Berlusconi reviews our forthcoming novel as final act as Italian Prime Minister

Dear Mr. Berlusconi,

We know this has been a busy time for you, what with the mobs in the street demanding your resignation and the IMF your head on a platter, not to mention your own legal problems with pretty dancing girls. So we understand you might think us a little crazy for suggesting you take time out to read our forthcoming novel, The Wolves of St. Peter’s. But we think our book could give you a much-needed distraction – not only because it's a good read but also because “The Turk,” suspect numero uno in the murder of the unfortunate Marigold Madonna, was inspired by none other than you!

Why you, you may ask? Well, as you know, there's nothing like a scandal to market one’s book, as Dan Brown discovered with The Da Vinci Code. Our novel will probably annoy the Vatican – we can just imagine the tsk, tsking over our portrayal of Pope Julius II (all rooted in fact, as a matter of fact). But annoying the Vatican has been done before (not to mention they probably have a considerable backlog of materials just waiting for their seal of disapproval). Besides, we’re actually rather nice and don’t really enjoy annoying people too much, which is why we think you’ll like The Turk. Despite his rather unsavory side, he's pretty fun and has become one of our all-time favorite characters.

In fact, it would be doing us a big favor if you could mention him in a news conference or two. And if it would help, we could send you a list of publications for you to send your endorsement to – The New York Times would be a good start. But please do it soon – even as we write this, the wolves are circling your presidential palace!

We can even help by preparing your endorsement. How about something like:

Great Book! Couldn’t put it down. Merkel and Sarkozy called three times demanding I squeeze more blood from a stone, but I told them to get a life and go read The Wolves of St. Peter’s. The authors (two charming Canadian ladies) tell me they based the character of The Turk on me. Even called him Silvio (that’s my first name: Silvio Berlusconi). Don’t see it myself. That painter, Michelangelo, no it was Raphael, called The Turk “the most cheerfully evil man” he’d ever met. I tell you, Raphael better be careful in the future or I’ll paint moustaches on all those pretty Madonnas of his! And that little upstart from Florence, Francesco, said I… I mean The Turk… looked like that fat old bullfrog from the fairytale…. And what was with the guy who thought he was a bat? But I did like the bunga bunga, and oh, la, la, that Calendula – what a looker! Shame what happened to her. And the ending! How shocking! I never guessed who the murderer was. Well, I won't spoil the surprise. You'll just have to wait until it's published and read it for yourselves.

Will that do? We really do appreciate you doing this. In the meantime, good luck with all your problems!

And one more thing. You really must do something about Pompeii. Another wall came down last week, and we don’t want our children to know about Italy’s historic treasures from books alone.

Sincerely, Janice Kirk & Gina Buonaguro

PS - We know you were probably anxiously awaiting Gina's book recommendations, but when we heard you were about to resign, we just had to get this out to you.

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