Last week, the Catholic Church celebrated the election of Pope Francis. As white smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel, signaling the end of the conclave, onlookers cheered and moved toward the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to view the new head of the Catholic Church.
This historic moment made me think of one of my favorite books, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. Set in Vatican City, Angels and Demons takes place during a fictional, less peaceful conclave. The top four Preferiti, cardinals most likely to be elected Pope, have been kidnapped and begin to turn up hideously murdered in various locations around Rome. Harvard Professor Robert Langdon races against time to save the remaining cardinals and the fate of the papacy itself. Like Brown’s other widely read novel, The DaVinci Code, this story is filled with puzzles, riddles, and clues that Langdon must decipher. It’s the perfect combination of action and mystery.
Interested in learning more about the papal election process? Check out these resources from the library: