Synopses & Reviews
Christopher Marlowe faces the might of the Spanish Armada in the sixth of this intriguing historical mystery series
May, 1588. With Elizabeth I's court rocked by stories of an imminent invasion and one of his key undercover agents missing, Sir Francis Walsingham despatches Kit Marlowe to the Isle of Wight off the south coast: the first line of defence against the approaching Spanish Armada.
Lodging at Carisbrooke Castle with the Isle of Wight's Governor, Sir George Carey, Marlowe finds the Islanders a strange and suspicious lot, with their own peculiar customs and dialect. But is there reason to doubt their loyalty to the Crown? And is the Island really haunted, as some believe? Of one thing Marlowe is certain: it's no ghost behind the series of violent and inexplicable deaths which plague the region. But will he have time to uncover the truth and expose the killer before the might of the Armada descends?
"In Trow's so-so sixth Tudor mystery featuring playwright Christopher 'Kit' Marlowe (after 2013's Crimson Rose), Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's legendary spymaster, dispatches Kit to the Isle of Wight in search of missing spy Harry Hasler, whose last communiquÃ© made a vague reference to danger. Posing as a writer looking for inspiration, Kit arrives on Wight determined to learn whether there's any link between Hasler's disappearance and the ongoing threat to England from Spain. Kit is present at the discovery of a strangled corpse, which, to his relief, is not Hasler but rather a farmer, Walter Hunnybun. Hunnybun isn't the last murder victim the agent encounters while seeking his quarry, but the whodunit isn't Trow's best. The tongue-in-cheek tone, especially evident toward the end, undercuts any attempt at gritty realism, making this less engaging than similarly themed historical mysteries. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Trow successfully combines adventure, wit, and history (and, yes, a mystery) in this winning historical series featuring the real-life playwright in his undercover role as an intelligencer for Queen Elizabeth I. The dashing spy makes it all look so easy. This entry (number six after Crimson Rose) is particularly engaging and would be no problem for readers new to the series." Library Journal
"Trow's ability to evoke the sights, sounds, and smells of Elizabethan England, combined with captivating characters and a compellingly twisted plot, makes for yet another winning entry in this delightfully entertaining series." Booklist
May, 1588. Sir Francis Walsingham despatches undercover agent Christopher Marlowe to the Isle of Wight, the first line of defence against the approaching Spanish Armada. Is there reason to doubt the Islanders' loyalty to the Crown - and can Marlowe unmask a cunning murderer before the might of the Armada descends?
About the Author
M J Trow is a military historian by training and the author of the long-running Inspector Lestrade and 'Mad Max' Maxwell detective series, as well as several non-fiction books, including Who Killed Kit Marlowe? He lives on the Isle of Wight.