The Medici Mirror is Melissa Bailey’s first novel and it is a gripping one. Hidden in the basement of an abandoned Victorian shoe factory is a sixteenth-century mirror, cursed by the Black Queen, Catherine of Medici. When Jonny, a twenty-first century architect charged with renovating the factory, stumbles across the mirror his life is threatened by its dark reflections. Will he unravel the past before it unravels him? Will his love life end in triumph or murder?
Catherine of Medici’s story is a compelling one and I would have liked to hear more from her. With the added history of the factory and its hidden love affairs, sometimes there is almost too much past. Without the mirror, these other histories remain unfettered to the present-day characters making me question what, ultimately, the book wants me to go away thinking about. But I am driven by the plot and despite wishing there were slightly fewer sex scenes, the characters are connected through a curse that turns desire into possession making The Medici Mirror a sexy, scary ride that stays with you long after the book has been put down.
If you like spooky, sexy mysteries with a historical flavour then The Medici Mirror is for you. Melissa Bailey’s is undoubtedly a name we will all become familiar with.
Look out for my review of The Anchoress by Paul Blaney, which I hope to post at the end of this week.