Rosanne Dingli's According to Luke is an outstanding traditional mystery with an interesting premise. Ms. Dingli's quiet style enthralls the reader with possibilities as Jana Hayes searches for clues to authenticate an ancient icon.
The narrative is seamless with each tiny thread leading to broader questions. Questions posed in fiction that have valid evidence in verifiable fact.
Jana works for Johan Berg at Zona Scientifika in Venice is far from her home in Australia, but she is not lonely in her dingy apartment. She is within walking minutes away from the riveting intricate work she loves.
She discovers through x-rays a seconded painting hidden behind a black madonna that was sent to the firm by the Catholic church to its establish providence. The bearer of the precious artifact is a young priest, Rob Anderson, who is a fellow Australian. There is an instant recognition between Jana and Rob, but as strangers passing, Jana's work is almost finished.
She arrives at the lab to discover all of her notes and work files have vanished. Her friend and colleague, Anita Schneider, is dead. She was murdered during the break-in.
Jana and Rob set off across Italy on a journey both personal and professional. They are aided in their quest by Bryn Awbrey, a Welsh bibliophile, who becomes involved in their search for the truth, no matter what it may cost them.
The reader is drawn into the story and will remain there through the exciting climax to the end. Then you may find yourself doing some reading in the Bible.
This title has been compared to a famous book of the symbolic seaching, but I see traces of the early traditional mystery writer, Mary Roberts Rinehart.
Rosanne Dingli is at work on a related title to be published in the near future, which will again involve the wily Bryn Awbrey who lives with books and never forgets a page or reference. You can visit with her on Twitter @RosanneDingli or on her website at http://www.rosannedingli.com.
Nash Black, author of the Ono County of Death series.