The Fair Maid of Bohemia

The Fair Maid of Bohemia

by Edward Marston
     
 

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When plague strikes London, Lord Westfield's Men count themselves fortunate they've been invited to perform as part of the wedding celebrations for Sophia Magdalena, the fair maid of Bohemia. The long journey across Europe is a daunting prospect but stage manger Nicholas Bracewell is confident they will arrive safely, and confident the mission Lord Westfield sets

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Overview

When plague strikes London, Lord Westfield's Men count themselves fortunate they've been invited to perform as part of the wedding celebrations for Sophia Magdalena, the fair maid of Bohemia. The long journey across Europe is a daunting prospect but stage manger Nicholas Bracewell is confident they will arrive safely, and confident the mission Lord Westfield sets them to deliver secret documents to Talbot Roydon, an English alchemist at the Imperial Court, will go without a hitch. En route, murder strikes one of the actors during their first performance at Flushing. It's the first of many setbacks. Once in Prague, Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II proves a madcap host. Worse, not only do attacks on the players continue as the royal wedding day approaches, but someone kidnaps Nicholas' sweetheart Anne Henrik....

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An excellent Elizabethan historical."
—Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
Another angst-filled, detail-loaded chapter (the ninth) in the chronicles of Lord Westfield's Men, an Elizabethan Age acting company whose usual venue is the yard of the Queen's Head Inn (The Laughing Hangman, 1996, etc.). This time, a performance viewed by beautiful young visiting Princess Sophia Magdalen results in an invitation to perform at the court of Emperor Rudolph of Bohemia. Since the plague is ravaging London, Nicholas Bracewell, the company's masterful manager, decides to accept, using an abbreviated troupe headed by blazing lead actor Lawrence Firethorn and including versatile newcomer Adrian Smallwood, a younger version of Nicholas. For part of the journey, the manager will have the company of Anne Hendrick, his landlady and true love, as she's to visit her late husband's dying father in Holland. Before leaving, Nicholas accepts a packet of documents and a tiny box, both to be delivered to famed astrologer-scientist Talbot Royden at the Bohemian Royal Court. The harrowing sea voyage to the Dutch port of Flushing ends in tragedy, though, when Adrian is found stabbed to death in a killing that Nicholas is certain was meant to be his. Then it's overland to Cologne and Frankfurt, where Anne rejoins them, and finally to Prague, where, it turns out, the troupe's plays are to be part of Princess Sophia's wedding celebration, and where Nicholas discovers that Talbot Royden has been imprisoned by an unhinged Emperor Rudolph. There's more, much more, before a kidnapped Anne is rescued and a deadly morass of religious intrigues and spying, complete with codes, is uncovered.

A vastly overpopulated and overplotted story that still manages to provide some humor and suspense along with a richly colorful history lesson.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590580059
Publisher:
Poisoned Pen Press
Publication date:
11/20/2002
Series:
Nicholas Bracewell Mysteries Series, #9
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
271
Product dimensions:
5.92(w) x 8.66(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

EDWARD MARSTON was born and brought up in South Wales. A full-time writer for over thirty years, he has worked in radio, film, television and the theatre. Prolific and highly successful, he is equally at home writing children's books or literary criticism, plays or biographies and the settings for his crime novels range from the world of professional golf to the compilation of the Domesday Survey. He is also a former Chairman of the Crime Writers Association.

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