The Virgin of the Wind Rose: A Christopher Columbus Mystery-Thriller

The Virgin of the Wind Rose: A Christopher Columbus Mystery-Thriller

by Glen Craney

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*** Books & Benches Mystery-Thriller Book-of-the-Year Finalist *** indieBRAG Medallion Honoree ***

Rookie State Department lawyer Jaqueline Quartermane was never much good at puzzles. But now she must unlock the infamous Templar Word Square to thwart a global conspiracy that spans five centuries.

While investigating the murder of an American missionary, Jaqueline discovers the mysterious Latin word square carved into an underground Ethiopian church near the tomb of the biblical Adam. Her obsession with solving its coded message draws her into a desperate race with an elusive Middle Eastern mastermind to find the last relic needed to resurrect Solomon's Temple. A trail of cabalistic clues leads her to the catacombs of Rome, the crypt below Chartres Cathedral, a Masonic shaft in Nova Scotia, a Portuguese shipwreck off Sumatra, and the caverns under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Intertwined in a time shift with this modern relic hunt, a parallel duel is waged:

The year is 1452, and one of the most secretive societies in history, Portugal's Order of Christ, is led by a reclusive visionary. Prince Henry the Navigator and his medieval version of NASA plot to foil their archenemies, the Inquisitor Torquemada and Queen Isabella of Castile, who scheme to bring back Christ for the Last Judgment by ridding the world of Jews, heretics, and unbelievers.

Separated by half a millennium, two conspiracies dovetail in this breakneck historical thriller to expose the world's most explosive secret: The real identity and mission of Christopher Columbus.


"An impeccably researched, high-velocity historical thriller.... If you love Steve Berry, Dan Brown or Umberto Eco, you may have a new author favorite in Glen Craney." --

"An exciting journey across time, with more twists and turns than a strawberry Twizzler. Craney has produced a page-turning adventure, with crisp, clean and measured prose... The research behind the stories is massive, lending credence to the cast of characters and authenticity to the historic periods. This is a highly recommended historical thriller in the manner of Dan Brown." -- Quarterdeck magazine

"A page turner...and a very well written narrative which I thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommended." -- David Hayes, Editor, Historic Naval Fiction

"[T]his book was compared favorably by other readers to the writings of Dan Brown... I jumped at the chance to see what the hype was about. I'm very glad I did... I stayed up all night to finish this great read and was left wanting more... Many times I will figure stories out early on, but this book keeps you guessing. Mr. Craney is a master of holding back and building the suspense. Though this is a fast-paced romp through history and time, you are still holding your breath... I'm hoping for a sequel." -- One Book Shy of a Full Shelf Review Blog

"Grips you in its teeth and whirls you through history... Naturally this novel will be compared to the books of Dan Brown but the quality of writing in The Virgin of the Wind Rose has the edge for me." -- Rosie Amber Reviews

"Five stars. Move over, Dan Brown, you've got competition." -- Sweet Mystery Books

Product Details

BN ID: 2940148553182
Publisher: Brigid's Fire Press
Publication date: 01/01/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 408
Sales rank: 16,358
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Glen Craney is a novelist, screenwriter, and journalist. He holds graduate degrees from Indiana University School of Law and Columbia University School of Journalism. He practiced trial law before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to cover national politics and the Iran-contra trial for Congressional Quarterly magazine. The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences awarded him the Nicholl Fellowship prize for best new screenwriting. He is a Chaucer Awards First-Place Winner, a three-time indieBRAG Medallion Honoree, and a three-time Foreword Reviews Book-of-the-Year Award Finalist. His debut historical novel, The Fire and the Light, was honored as Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Awards. His books have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, to the Scotland of Robert Bruce, to Portugal during the Age of Discovery, to the trenches of France during World War I, and to the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression.

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The Virgin of the Wind Rose: A Christopher Columbus Mystery-Thriller 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
indiebrag More than 1 year ago
We are proud to announce that THE VIRGIN OF THE WIND ROSE by Glen Craney is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
Amys_Bookshelf_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Definitely thrilling Two worlds collide, the past and the present. That's the premise of this story and it does not disappoint. It seems like a long story, but once this reader started, I didn't want it to end. Craney weaves a great tale and it's filled with suspense and colorful characters. It's written so well, it may have been true. A great read.
ForeverLostinLiterature More than 1 year ago
First off, wow. The Virgin of the Wind Rose is an incredible adventure that I ended up enjoying so much more than I initially expected. This, however, doesn’t mean that I had low expectations; instead, it means that this book was just that good. I had no idea what this would book would entail, as the summary seemed like it just had so much going on that I had no idea how Craney would work it all out, but he did it all with grace – and, you know, a lot of suspense. This is a historical thriller of immense proportions that will have take all the things you know about Christopher Columbus and turn them over into a whole new story. The story starts off with State Department lawyer Jaqueline Qautermane, who is drawn into a historical mystery that occurs while she is in Ethiopia. As this occurs, we are also transported back the 1400s to discover who Christopher Columbus is and what his true motivations were for his explorations. I find it important to mention that Craney’s research into the development of this novel is immensely apparent, and it definitely pays off in the creation of this intricate novel, and he should certainly be applauded for it. Craney’s writing is also smooth, effortless, and purposeful. Not a sentence is wasted, and his work has the quality of an accomplished writer. There are so many plot elements, ideas, and details working together all at once that anything less than masterful writing would leave me entirely confused about what is going on. As mentioned above, the story switches off between the present day and the 15th century, which is pulled of remarkably well. It often happens that present-day/historical narratives become bogged down or leave the reader preferring one over the other, but Craney puts such life and detail into his story that both were equally exciting. The characters are also all developed really well, although I feel as though Craney’s true talent lies in his plot and story setup. Overall, I am giving The Virgin of the Wind Rose four-and-a-half stars for all of the reasons mentioned above, such as its perfect balance between historical fact and fiction and thrilling plot.
ToddSimpson More than 1 year ago
Wow, what a great story. There is always something special about finding a new Author that can capture your attention the way Glen Craney has for me. The thing that really sets this book apart and makes it so enjoyable is the story being told from the 14th & 15th century, and then back to the present day. With a very interesting and unique plot. Jaqueline “Jaq” Quatermane is stunned when she hears her fiancé Paul Merion was shot to death in Ethiopia. He went there on a mission to spread the word of Christ. The authorities are saying that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that he wasn’t the target. The Eritrean Commando’s also killed the head priest of Lalibela. Ethiopia being a Christian majority is a dangerous place with al-Qaeda’s radical Islamist on their border. By killing Paul they were more likely sending a clear message to America. Jaq want’s to travel to Ethiopia to retrieve Paul’s body, but of course she can’t help herself when she gets over there, and starts to investigate what really happened to him. The Police hand over his ashes and his belongings, and when Jaq goes through his things, she can tell there was more to his trip than he let on. She makes her way to the underground churches to investigate, and she is lucky to run into Elymas a well-known thief who saves her life more than once. While they are underground they find ancient codes on a column, and this leads Jaq on quite an adventure on what it means. This book moves very well between two stories from different centuries, back in the 14th and 15th Centuries. Pero thought for sure he was going to die for being a Jew when he and his father are caught. Especially when he witnesses the torture of another prisoner for only misplacing a chart belonging to the Royal Depository. However they have other plans for Pero to become an apprentice of the Order of Christ along with two other boys. All Pero wants to do is become a sailor and sail the seas for adventure. This is a very clever book, and I’m certainly going to keep an eye out for this Authors books in the future.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
She was supposed to be planning her upcoming wedding, but when the news came that her fiancé had been murdered, State Department lawyer Jacqueline Quartermane begins an investigation that will uncover a magical word square in an underground church that protects the tomb of Adam as she chases down a man claiming to be the long awaited Muslim Messiah of the Apocalypse. When she becomes his target, too, the race is on to find another priceless relic protecting another ancient tomb. What will these tombs uncover? Follow her journey around the world and across the barriers of time as two stories cross paths again and again. Across a span of over 500 years these paths lead to the same breathtaking conclusion that will set events in place to usher in the biblical End of Days. Jacqueline and her unlikely Jewish Atheist ally will follow the clues that will lead them through ancient crypts, shipwrecks, church secrets and possible Templar involvement and the truth of who Christopher Columbus was and why he really set sail into the unknown. For centuries there have been secrets, rumors and legendary stories, are they real or stories to frighten the followers of religion? Let Glen Craney take you on a journey of wonder in The Virgin of the Wind Rose and discover the joy of intriguing details brought forth by a talented author’s dedication to providing well-researched facts and deftly weaving them throughout a thrilling maze of mystery and discovery. Wonderful world building is going on here, slowly picking up momentum as the characters take shape and play their roles flawlessly. Certainly not a quick read, this is a tale to savor, to get lost in and to enjoy every single page. Have you ever wondered about biblical history or the secrets of the past? Do you like the mystery and intrigue of the unknown as the clock counts down on humanity’s existence? A fabulous read! I received this copy from Glen Craney in exchange for my honest review.
Quitterstrip More than 1 year ago
I was graciously contacted by Glen Craney to review his book "The Virgin of the Wind Rose". Given that fact, it has not altered my opinion on the book at all. Like any good historical fiction book (at least the ones I'm accustomed to reading) they tend to jump back and forth between stories. How else are you to know the distinct connection between past and present? Craney's book jumps between present day and Spain starting around 1455 AD. What does an Ethiopian tomb and a tale of 3 mariners have in common? Jaqueline Quatermane, or Jaq as she is referred to throughout the book, is the main character in the present day story. Jaq graduating from law school and now working for the State Department in the office of Legal Advisor, seems to be involved in nothing but politics. The reader is quickly introduced to her mentor a Rev. Calvin Merry; an eccentric televangelist who's main goal seems to be saving as many non-believers as possible; going so far as to build a "Museum of the Millenium" an interactive recreation of the rapture and tribulation. You are also introduced to Paul Merion, Jaq's fiance, who is doing God's work in Ethiopia. On the other "Timeline" (subtle hint to Crichton fans! Comment if you get it!) we're introduced to Pero, a son of a horse trader who longs to be on the sea. Pero discovers a secret that has been kept from him for his safety. Pero and his father are arrested, which Pero counts towards his family's secret. Pero's mistaken imprisonment may lead him to his lifelong desire. Back in Washington, Jaq receives heartbreaking news regarding her fiance, Paul. Paul was found dead in Ethiopia. As if this news isn't enough, Jaq is told that Paul was involved in drug trafficking, bringing Ethiopian drugs stateside via Rev. Merry's food program. Unwilling to accept the truth, Jaq travels to Ethiopia in search of the truth. You'll never believe all the twists and turns this book takes. What I enjoyed about the book? There are more than several quotes that I absolutely love in this book. And the fact that Craney mentions Harry Potter made my geek heart jump out of my chest. I also love how fast paced this book was. Once you get into the story it's extremely hard to put it down. I also love the fact that reading this book makes me want to travel (my wallet doesn't feel the same) and explore historical places to their core. I also loved getting to know the young Queen Isabella, and to see her grow within the story. Typically we see Isabella already on her throne and in charge. In Craney's book, we take a bit of a look at her backstory, which is phenomenal. Did you know that Christopher Columbus has a secret (at least in this book)? You'll definitely want to read to find out what he's up to, and the influence he has. What I didn't like about the book? It ended. Seriously, no complaints here! I mean it when I say that I would love to add Glen Craney's work to my bookshelves. Mr. Craney, thank you so much for reaching out and allowing me the pleasure to read your book. I absolutely loved it, and would love to work with you again!
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
‘The Virgin of the Wind Rose’ is an action thriller by American author Glen Craney, who hasn’t shied away from tackling some contentious issues as he takes religious tension, persecution, bigotry and conspiracy as his theme. The writing style is clear, free-flowing and grammatically polished. The pace is fast with little time to dwell on backdrop scenery in the various international locations visited. The characters are well rounded and three dimensional with Jaq, the lead modern day protagonist, having a very colourful foil in the form of Elymas. Once their paths converge, the sparing and banter between them is highly entertaining, giving some humour as a contrast to the underlying darker messages. The title of the book is intriguing and the cover design striking, both of which will encourage curious readers. Knowing little of fifteenth century international history, I did some internet searching to discover whether I was reading fact or fiction and now appreciate that the author carried out an enormous amount of background research for historical accuracy around which to weave his tale. There are many intriguing twists, turns and blind alleys as both Jaq in the contemporary story and Pero and his supporting cast in the fifteenth century, play out their separate journeys of discovery. This is an unusual novel, taking stories from different eras and juxtaposing the two. There is an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel to the action and possibly to address this comparison, the author himself draws attention to it. The concept is extremely ambitious and I think the complexity of each story is such that both are strong enough to stand alone. If you enjoy mystery thrillers, then I recommend this book, though you will need to concentrate to make sure you stay abreast of the action. I would hesitate to classify it as a light escapist read as in places the plot is intricate and challenging and doesn’t allow the reader to relax for a second. I commend the author for a highly imaginative, thought-provoking and fascinating story and award ‘The Virgin of the Wind Rose’ five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love novels that delve into the esoteric mysteries of history. Glen Craney's first novel, The Fire and the Light, made me a fan of his vision. I am proud to reveal that I know him personally. And for this reason I can appreciate the literary gifts to which he has devoted so many years. He is a passionate student of little known aspects of history. The Fire and the Light resurrected the true life chapter of the Cathars and their feminine priestesses, their downfall orchestrated by the powers that be. A new set of powers-that-be - that calls itself after a feminine warrior, - attempted to crush the spirit of this recommendation by advising me they knew that Glen Craney was my friend, therefore I could not be impartial to the book. It is true he is my friend. I met him 28 years ago and have seen his transformation from succesful lawyer to journalist, to screenwriter and now to historical fiction novelist. Each reincarnation-in-the-same-life he emerges a stronger figure, one guided by ideals and by penetrating depth. When the world was fawning over Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, - a made-for-TV surface paperback which merely skims over the surface of the secrets of the Goddess - Glen Craney had already recovered the banished spirit through The Fire and the Light. However since he is an independent writer breaking through the book monopolists’ webs, his tome remains hidden in nooks and crannies available to discerning readers. Although this is not a review for The Fire and the Light, I recommended it when it first came out and I recommend it now. The Virgin of the Wind Rose is a harder book to read. It contains symbols and word labyrinths. This thriller is one intense, roller coaster of a ride. The characters are well sketched, the details are researched to the bone, the adventure is riveting, and the central manipulation of the enigmatic word palindrome is great chalenge for those who like to think. It contains two stories, interlaced back and forth, that require attention. He has something to tell you, not something to sell you. His message is his medium. I have yet to read the remaining three books that he has produced in the past few years. But I plan to. I see his works as those of a reporter travelling in time, sending chronicles to the present. The voices of those far gone speak through Glen Craney's hands. History begins to take on more substance, it defies the cardboard versions that are fed to us as children, and trumps over the overly dramatized and modernized caricatures that we Buffet on every day with the media blitz. Dear reader, you are the only one who can discern the quality of what you read. Whatever it is you enjoy, be the universe's guest. As they say in old lore, do as you wish and harm none. I give the Virgin ot the Wind Rose four stars due to the complexity. And yet complexity never prevented soulful individuals from finding and enjoying the books that speak to them.