|1 June 2022|
My thanks to the author for my copy of this book
and to Rachel's Random Resources for the invitation to the blog tour
When a player is murdered, suspicion falls on the wardrobe mistress, Magdalen Bisset, because everyone knows poison is a woman’s weapon. The scandal-pamphlets vilify her. The coroner is convinced of her guilt.
Magdalen is innocent, although few are willing to help her prove it. Her much-loved grandmother is too old and sick. Will Shakespeare is benignly detached, and her friend Christopher Marlowe is wholly unreliable. Only one man offers his assistance, but dare she trust him when nothing about him rings true?
With just two weeks until the inquest, Magdalen ignores anonymous threats to ‘leave it be’, and delves into the dangerous underworld of a city seething with religious and racial tension. As time runs out, she must risk everything in her search for the true killer - for all other roads lead to the gallows.
📖 My Review..
As the wardrobe mistress for The Lord Chamberlain's men Magdalen Bisset is privy to many secrets but when one of the players suddenly dies on stage by suspected poisoning, Magdalen is just as confused as the company as to why this popular actor has met his maker in such a despicable way. With no witnesses, it soon becomes obvious that Magdalen, as the only woman, is suspected of this murder for, after all, poison is a woman's method, and so the quest to prove her innocence will take her into the dark underbelly of Elizabethan society.
Twelve Nights looks at Elizabethan theatre in some detail and introduces us to the complex and often narcissistic world of those who were in competition with other, not just to get their work noticed, as in the case of the rivalry between Will Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, but also in the petty jealousies and squabbles between the players themselves who were always touting for fame and fortune.
The author has captured this intricate, and often cloistered, atmosphere very well and there is a strong authenticity to the way in which the Elizabethan world is portrayed. It wasn't a comfortable time especially for women who had no protectors or visible means of support and as Magdalen find out to her cost the empty promises of friends aren't always very reliable. The story moves along well with Magdalen finding difficulties along the way as she desperately tries to prove her innocence but help with come from an unexpected source and with further revelations which lead us nicely into a continuation of this proposed new series. I look forward to seeing where the story goes next...
🍷Best Read with.. A tankard of Mad Dog and a hot game pie
About the Author
I was born and raised in Yorkshire where my father inspired my love of history from an early age. He is a born story teller and would take us to the top of Iron Age hillforts, often as dusk was falling, and regale us with stirring tales of battles lost and won. Not surprisingly, I went on to study Classics at university, and still love spending my summers on archaeological digs. For me, there is nothing more thrilling than finding an artefact that has not seen the light of day for thousands of years. I find so much inspiration for my novels from archaeology.
I have had a variety of jobs over the years, including working for the British Forces newspaper in Germany, and at the BBC. When our family was little, the only available space for me to write was a small walk-in wardrobe. The children used to say, ‘oh, mum’s in the cupboard again’.
I have written four historical novels: The King’s Daughter explores the story of Aethelflaed, the Lady of the Mercians. The Saxon Wolves and the Saxon Plague are both set in fifth century AD, a time of enormous upheaval and uncertainty in Britain as the Romans departed and the Saxon era began. My latest is something a bit different. Twelve Nights is a crime thriller set in sixteenth century London, and features William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe.
I now live with my husband in the Hampshire countryside. Like many others during the pandemic, we decided to try growing our own fruit and vegetables – with mixed results! We can only get better!
**Enter to win a paperback copy of Twelve Nights**