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Martyr: An Elizabethan Thriller

Rory Clements.
Publisher Bantam  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 1.25 inches
ISBN 9780385342827
Pages/Publication Date 388/2009
Daedalus Item Code 30335
This item is not available.
This ingenious debut of Rory Clements's historical series introduces John Shakespeare, Will's older brother and an intelligencer for Elizabeth I's spymaster Sir John Walsingham. In a burnt-out house, one of the queen's aristocratic cousins is found murdered, her flesh marked with profane symbols. At the same time, a plot to assassinate Sir Francis Drake is discovered, which, if it succeeds, would leave the country vulnerable to the Spanish Armada. Shadowed by his rival, the Queen's chief torturer, who employs his own methods of terror, Shakespeare begins to piece together a complex conspiracy whose implications are almost too horrific to contemplate.

"There is a great deal going on in this novel.... A beautiful and highborn young woman, a cousin of the queen, is found tortured to death, in a manner that suggests a Catholic killer. Another woman's beloved infant is kidnapped and a deformed infant left in its place. We glimpse England's 'first ever state funeral for a nonroyal,' that of the beloved soldier and poet Sir Philip Sidney: 'Seven hundred official mourners followed the cortege as it wove slowly through the streets of London from Aldgate to St Paul's.' Shakespeare encounters a witch and falls in love with a beautiful Catholic, not a good career move. Clements, a former London journalist, shows us not only great lords and ladies in his first novel but also whores and cutthroats. We meet the delightfully named prostitutes Starling Day and Parsimony Field and the brave soldier Boltfoot Cooper. Do those names recall some in Shakespeare? The author does have Shakespeare on his mind, in that his hero has a younger brother named William, an actor. The handsome and resourceful Will appears only briefly in Martyr, but given that the novel is presented as the first of a series, we can expect to see more of the brothers Shakespeare. On the basis of this outing, they will be welcome."Washington Post

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The Parliament House: A Christopher Redmayne Mystery
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Publisher: Allison & Busby.   Format: paperback. ISBN: 9780749081775.  Daedalus Item Code: 32629
List Price: Import Sale Price: $4.98
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