A MURDER BY ANY NAME
BY SUZANNE M. WOLFE
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Crooked Lane Books
Hardcover & eBook; 326 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
When a brutal murder threatens the sanctity of the Elizabethan court, it’s up to a hot-tempered spy to save the day.
The court of Elizabeth I is no stranger to plotting and intrigue, but the royal retinue is thrown into chaos when the Queen’s youngest and sweetest lady-in-waiting is murdered, her body left on the high altar of the Chapel Royal in Whitehall Palace. Solving the murder will require the cunning and savvy possessed by only one man. Enter Nicholas Holt, younger brother of the Earl of Blackwell—spy, rake, and owner of the infamous Black Sheep tavern in the seedy district of Bankside. Nick quickly learns that working for the Queen is a mixed blessing. Elizabeth—salty-tongued, vain, and fiercely intelligent—can, with a glance, either reward Nick with a purse of gold or have his head forcibly removed.
When a second lady-in-waiting is slain at Whitehall, the court once again reels with shock and dismay. On the trail of a diabolical killer, Nick and his faithful sidekick—an enormous Irish Wolfhound named Hector—are treading on treacherous ground, and only the killer’s head on a platter can keep them in the Queen’s good graces.
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Praise for A Murder By Any Name
“Captivating… Fans of Fiona Buckley’s Ursula Blanchard and Kathy Lynn Emerson’s Rosamond Jaffrey will be delighted to add Wolfe to their reading lists.” ―Booklist
“[A] promising series launch… Fans of Elizabethan historicals will be satisfied.” ―Publishers Weekly
“An excellent series kickoff by Wolfe that cleverly highlights both the mystery and the many ills of Elizabethan times.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“In vivid passages, Suzanne Wolfe’s novel brings to the reader the light and dark of Elizabethan England, its squalor and splendor, filth and riches, intrigues and delights.” ―NY Journal of Books
“A deeply atmospheric and richly textured Elizabethan mystery… I was captivated by Nicholas and Hector as they navigated court treachery and the dark recesses of the lower classes in this compelling Elizabethan mystery.” ―Shelley Freydont, New York Times bestselling author
“Wolfe’s descriptions are unparalleled, immersing the reader in the time period as they join her wily protagonist on his quest to catch a cold-hearted killer.” ―Anna Lee Huber, bestselling author of the Lady Darby Mysteries
“I stayed up reading much too late to finish this book! Wonderful Elizabethan atmosphere, well-drawn and unusual characters, action and intrigue and excitement―I felt like I was in the 1570s” ―Amanda Carmack, award-winning author of the Elizabethan mysteries
“Bewitching! Suzanne Wolfe opens the door to Elizabethan life through her masterful creation of the sympathetic spy, Nicholas Holt. An exciting start to a promising new historical mystery series.” ―Naomi Hirahara, Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai series
“A classically plotted whodunit set against the background of Elizabethan London and the court of Queen Elizabeth the First, both of them well researched and vividly realized, with a wealth of detail. One can almost smell the reek of the 16th century streets and waterways.” ―Fiona Buckley, author of the Ursula Blanchard Elizabethan mysteries
One of Queen Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting has been murdered and set on display. With the murderer throwing the palace into chaos, Queen Elizabeth brings in one of her famous spies, Nicholas Holt to quickly find the killer. However, the public feels that the Jews are to blame and when another murder follows, suspicions and fear quickly arise.
As a lover of all things Tudor, I couldn't resist a murder mystery set in Queen Elizabeth's court. I immediately enjoyed the way that Queen Elizabeth is portrayed by Suzanne M. Wolfe. This Elizabeth is authentic, using salty speech and acute intelligence, glamorous in style, but still very wary of threats surrounding her. Nicholas Holt and his companion, Hector the wolfhound are an amazing spy duo. Nick's skill set allows the reader into the many different sections of England. Nick is friends with Eli and Rivkah, Jewish doctors, setting the tone for the religious turmoil at the time and interviews many servants in Whitehall, exposing the many people and tasks they do to keep the castle running. Overall, this mystery kept me on my toes and included in-depth historical detail of the later parts of Queen Elizabeth's reign.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Suzanne M. Wolfe grew up in Manchester, England and read English Literature at Oxford University, where she co-founded the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society. She served as Writer in Residence at Seattle Pacific University and taught literature and creative writing there for nearly two decades. Wolfe is the author of three novels: A Murder by Any Name, The Confessions of X, and Unveiling.
Thirty years ago, she and her husband, Gregory Wolfe, co-founded Image, a journal of the arts and faith. They have also co-authored many books on literature and prayer including Books That Build Character: How to Teach Your Child Moral Values Through Stories, and Bless This House: Prayers For Children and Families. Her essays and blog posts have appeared in Image and other publications. She and her husband are the parents of four grown children. They live in Richmond Beach, Washington.
For more information, please visit Suzanne M. Wolfe’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.