Here's an extract to whet your appetite:
So at fifteen, spread belly-down upon the floor, a black sheet hunched over me and candles at my foot and head, my lips pressed on stone, litanies in my ears, as the priest broke and entered my shocked fist to slide the ring on my finger, I promised to take no other husband than Christ. I almost meant it. In that heady moment the vow itself seemed no great sacrifice: I'd never known a man, but I had tasted chocolate.
And one of the Amazon reviews:
Gripping and grimy, September 2, 2005
Reviewer: J. Cotton (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This one's even better than 'Carnevale', her last, and just as flavoursome! The action switches between Venice, where a daughter of the aristocratic Venier family is confined to a convent, very much against her will, and London where later Valentine Greatrakes' quack-remedy and 'importing' business is stuck a blow as his partner is killed in Venice. There will be more murders, lies, romance, sex and travel before the plot to this one plays itself out. There's also much vivid description of the streets and low life of the Thames Bankside and dank Venetian canal sides - The Remedy gives good 18th Century Venice and London, with descriptions you can almost taste, and not just of the food. The hint of decadence in the writing and nastiness in the plotting I find much to my taste too. And if you want to know how you can use any peacock dung, faeculae of cuckow and ox galls you might have about the place in remedies and other useful potions this book will tell you, with handy recipes at the start of each chapter. Gripping stuff!
And so my writing prompt for today is going to be ... gripping and grimy.