I must say right off the bat, that I really enjoyed this book. The novel takes place in 1517, and the main character, Dismis, is a relic hunter (for those of you who don’t know, a relic hunter procured “authentic” holy relics which were used to shorten ones time in Purgatory after death). Dismis, like most of his colleagues, is quite flexible with his authentications. He has two main clients, Fredrick the Wise, and Albrecht of Mainz.
This novel is extremely funny as it follows the disasters that seem to dog Dismis. When he is given a choice between death and stealing the Shroud of Turin, Dismis attempts the theft with his good friend and highly regarded painter, Albrecht Durer. Once they discover how difficult stealing the Shroud will be, they come up with the idea to simply paint a fake one and pass it off as real. High drama ensues, with an untimely appearance of a Lord, the kidnapping and saving of a damsel in distress, and Durer’s unfortunate inability to keep from painting himself onto the Shroud. I won’t ruin the book for you, and leave it up to you to find out if Dismis gets the money, the girl and life itself.
I highly recommend this book. Also, for your edification, I suggest that you read the notes at the end of the book, and take a look for yourself at the image on the Shroud, and the painter Albrecht Durer. Enjoy!