Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Cool Gus Publishing
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 168Series: The William Shakespeare Detective Agency
Genre: Historical Mystery
“My name is William Shakespeare. No, not that Shakespeare; and no jests please, I've heard them all. I’m the other one, the ne’er do well cousin, the loafer, known to family and friends as the dunce, the one who could not recite Cicero or Horace, who could never be as good as his clever cuz, the one who has just come to Bishopsgate from Stratford with silly dreams in his head and a longing to make something more of himself than just a glover’s handyman.”
What he finds in London is Lady Elizabeth Talbot, who is willing to pass a few shillings to this blundering brawler if he will help her find her husband. Poor William does not realize the trail will lead to the truth behind the death of Shakespeare’s great rival, Christopher Marlowe – or to a lifelong love affair with a woman far above his station.
Each book tells the story of William’s adventures as England’s first gumshoe, set against turbulent Elizabethan politics; of his romantic pursuit of the impossible Elizabeth Talbot; while charting the career of his up and coming dramatist cousin, the bard of Stratford, but just Will to his family.
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"Try not to make a fool out of yourself the very first day.
You would think this is not a difficult instruction to follow; you would be wrong."
William Shakespeare, cousin to the William Shakespeare arrives in London from Stratford in hopes of finding employment in anything but glove making. Secretly, he wishes to follow his cousin into the world of acting; but with the plague about, the theatre is far from gainful employment. Instead, Will immediately finds trouble at a London bar where he is mistaken for his well-known cousin. The Lady Elizabeth Talbot is searching for her ne're-do-well husband, Henry. It was rumored that Henry had spoken to a William Shakespeare before disappearing. Will is absconded by the Lady Elizabeth and instead of leaving with his life in tact, he decides to assist the beautiful Elizabeth Talbot find out what has happened to her husband. Now, with some money in his pocket, Will finds himself going deep into London's underbelly to find out what has happened to the husband of a woman he is quickly falling in love with.
This was a fun and fast historical mystery set in one of my favorite historical time periods. One of the best parts for me was seeing London described by newcomer, Will. He is taken with the city, but also taken advantage of at every turn and placed in some of the worst parts of London during the plague; still he decided to persevere. Even though William Shakespeare, cousin to the playwright, might be fictional, the description of the world he was placed in seemed on point with history. From the plague to the actual William Shakespeare's trails with the theatre at the time and the disappearance of Kit Marlowe, there is a lot of actually history packed in. Will's adventures took a humorous tone and though he didn't think himself as the smartest man, it was great to see him grown in his street smarts as he bumbled through London trying to find Henry Talbot. The mystery itself wasn't very complex and there are not a lot of clues to follow, but it was still entertaining. I would be interested in reading more about Will's detecting skills and his relationship with Lady Talbot since she left him in a precarious position.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Born in London, Colin first trialed as a professional football player in England, and was eventually brought to Australia. He went to Sydney and worked in TV and radio and freelanced for many of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines. He has published over twenty novels and his work has so far been translated into 23 languages.
He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz.
He currently lives in Barcelona.
For more information please visit Colin Falconer’s website. You can also find him on Facebook or follow on Twitter.