people are referenced and mentioned as they are woven into the story. Cathars, Savanarola, The Church of John, and the influence of Mary Magdalene are covered. To read this book is an interesting and captivating journey for those who are fascinated by the life and works of Leonardo as well as the machinations of the Vatican.