'Rory Clements does for Elizabeth's reign what C. J. Sansom does for Henry VIII's' Sunday TimesFrom the winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Award and author of the bestselling Elizabethan mystery series, comes a brand-new story for Christmas.
When a reluctant John Shakespeare answers a plea for help from Joshua Peace, Searcher of the Dead, a few days before Christmas, he cannot know what lies ahead. A naked man has been found in a snowdrift, a wreath of holly crowning his head and a bullet in his back. But it is no ordinary corpse. Shakespeare recognises him as Giovanni Jesu, a black man from Venice, a close associate - and some say much more - of the disgraced Earl of Oxford.
Who would kill such a man and why As all around him prepare for the festive season, Shakespeare must unravel a complex plot of passion and treachery and confront a cold-blooded murderer who will not hesitate to kill again.
Praise for the John Shakespeare series:
'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' - Sunday Times
A cracking plot full of twists right up to the last minute. I look forward to the next - Sunday Express
Beautifully done . . . alive and tremendously engrossing - Daily Telegraph
A colourful history lesson . . . exciting narrative twists - Sunday Telegraph
Enjoyable, bloody and brutish - Guardian
This is a historical thriller to send a shiver down your spine . . . atmospheric - the evocation of the filth and debauchery of London is quite exceptional - it demonstrates the compelling eye for detail and character that Bernard Cornwall so memorably brought to Rifleman Sharpe. I could not tear myself away, it is that good - Daily Mail
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
An engrossing thriller - Washington Post
Rory Clements is the award-winning 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. 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. A TV series is currently in development. Find out more at www.roryclements.co.uk