Martyr is the first in the acclaimed and bestselling John Shakespeare Elizabethan mystery series by Rory Clements, winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award.
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
England is close to war. Within days the axe could fall on the neck of Mary Queen of Scots, and Spain is already gathering a battle fleet to avenge her. Tensions in Elizabeth I's government are at breaking point. At the eye of the storm is John Shakespeare, chief intelligencer in the secret service of Sir Francis Walsingham. When an intercept reveals a plot to assassinate England's 'sea dragon', Francis Drake, Shakespeare is ordered to protect him. With Drake on land fitting out his ships, he is frighteningly vulnerable. If he dies, England will be open to invasion. In a London rife with rumour, Shakespeare must decide which leads to follow, which to ignore. When a high-born young woman is found mutilated and murdered at an illicit printing house, it is political gunpowder - and he has no option but to investigate. But why is Shakespeare shadowed at every turn by the brutal Richard Topcliffe, the blood-drenched priest-hunter who claims intimacy with Queen Elizabeth herself? What is Topcliffe's interest in a housemaid, whose baby has been stolen? And where do two fugitive Jesuit priests fit into the puzzle, one happy to die for God, the other to kill for Him? From the splendour and intrigue of the royal court, to the sleek warships of Her Majesty's Navy and the teeming brothels of Southwark, Shakespeare soon learns that nothing is as it seems ...
The John Shakespeare series:
5. The Heretics
'A colourful history lesson...leavened by exciting narrative twists'
The Sunday Telegraph
'The joy of this book is the way it interweaves commonly known history with the story. The atmosphere and attention to detail will commend this book to devotees of the period'
'An engrossing thriller'
'Beautifully done ... alive and tremendously engrossing'
'Enjoyable, bloody and brutish'
'An excellent debut'
'Captivates and carries one along through the strength of its plot and its intelligent main character'
Dallas Morning News
'Sharp and challenging, this book is missed at one's peril'
'The novel wears its historical learning lightly, and Clements seasons it with romance and humour'
The Mail on Sunday
'Clements can be seen as doing for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's ... What's impressive in the latest is how much of Tudor society it crams in, from the court and Derby's estate to outlaws and the soldiers in its concluding scene'
'There's plenty of thrills ... the multiple plot elements are well-handled ... there's much that's enjoyable and Clements' orchestration of the narrative is skillful' www.displacementactivity.co.uk
'The best yet in Rory Clements magnificent series about John Shakespeare ... As always, the historical detail is fascinating and sometimes delightfully obscure ... another sumptuous feast that will leave you sated - but craving for the next helping!' Crimesquad
'I found this the best book in the series' Historical Novels Review
Publication date: 21/01/2010
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd an imprint of John Murray General Publishing Division
|Publication date:||21st January 2010|
|Publisher:||John Murray Publishers Ltd an imprint of John Murray General Publishing Division|
|Genres:||Reader Reviewed Books, Crime / Mystery, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,|
Rory Clements is the bestselling author of the John Shakespeare series of Tudor spy thrillers. His six acclaimed novels, Martyr, Revenger, Prince, Traitor, The Heretics and The Queen's Man, follow Elizabeth's Intelligencer, John Shakespeare, brother to the playwright William, through the dark underworld of Tudor England as he unmasks the traitors and conspirators who plot against the Queen. The seventh John Shakespeare novel, Holy Spy, is due to be published in February 2015. Rory Clements won the Crime Writers' Association Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award in 2010 for Revenger, and has been shortlisted for CWA Awards for Martyr, Prince and The Heretics. ...More About Rory Clements