Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Shakespeare No More - Tony Hays

Shakespeare No More
Tony Hays
Perseverance, Sep 9 2015, $15.95
ISBN 9781564745668

In 1616 Stratford, suffering from a horrific fever William Shakespeare nears death.  He summons his former BFF wool merchant and Stratford Corporation Constable Simon Sadler to his dying bed.  Shakespeare insists someone poisoned him.  Even if he believed the dying Bard, which he does not, Sadler hates him for sleeping with his wife. 

Physician John Hall believes his renowned but almost universally disliked father-in-law died from arsenic poisoning.  Hall convinces the constable that someone murdered Shakespeare.  However, though many Stratford residents including Sadler loathed Shakespeare, the constable diligently performs his duty and journeys to London because he thinks the killer resides there.  Attempts on his life confirm Sadler’s contention.

This excellent police procedural will thrill readers, but it is the early seventeenth century elements at Stratford and in King James court that makes this one of the best of historical novels of the year.  With a powerful cast, a sense of readers feeling we are in 1616 England and a fascinating mystery, Tony Hays (see The Arthurian Mysteries) authors a taut whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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