Wednesday, February 13, 2013

HF Virtual Tour Review and Giveaway: The Sign of the Weeping Virgin by Alana J. White

Title: The Sign of the Weeping Virgin
Author: Alana J. White
Format: ARC
Publisher: Five Star
Publish Date: December 19, 2012
Source: HF Virtual Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You're a mystery fan.
  • You're an armchair traveler.
What's the Story?:

From "In 1480 Florentine investigator Guid’Antonio Vespucci and his nephew‚ Amerigo‚ are tangled in events that threaten to destroy them and their beloved city.

Marauding Turks abduct a beautiful young Florentine girl and sell her into slavery. And then a holy painting begins weeping in Guid’Antonio’s church. Are the tears manmade or a sign of God’s displeasure with Guid’Antonio himself?

In a finely wrought story for lovers of medieval and renaissance mysteries everywhere‚ Guid’Antonio follows a spellbinding trail of clues to uncover the thought-provoking truth about the missing girl and the weeping painting’s mystifying—and miraculous?—tears‚ all pursued as he comes face to face with his own personal demons."

My Two Cents:

Take a mysterious painting in a church that seems to cry and a mysterious disappearance of a woman who has a lot of pull between the families of Florence and you have this book. Filled with great detail and a historical mystery that was interesting to see come together, "The Sign of the Weeping Virgin" will appeal to historical mystery lovers of all stripes.

Admittedly, this book did take me a little bit of time to get into. There is a lot of detail and a lot of characters in the book and it took me awhile to sort everything out and figure out how all of the players went together. I was interested in the mystery but it took awhile for it to unfold. I almost had to make notes on some of the characters to keep track of who they were and why they were important to the story. This definitely made it a little more slow going for me. Once the book picks up towards the middle, it made it much easier to place all of the various characters.

The real star of this book and a major factor that kept me reading was the setting of this book. I will read just about anything set in Italy. I love, love, love reading about that beautiful country and find it absolutely fascinating. White adds a lot of good detail that makes you feel as if you are walking the streets of Florence while eating a slice of pecorino (om nom nom nom). If you like armchair traveling like I do, I think you will really enjoy this book.

Bottom line: Stay for the travel by armchair!


   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Monday, February 11
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Interview & Giveaway at Enchanted by Josephine

Tuesday, February 12
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, February 13

Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Guest Post & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Friday, February 15
Review at The Novel Life
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Monday, February 18

Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Feature & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 19
Review at A Bookish Libraria
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, February 20
Review & Giveaway at Ageless Pages Reviews

Friday, February 22
Review & Giveaway at The Book Garden


  1. Your comment that lovers of historical mysteries would love this - made me want to read the book!

  2. A captivating review which peaked my interest. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. I've been reading about this book and your review adds to my interest - I love Italy too. Thanks!

  4. Thank you for the lovely review and for the comments, too. I truly do appreciate it.

  5. Love an ancient mystery, thanks.

  6. I enjoyed this book as well. I agree that it was a bit slow going in the beginning trying to get to know everyone. I absolutely loved the descriptions of the streets of Florence - it made me wish I was there. I'm curious to see what unfolds in the next book.

  7. I agree with you-if it's set in Italy I'm reading it! Armchair traveling is the next best thing (and cheaper) than hopping on a plane. Great review, thanks for the giveaway!

  8. I haven't read much from this period, but I like historical fiction and the book sounds good.

  9. Based on the review I can tell this is not an easy read. I'm up for the challenge. Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  10. I just finished this book. I loved the historical intrigue. I don't know much about Italy in that period but feel like I really got a taste of the politics, etc. Good luck to those who are entering. The winner is in for a treat!

  11. i so need to read The Sign of the Weeping Virgin!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  12. I enjoyed reading your review. Thank you for the chance to win.

  13. I've never read any of Alana J. White's books before, I love a good mystery, this sounds like a great read.


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