Prince: A John Shakespeare Mystery (John Shakespeare Mysteries)

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9780062350466: Prince: A John Shakespeare Mystery (John Shakespeare Mysteries)

Prince (John Shakespeare 3) For fans of CJ Sansom and SJ Parris, PRINCE is the fifth in chronological order of Rory Clements' acclaimed and bestselling John Shakespeare series of Tudor spy thrillers. Clements, winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, 'does for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's' Sunday Times

Spring 1593. England is a powder keg of rumour and fear. Plague rages, famine is rife, the ageing Queen's couriers scheme: Elizabeth's Golden Age is truly tarnished. Meanwhile Spain watches and waits - and plots.

Into this turmoil a small cart clatters through the streets of London, carrying a deadly load. It is the first in a wave of horrific bombing attacks on the Dutch immigrant community that will change John Shakespeare's life for ever.

Driven on by cold rage, Shakespeare's investigations will take him from magnificent royal horseraces to the opulent chambers of Black Luce's brothel, from the theatrical underworld of Marlowe and Kyd to the pain-wracked torture cells of priest-hunter Richard Topcliffe, and from the elegant offices of master tactician Robert Cecil to the splintering timbers of an explosive encounter at sea.

As Shakespeare delves ever deeper, he uncovers intricate layers of mystery and deception that threaten the heart not only of the realm, but of all that he holds dear.

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Product Description:

For fans of CJ Sansom and SJ Parris, PRINCE is the third in Rory Clements' acclaimed and bestselling John Shakespeare series of Tudor spy thrillers. Clements, winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, 'does for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's' Sunday Times

Spring 1593. England is a powder keg of rumour and fear. Plague rages, famine is rife, the ageing Queen's couriers scheme: Elizabeth's Golden Age is truly tarnished. Meanwhile Spain watches and waits - and plots.

Into this turmoil a small cart clatters through the streets of London, carrying a deadly load. It is the first in a wave of horrific bombing attacks on the Dutch immigrant community that will change John Shakespeare's life for ever.

Driven on by cold rage, Shakespeare's investigations will take him from magnificent royal horseraces to the opulent chambers of Black Luce's brothel, from the theatrical underworld of Marlowe and Kyd to the pain-wracked torture cells of priest-hunter Richard Topcliffe, and from the elegant offices of master tactician Robert Cecil to the splintering timbers of an explosive encounter at sea.

As Shakespeare delves ever deeper, he uncovers intricate layers of mystery and deception that threaten the heart not only of the realm, but of all that he holds dear.

Review:

The field of the historical crime thriller was once an under-visited one, with only the occasional unusual entry making a mark. But how times have changed! Barely a week passes without an intriguing new entry appearing, featuring anachronistic sleuths from right across the spread of history. From ancient Rome (as in the novels of Lindsey Davis and Stephen Saylor) to the First World War (as in the railway detective sequence of Andrew Martin), there is an avalanche of new historical crime. Accordingly, it has become harder and harder for writers to produce something new. But that is precisely what Rory Clements has done, and Prince is proof that he is one of the most able practitioners in the genre. A year before this novel, Clements created something of a stir when he won the Ellis Peters Historical Crime Fiction Prize (named after one of the great talents in the genre) in the teeth of some serious opposition. This new entry is likely to enjoy a similar level of favourable attention, featuring (once again) his doughty protagonist John Shakespeare (no prizes for guessing who Clements' sleuth is related to).

In Prince, John Shakespeare has his most challenging investigation. It’s the spring of 1595, and plague stalks the land, along with massive political unrest. Bomb attacks on the Dutch immigrant community will have a seismic effect on John’s turbulent life.

There is a veritable cornucopia of elements to praise here, not least the vivid and idiomatic historical detail which is always integrated into the narrative, and never allowed to draw attention to itself in any conspicuous fashion. The plotting is as adroit as we have come to expect from Clements, and continues to surprise the reader at every turn. But perhaps the real pleasure of the book is the central character. John Shakespeare is one of the great historical sleuths, a multifaceted creation who is the perfect conduit to lead the reader through this baffling and dangerous period. --Barry Forshaw

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