Sunday, January 04, 2015

Edi's Spotlight: Death by Disputation by Anna Castle

Dear Readers,

welcome to my first review in 2015. Come with me on a time travel back to England in 1587.

Author Anna Castle has been so kind to provide me a digital copy of Death by Disputation (digital 2014) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00RC56VCW] which is the second book in her new Francis Bacon Murder Mystery Series.  

Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:

Death by Disputation (digital 2014)
[ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00RC56VCW]

"Religious extremists threaten the stability of Elizabethan England from both the Catholic right and the Protestant left. The Lord Treasurer recruits Thomas Clarady to infiltrate a radical group of Puritans at Cambridge University and appoints Francis Bacon to be his spymaster. Francis happens to know a great deal about religious hotheads, since his mother is one of the hottest. The commission gets off to a deadly start when Tom finds his chief informant hanging from the roofbeams. Now he must catch a murderer as well as a seditioner. His first suspect is the volatile Christopher Marlowe, who keeps turning up in the wrong places.

Dogged by unreliable assistants, chased by three lusty women, and harangued daily by the exacting Bacon, Tom risks his very soul to catch the villains and win his reward" [Source]

The Delivery
The 303 pages are divided into 48 consecutively numbered chapters followed by Historical Notes.

With the second book in a series you have two different kind of readers. There are the ones who know the first book and there are the ones who do not know the first book.

In case you missed Murder by Misrule  let met tell you that it is possible to read and enjoy Death by Disputation without knowing the first book. But you will definitely miss the character development and other impacts.

With Death by Disputation Thomas "Tom" Clarady, the young man who does the legwork for Francis Bacon change from Gray’s Inn to Cambridge University in order to work undercover. But the story takes an unforeseen turn with the death of the chief informant. Suddenly Tom's official tasks are doubled.

Not to forget all the impacts of social interaction including ladies who want to bed Tom - you will learn something about the use of onion juice and tar - young women he admires and more.
His only connection to the "normal" world are the letters he exchange with Francis Bacon on a daily base. He is clearly missing his companions Allen Trumpington,  Ben Whitt and Stephen Delabere.
It is most impressive to read how the world of religious zealots takes it toll. Does Tom Clarady remain the a good-hearted mischief-maker as we got to know him from his adventures described in Murder by Misrule?

All persons, places, sounds, smells clearly show the effort of a well done research. This is an extraordinary depiction of the Elizabethan England.
One of the many highlights is the appearance of  Christopher Marlowe who plays a not unimportant role.

The whole story is carried by an unerring use of the English language which sounds to me very Elizabethan. Do you know  a "tickle-brained pignut" is?

The plot keeps the pages turning. I promise you will keep guessing until near the end.Even at times where the action is not fast paced you will be highly entertained with ongoing misunderstandings, misadventures, absorbing and accurate historical details and witty humor. Sometimes laugh and cry follow each other.
And even I, who is definitely not a fan of romance appreciated the romantic dash which complements this gorgeous piece of historical mystery.

Finally there is something which is not directly part of the story but part of the book.
Do not unterestimate the Historical Notes which are on the one hand enlightening and helpful and on the other hand are like a bait to discover Elizabethan England

The Inevitable

This highly entertaining opus is a gorgeous piece of historical mystery.
Accurate historical details, page turning plot, bodacious, lovable and believable characters, gorgeous depictions and bewitching use of language will transfer you through time and space back to Elizabethan England and does not bring you back before you read
 ....... "I am ready to serve, my lord, as always."

Further Information

Where to find Anna Castle and more about her books
Website & newsletter signup:
Twitter: @annacastl

Book one is still available
Murder by Misrule (digital 2014) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00J9TABYS
Read the first chapter of Murder by Misrule.

Book three - The Widow's Guild - will be out in June 2015
Read the description

A final candy

You liked the  "tickle-brained pignut"?
Then you should try the Shakespeare Insult Kit


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well, now I'm going to have to look up tickle-brained pignut.

Rosalie Skinner said...

You had me at 'tickle-brained pignut'.
Great review.

ediFanoB said...

Hi Alex,

it seems there is a lot inside the work of Shakespeare which I did not know before.

ediFanoB said...

Dear Rosalie,
I hope you are well.
Language is full of surprises.
Thank you for compliment.

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