When the papal apartments are burgled in 1901, Sherlock Holmes is summoned to Rome by Pope Leo XII. After learning from the pontiff that several priceless cameos that could prove compromising to the church, and perhaps determine the future of the newly unified Italy, have been stolen, Holmes is asked to recover them.
In a parallel story, Michelangelo, the toast of Rome in 1501 after the unveiling of his Pieta, is commissioned by Pope Alexander VI, the last of the Borgia pontiffs, with creating the cameos that will bedevil Holmes and the papacy four centuries later. For fans of Conan Doyle’s immortal detective, the game is always afoot. However, the great detective has never encountered an adversary quite like the one with whom he crosses swords in “The Vatican Cameos.”
Richard T. Ryan’s The Vatican Cameos is a wonderful contribution to the Sherlock Holmes canon. The typical Holmes adventure revolves around contemporary events. But in this case, the crime – and the events that led to it – are separated by four centuries. The novel offers great insight into the history of the 16th century Vatican, along with the talents of artist, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.
Rich Ryan’s, “The Vatican Cameos”, is a real page-turner. I had originally started out listening through audible and I have to say that the audible version is both colorful and engaging. The listener is treated to different voices, music and sounds that would be heard by the characters in the book. Both the book and audible version are pure gold! Richard T. Ryan has captured the essence of Sherlock Holmes; including his acute powers of observation, his ability to use disguises and his pure logic. Holmes is up against an opponent as diabolical as Moriarty.
For any fan of Holmes or historical mysteries, this story will keep you entertained and looking forward to Ryan’s next mystery.