Two people meet in a crowded London theatre one night in 1785. They quickly become lovers - and slowly discover that neither is what he/she at first appeared to be. As a spy for the Venetian state, Mimosina trades in dangerous secrets, and Valentine Greatrakes, the mastermind behind London's quacks, in elaborate lies.
As Valentine pursues the murderer of his right-hand man, he gets closer to the truth of his lover's background - and both are forced to admit the similarities between the different kinds of contraband they trade in.
'Vivid descriptions of the seedier parts of 17th-century London and the upper echelons of Venetian society ... Compelling' - Sunday Times Travel Magazine 'A pacy, atmospheric narrative that exposes the dark secrets of Enlightenment Venice and London' - Mary Laven, author of Virgins of Venice
Michelle Lovric is the author of two previous novels for Virago and she compiles bestselling anthologies for clients such as Past Times and the British Museum. She divides her time between her converted wharf on the Thames and a palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice.