EVENT 24/07: Anna Mazzola and Elizabeth Freemantle (Henleaze)

Regular price £5.50


Join us for a very special evening with two fantastic writers, Anna Mazzola and Elizabeth Freemantle. They'll be discussing their latest books, The Book Of Secrets and Disobedient, their shared setting of 1700s Rome and how they retold the true events of each story. 

Wednesday 24th July 2024

Max Minerva's, 47 Henleaze Road, BS9 4JU

Doors at 19:00. Discussion at 19:30. Finish at 20:45.

£5.50 ticket only
£9.99 ticket with Disobedient (paperback).
£18.99 ticket with The Book Of Secrets (hardback).  
£25 ticket with both books.
£1 Pay What You Can
(Please only choose the PWYC tickets if you need to, they are limited and intended for those who really need them.)

50p from each ticket goes to Caring In Bristol

You don't need to bring your ticket with you, we will have a list of names on the door. Books will be available to buy on the night, priced £9.99 (Disobedient) and £18.99 (The Book of Secrets).


A writer of great variety and inventiveness. A haunting, complex work

Rome, 1659. Months after the plague has ravaged Rome, men are still dying in unnatural numbers, and rumour has it that their corpses do not decay as they should. The Papal authorities commission prosecutor Stefano Bracchi to investigate, telling him he will need considerable mettle to reach the truth. To the west of the Tiber, Girolama and her female friends are at work, helping other women with childbirths and foretelling their futures.

Elsewhere in the city, a young wife, Anna, must find a way to escape her abusive husband. But in a city made by men for men, there are no easy paths out. Stefano's investigation at the Tor di Nona prison will introduce him to horror, magic and an astonishing cast of characters.

He will be left wondering if certain deeds should remain forever unpunished... The Book of Secrets is inspired by real events that took place in 17th century Italy.


Artemisia's life was extraordinary, and so is this book. I was swept away by lush, evocative prose. An unforgettable, moving and important story told with great skill and care

Rome 1611. A jewel-bright place of change, with sumptuous new palaces and lavish wealth on display. A city where women are seen but not heard.

Artemisia Gentileschi dreams of becoming a great artist. Motherless, she grows up among a family of painters - men and boys. She knows she is more talented than her brothers, but she cannot choose her own future.

She wants to experience the world, but she belongs to her father and will belong to a husband. As Artemisia patiently goes from lesson to lesson, perfecting her craft, she also paints in private, recreating the women who inspire her, away from her father's eyes. Until a mysterious tutor enters her life.

Tassi is a dashing figure, handsome and worldly, and for a moment he represents everything that a life of freedom might offer. But then the unthinkable happens. In the eyes of her family, Artemisia should accept her fate.

In the eyes of the law, she is the villain. But Artemisia is a survivor. And this is her story to tell.


Anna is the award-winning author of five historical crime or Gothic novels. Her debut novel, The Unseeing, won an Edgar Allan Poe award. Her third novel, The Clockwork Girl, set in 18th century Paris, was shortlisted for two CWA Dagger awards and a Fingerprint Award, and nominated for the Dublin Literary award. Her fourth novel, The House of Whispers, a ghost story set in Fascist Italy, was a Sunday Times historical fiction novel of 2023. Her fifth historical novel, The Book of Secrets, is based on a real case from 17th century Rome and will be out on 21 March 2024. It is a Times Historical Book of the Month. Her first legal thriller will be published in 2025 under the name Anna Sharpe.

She is also a human rights and criminal justice solicitor working with survivors of crime. She lives in South London, with one husband, two children, a black cat and a snake.

Find Anna online at


Elizabeth Freemantle is the critically acclaimed author of four Tudor historical novels: Queen's Gambit (soon to be the feature film, FIREBRAND), Sisters of Treason, Watch the Lady and The Girl in the Glass Tower. As E.C. Fremantle she has written two gripping historical thrillers: The Poison Bed and The Honey and the Sting.  Her novel, Disobedient, about the artist Artemisia Gentileschi, will be published in July 2023. ​She lives in London.

Find Elizabeth online at