THE SEVENTH SACRAMENT by James Bradberry

THE SEVENTH SACRAMENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A satisfying although somewhat formulaic whodunit from first-time novelist and architect Bradberry. The setting is the Italian Renaissance villa of Dottor Renzo Piruzzi, the richest man in Italy, who's paying Professor Jamie Ramsgill to serve as advisor to an architectural competition among six of the world's most renowned architects. The prize will be a commission for a building and an estimated fee of five million dollars. Each architect is required to come to the villa and to complete a design in the course of just one weekend, alone, and in complete isolation from the outside world. The writing is rich with the language of architecture and the flavor of Italy. The portraits of each of the architects and their intellectual squabbles are an amusing look into a professional world. But amicable disagreement soon turns to cutthroat competition. Then, one by one, the architects start dying -- the first seemingly from drinking, the second an apparent suicide. Ramsgill turns sleuth and discovers that the murderer's leitmotif is the seven sacraments, a theme in the art of Catholicism, which leads him to conclude that all six competitors, and he himself, are targets. Sometimes plodding and mechanical, but usually well-written and thoughtfully plotted -- with a pleasingly surprising ending.

Pub Date: July 20th, 1994
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: St. Martin's