"The Courtesan's Secret" By Nina Wachsman: Review/Giveaway

 Review by Sarah Erwin

 Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook or print copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Nina Wachsman returns to her Venice Beauties mystery series with book two, The Courtesan's Secret. While this is part of a series, it can easily be read as a standalone historical mystery.

The story opens in 17th century Venice where a beautiful and rich courtesan, Belladonna, must suddenly abandon her luxurious home and all her possessions to go into hiding. Barely escaping a midnight attack, Belladonna reunites briefly with Isaak, her pirate love interest who warns her that an envoy from the New World has disappeared, along with his map to great treasure. The hunt is on for both the man and the map, and the Spanish hunters, assuming that Belladonna is the envoys secret lover, believe Belladonna is the key to finding the man.

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To avoid capture by the Spanish, Belladonna takes refuge in the ghetto with her friend, Diana, the rabbis daughter. Belladonnas presence, however, brings danger to not just Dianas life, but also to the rabbis. Not one to simply wait in hiding, and fearing for her friends and their community, Belladonna decides she must find the envoy first and confront the secrets of her past that she has kept closely guarded.

Nina brings her story to life with rich details of setting, clothes, and characters. It is clear that Nina thoroughly researched the time period and customs, but the novel does not read like a dry textbook. Instead, this historical tale reads like a thrilling adventure that includes spies, lost treasure, pirates, and romance. I was fascinated and kept turning the pages. The drama is complex, and I felt the tension as if I were transported to old Venice with Belladonna, searching for answers, unsure of whom to trust, and anticipating danger around every corner. I am looking forward to future works by Nina Wachsman.

To enter to win an ebook or print copy (winner's choice) of The Courtesan's Secret , simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "secret,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 23, 2023. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. Be sure to state if you want print or ebook and if entering via email and want print please include mailing address. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Sarah Erwin started her career as a children’s librarian, later becoming a public library director and now she’s a stay at home mom. While her career might have changed, her love of reading has been a constant since 4th grade and she reads over 200 books a year. Read along with her on her blog Sarah Can’t Stop Reading or on Instagram. Sarah lives in St. Louis, MO with her two kids, her husband and a family dog and cat.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Venice is a great city. Count me in for a print copy, please!

  2. Interesting setting, I'd love to have a copy. Thanks for the chance to win a print copy. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  3. "The Courtesan's Secret" by Nina Wachsman sounds like a highly detailed literary gem. I would love to have a print copy!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  4. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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