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Benet Brandreth is an expert on Shakespeare's language and times, the rhetoric coach to the Royal Shakespeare Company and others, and a writer and performer whose last one-man show was a five-star reviewed sell-out at the Edinburgh Fringe and on its London Transfer. On top of all that he is a leading IP barrister. The Spy of Venice is his debut novel.
When he's caught out by one ill-advised seduction too many, young William Shakespeare flees Stratford to seek his fortune. Cast adrift in London, Will falls in with a band of players - but greater men have their eye on this talented young wordsmith. England's very survival hangs in the balance, and Will finds himself dispatched to Venice on a crucial embassy. Dazzled by the city's masques - and its beauties - Will little realises the peril in which he finds himself. Catholic assassins would stop at nothing to end his mission on the point of their sharpened knives, and lurking in the shadows is a killer as clever as he is cruel.