The Queen's Man: A John Shakespeare Mystery

The Queen's Man: A John Shakespeare Mystery

by Rory Clements

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The Queen's Man: A John Shakespeare Mystery by Rory Clements

England is a viper's nest of conspiracy.

It is 1852, and the conflict between Protestants and Catholics threatens to tear the country in two. While Queen Elizabeth I holds the reins of power, there are those whose loyalty lies with her imprisoned cousin—Mary, Queen of Scots.

On his first major mission for Sir Francis Walsingham, the young John Shakespeare is ordered to untangle a conspiracy to free the Stuart queen from Sheffield Castle. All too soon, he realizes that the tentacles of the plot reach deep into his native Warwickshire and threaten his own friends and family. His duty lies with Elizabeth … but how far will he go to protect those he loves?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062301956
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/25/2014
Series: John Shakespeare Mystery , #6
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 100
Sales rank: 529,983
File size: 612 KB

About the Author

After a career in national newspapers, Rory Clements now lives in a seventeenth-century farmhouse in Norfolk and writes full time. When not immersing himself in the Elizabethan world, he enjoys village life and a game of tennis with friends. He is married to the artist Naomi Clements-Wright. There are five books in the John Shakespeare series of Elizabethan mysteries: Martyr, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Award; Revenger, which won the 2010 CWA Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award; Prince, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award; Traitor; and Monarch. All are published by John Murray. A TV series based on the books is currently in development.

You can find out more about Rory, his writing and the world of John Shakespeare on his website and at

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The Queen's Man: A John Shakespeare Mystery 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
robbielea More than 1 year ago
Written against the backdrop of Elizabethan England with its power struggles, religious intolerance and endless plotting Rory Clements offers a plausible story which weaves the lives of fictional characters with authentic historical people and events. History buffs will definitely appreciate the author’s very creative look at this period of history. Mary, Queen of Scots, is being held prisoner near John Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford. Although her prison is a very luxurious one, there is a conspiracy afoot to help her escape and claim the throne of England which she believes to be rightfully hers. But is this really a plot to help her escape or is it a plot to assassinate her in the guise of an escape? John and his hired man Boltfoot Cooper have been given the assignment of uncovering the conspiracy and those who are involved. The plot is convoluted and includes several characters who turn out to be other characters. It is made even more dramatic by the fact that John Shakespeare, author William Shakespeare’s fictional older brother, suspects his family and friends may be involved in some way. The author is quite masterful at blending real historical characters and events with fictional ones to enhance the story line and he effectively uses Will, along with his fiance Anne Hathaway who at the age of 26 seduces 18 year old Will and eventually marries him. Readers also get a graphic look at the brutality resulting from the religious divide between Catholics and Anglicans during this period. One of the nastiest characters I’ve ever encountered and a legitimate historical figure is Richard Topcliffe, a man who prides himself on ferreting out and torturing Catholic priests. John does find some diversion with Kat Whetstone, an enticing and independent young lady who is ahead of her time. Kat has her eye on being a business woman rather than leading the life of servitude to a husband which is the common lot of women of that era. For John, she is an oasis in the midst of the uncertainty and intrigue surrounding him and his family. This book is my second read in the John Shakespeare series which includes 6 full length novels and one novella. John Shakespeare, an “intelligencer” or spy for Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster and advisor to Elizabeth 1, is a man who describes himself as being “on the side of Queen and country” and as the “Queen’s Man” he comports himself very well in his first assignment. The Queen’s Man is not only an intriguing mystery, but a well-written look at history. As a bonus, at the end of the book the author includes a group of historical notes which will give the reader further insight into the people and events of the time. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and a good mystery with a touch of romance.
ABookishGirlBlog More than 1 year ago
John Shakespeare is one of those "queen and country before all else kind of guys." John has a handler of sorts which is Sir Francis Walsingham, who asks John to investigate where treason may lie within the lives of those in his hometown and in the process to put his life and the lives of those he loves on the line. John as I mentioned is very loyal and patriotic so he finds none of Sir Walsingham's expectations as a little to much to ask of one man. Even if by the end he is a little disgusted by the means to which he had to get to the root of it. The Queen's Man is #6 in Clements John Shakespeare series yet I didn't feel lost when reading the story even though I have not read any other books in this series. Kat Whetstone was my favorite character because even though she was a skilled liar the girl had spunk! Worst character award would of course go to the slimy Mr. Topcliffe, because even though Mr. Hungate seems to prefer to skin people alive to me Topcliffe seemed to be even more menacing and evil-spirited. An assassination or a rescue? Mary Queen of Scots is at the root of this viper's nest that John finds himself in. One half find her so unworthy that they cannot help but despise her (mostly the Protestants that back Queen Elizabeth I) and the other half believe that she is their true sovereign and they are willing to die to see her freed from her captors (this side is made up mostly of Catholics). So one little queen has managed to pit two large denominations of Christianity against each other this of course really happened and I like how Clements put a section at the end of the book with historical notes that happened both in the book and of course in history.    I truly loved the thrill of John's adventure mixed in with a bit of all of our history on the page making this a gratifying read!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a long time fan of Elizabethan England, my particular passion, I found these books to be refreshingly acurate in sensibility and understanding of the era they inhabit. They are good stories with a fine strong believable hero and plenty of twists and turns. You can't do better!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Subjects body functions death dying killing grafic why were no blurbs availabble on any of these