My young adult historical mystery-romance novel, The Saffron Crocus, set in Venice, 1640, has won two prizes.
Venice, 1643. Isabella, 15, wants to sing in Monteverdi's Choir, but only boys (and castrati) can do that. Her singing teacher, Margherita, introduces her to a new wonder: opera! But then Isabella finds Margherita murdered. Now the killer is after Isabella and Margherita's handsome rogue of a son, Rafaele.
Was Margherita killed so someone could steal her saffron crocus business?
Or was it a disgruntled lover, as Margherita, unbeknownst to Isabella, was one of Venice's wealthiest courtesans?
Or is the answer even further back in Margherita's past, and will Isabella and Rafaele find it deep in the Jewish Ghetto?
Isabella and Rafaele have to solve the mystery of the Saffron Crocus before Rafaele is condemned for a murder he didn't commit, though Isabella fears the truth will drive her and the man she loves irrevocably apart.
The Melody of Love Contest (Music City Romance Writers): Second Prize in their Historical Category.
The Joyce Henderson Contest (South West Florida Writers): Third Prize in their Historical Category. (Also listed in April RWR).