"Fascinating...if you liked The Da Vinci Code, you'll love The Intelligencer."
"Delightfully literate...a crackling good page-turner."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Cool and glamorous and witty...keeps us guessing all the way."
Los Angeles Times
"Mystery buffs will devour this one...intriguing historical research...Silbert's I.Q. shines."
"Terrific...Shakespeare in Love meets James Bond."
An artful and ingenious blend of Elizabethan history and 21st century espionage by a gifted and insightful observer of the age-old dark side of intelligence.
former Acting Deputy Director of Operations for the Central Intelligence Agency
The Intelligencer is an impressive and fascinating debut spy thriller, interweaving the secret espionage life of the 16th century playwright Christopher Marlowe with that of present-day Kate Morgan, a private investigator with a penchant for international intrigue. With a blistering pace, well-drawn characters and an intricate plot, it will keep you guessing until the very end. Leslie Silbert is a writer to watch.
author of The Serpent's Kiss
From London to New York, from Elizabethan times to our new millennium, The Intelligencer by Leslie Silbert bursts onto the literary scene with an unforgettable tale of espionage and high-level politics played across time and continents. A vigorous and daring writer and thinker, Silbert is an exciting addition to the growing ranks of female thriller authors. Make sure your electric bill is paid. You'll be up all night reading!
It is rare to find a novel that is both impressively learned and absorbingly entertaining. Leslie Silbert does a remarkable job of presenting fascinating details from the world of espionage - both Tudor and contemporary - and weaving them into a fast-paced, engaging and witty thriller.
author of A Conspiracy of Paper and The Coffee Trader
Silbert brings hands-on experience as a private eye to her entertaining debut thriller, which shifts deftly between the present and the late 16th century. In 1593 Christopher Marlowe, temporarily bereft of his artistic muse, takes on his final espionage assignment for the nascent intelligence agencies of the time-a smuggling case that may involve high-level individuals. In contemporary New York, Kate Morgan, English Renaissance scholar turned PI, is directed by her firm-which doubles as an undercover U.S. intelligence unit-to look into the attempted burglary from the home of a dashing London financial whiz of a leather-bound volume of 16th-century intelligence reports written in cipher. As she begins to decode the yellowed pages of the old volume, she is about to discover the truth behind Marlowe's sudden and puzzling death. Meanwhile, a mysterious Italian multimillionaire, who has had run-ins with Kate's father, a U.S. senator, is plotting his revenge. Even at its most belief-straining moments (and there are more than a few), the tale moves at a refreshing clip, and Silbert provides plenty of engaging backstory about Elizabethan history, ciphers, Iranian jails, the poison of the Australian blue-ringed octopus and much more. (Feb. 24) Forecast: Silbert's experience as a private investigator in Manhattan makes her a natural for the talk-show circuit. Backed by a five-city author tour and a 20-city radio satellite tour, plus tasteful, subtle jacket art depicting a crumbling manuscript page, the book will appeal as much to mainstream readers as to crime fans. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-This page-turner, albeit somewhat cluttered, alternates between the present and the England of Elizabeth I and Christopher Marlowe. In addition to being a skilled and popular playwright, Marlowe was a spy, or intelligencer, for both Cecil and Essex, rivals for the favor of the Queen. Kate Morgan, a present-day Renaissance scholar working as a PI for a former agent still working clandestinely for the government, takes on a case involving a bound collection of coded reports of intelligencers gathered by an employee of Cecil, Essex, and others. The trail of the manuscript and its codes intersects with modern investigations involving murders, a crooked but charming art dealer, a charming but devious entrepreneur, a captured spy, Iranian prisons, Kate's father, a U.S. senator, and the current CIA director. There are a lot of strands, but the pace is quick and the action fascinating. Readers are introduced to elements of torture from both time periods as well as the newest spy devices known or imagined. Carried along by the action and the mysteries of both eras, teens will find themselves painlessly picking up details of Elizabethan life and modern political particulars. Silbert includes a useful author's note delineating the facts and fiction of her tale and what is known of Marlowe's death, as well as a cast of characters from both periods indicating which of those from Marlowe's time are fictional. This is a fun mystery with bonuses.-Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Elizabethan spycraft links parallel plots in the 16th and 21st centuries. First-timer Silbert draws heavily on her impressive academic and professional background (Ivy League, Oxford, private investigation) as she lays out simultaneous skullduggeries in two Elizabethan epochs. Both plots have to do with the scrapbook compiled by a Tudor spymaster that has popped up in Tony Blair's modern monarchy. Many corpses went into the compilation of the encoded spy saga, and its rediscovery has led to a fresh crop, including those of a kindly don and a big-hearted jewel thief. Modestly beautiful, sexy, well-educated, martially artistic, private investigator Kate Morgan gets involved when her firm is engaged to clear up its mysteries by the book's present possessor, jet set sexmeister Cidro Medina. Among those mysteries is the role of the hotheaded dramatist Christopher Marlowe, who seems to have filled with espionage the hours made empty by the closing of the playhouses in Black Plagued London. Marlowe is in the middle of maneuverings for the monarch's favor by the Earls of Essex and Burghley, dealings that extend to counterfeiting, blackmail, arms smuggling, and off-the-books deals with foreign powers, most of which turn up in their modern forms as Kate travels the globe decoding the scribblings and trying to find out who wants them badly enough to kill for them in this day. Prime suspect is shady megarich art dealer Luca de Tolomei, with whom Kate engages in professional flirtation in sundry glam locales. But as Kate homes in on the solutions, her firm warns her off the case. Unbeknownst (the story is dense with unbeknowing) to Kate, her powerful senator father and her powerful, politically wiredboss are deep in the reemergence from Iranian imprisonment of an important double agent. Headstrong Kate will not be put off. Continuing her investigation, she successfully hacks into the Elizabethan encryption and ties the Renaissance treachery to descendants of the evildoers. Clunkily written (did "OK" really turn up in Tudor parlance?) and overplotted. Agent: Joanna Pulcini/Linda Chester & Associates