Constable (Constable & Robinson)
Date: April 2003
it at Amazon US
Historical Crime/Mystery [1602 London & Somerset, England]
Rachel A Hyde
A Shakespearean Murder Mystery, No. 4
book in this series about Nick Revill & Shakespeare's theater
company, "The Chamberlain's Men," sees Nick confronted
with his oldest boyhood friend, Peter Agate, the squire's son and
heir from his village in Somerset. Peter has left behind a hot-eyed
stepmother and has come to seek his fortune as an actor, hopefully
with "The Chamberlain's Men." Before he can do more than
try out for a part, he is dead--struck down by an unknown assailant
and with Nick cast in the part of possible murderer. When two more
murders follow suit, Nick ends up in jail and is likely to hang.
Just when it all seems hopeless, he finds he has an unusual offer
Philip Gooden is not the only person
to write about the theater in Shakespeare's time and it is just
as well, as this is a perennially fascinating milieu to portray.
Having Nick narrate the tale gives immediacy to the account, and
it is full of the puns and bawdy language that the Elizabethans
love, as well as some historical characters. Gooden has a great
storyteller style, but as I commented in another review, I would
like to get to know the other players better; everything else seems
to get described in some detail, which is good, but there is still
no clear picture of most of his fellow players, and this is a pity.
Apart from this, Gooden has produced another easy read with a fast-moving
inventive plot, appropriate humor and a fine feel for the period.