Monday, August 23, 2021

The Vivaldi Cipher by Gary McAvoy

McAvoy has created another engaging novel combining factual events and historical figures with a creative imagination. While this is part of a series, it reads really well on its own. This adventure works well without having read the previous novels.

I like McAvoy's attention to detail. This adventure takes place in Venice and the setting descriptions are great. Many of the people in the novel are actual historical characters as McAvoy identifies in his Author's Note. An essential element of the plot is the Camorra, the Mafia organization in Italy. The villains are a worthy foe to Father Dominic and his friends.

I always like to learn something when I read fiction and McAvoy includes lots of information on how art forgers create fake masterpieces and how paintings are evaluated for authenticity. Most interesting to me was my introduction to musical cryptography. Composers would embed certain note styles into a composition that would convey a secret message. Many composers in the Baroque period did so. (504/3658) That was something new to me.

This is a good novel for readers who like entertaining and informative fiction created from historical people and events. It contains well crafted characters, evidence of much research, and a good deal of suspenseful action. McAvoy's writing style is a pleasure to experience. He provides everything I like in a novel and I will be looking for the next in the series.

You can watch the book trailer for The Vivaldi Cipher here.

This novel is part of an ongoing series featuring Father Dominic in adventures revolving around the Vatican. You can read my reviews of earlier books in this series: The Magdalene Deception, The Magdalene Reliquary, and The Magdalene Veil.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Gary McAvoy began his writing career writing columns for a small town weekly newspaper and articles for a regional Southern California magazine. That laid the foundation for corporate communications work supporting his own and clients' businesses. He was fascinated with cryptology and intelligence during his U.S. Army tour in Germany. Following his military service, he built a number of successful ventures in Southern California and then moved to the Pacific Northwest. You can find out more about him and his books at

Literati Editions, 374 pages.

I received a complimentary digital edition of this book from the author. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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