The Pumilio Child

The Pumilio Child is a dark, unsettling thriller that challenges the perception that Italy during the Renaissance was cultured and refined.  The day-to-day reality was surprisingly barbaric.

Ya Ling’s cultured life of privilege in Beijing is cruelly cut short when she is abducted and shipped to the slave market in Venice. When celebrated Renaissance artist Mantegna sees her chained to a post, although his finances are perilous, he digs deep and buys her. His initial intention is to paint her exotic beauty, but he soon moves her into the harness room for pleasures of a more private nature. Ya Ling has two ambitions, to ruin Mantegna, then to escape her brutal and sordid life in Mantua and return back to her family in China. However, Mantegna’s latest commission, two huge frescos for the ruling Gonzaga family, make him invincible.

This gripping story is interwoven with a subplot introducing a bizarre and vicious practice that took place during Renaissance times. It was so corrupt and disturbing it has been wiped from history. Until now.

About the author

Judy McInerney travels in China each year to keep in close touch with family there. She also has a longstanding love affair with Italy, particularly the Renaissance cities of the north.

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Why We Like It

  • A fascinating and historically enlightening insight into a hidden past
  • An unpredictable plot packed with intriguing twists and turns
  • Carefully created characters that dynamically bring the past to live

About the author


Judy McInerney has lived and worked in London for most of her professional life. Living in the Middle East, she managed to get lost in the desert, and to live through a military coup. After teaching in Abu Dhabi and starting her own business in Turkey, she returned to London and completed a creative writing course at Goldsmiths. Writing for food and travel guides has enabled her to justify travelling and eating out far too often.

As a frequent traveller to China over the last thirty years she has seen the country undergo massive seismic changes, - from the times of Mao jackets and vast shoals of bicycles meandering along every hutong, to the present day, where Beijing is bigger than Belgium and has six million cars. She still travels in China each year to keep in close touch with family there. She also has a longstanding love affair with Italy, particularly the Renaissance cities of the north. Mantua is an undiscovered gem, both magical and macabre.


How it Works

The book will be delivered in 10 instalments (or staves), one every day. The instalments are delivered to your Pigeonhole bookshelf on your IOS or Android app, plus you can read on our web reader. You will receive an email letting you know when each stave is available.
We believe that shared reading leads to new ideas and connections. That’s why we have a dynamic commenting system which allows in-text discussion between our readers. Post a comment and all your fellow readers will be able to respond. You can also choose to receive notifications (customise them here) when someone responds to your comment, or, additionally, whenever a comment is left in the book. If you do not wish to receive each comment as a push notification, be sure to disable push notifications for The Pigeonhole app within your device's settings.
As you read you will see round purple icons at the edge of certain paragraphs – tap on these to reveal behind-the-scenes extra content!
We kindly ask that you help us spread the brilliance of this book and support the author by leaving an Amazon review at the end the serialisation. The full book will be available on your Pigeonhole bookshelf for one month for you to read at your leisure.
Any questions? Drop us a line on laurence@pigeonholepublishing.com.

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