England and are at war, yet there is peril at home, too. The death of her trusted spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham has left Queen Elizabeth vulnerable. Conspiracies multiply. Spain
The quiet life of John Shakespeare is shattered by a summons from Robert Cecil, the cold but deadly young statesman who dominated the last years of the Queen's long reign, insisting Shakespeare re-enter government service. His mission: to find vital papers, now in the possession of the Earl of Essex.
When John Shakespeare infiltrates this dissolute world he discovers not only that the Queen herself is in danger - but that he and his family is also a target. With only his loyal footsoldier Boltfoot Cooper at his side, Shakespeare must face implacable forces who believe themselves above the law: men and women who kill without compunction. And in a world of shifting allegiances, just how far he can trust Robert Cecil, his devious new master?
The body of a dead man is discovered in an overgrown cemetery in Bristol, the sign of the cross gouged into his flesh. At first it seems to coroner Jenny Cooper that all the evidence points to a horrific, if routine, suicide.
Then an enigmatic young priest, Father Lucas Starr, arrives on Jenny’s doorstep, entreating her to hold an inquest into the death of Eva Donaldson, a high profile political campaigner whose past life continued to haunt her. A young man, Paul Craven, has recently been sentenced for Eva’s brutal murder. But despite Craven’s conviction and the evidence against him, Father Lucas is convinced of the man’s innocence.
Jenny’s lone quest for justice will take her to the dark heart of an establishment who wish to silence her, and on an inner journey to confront ghosts that have haunted her for a lifetime. For Jenny Cooper answers to no one but the dead . . .
It's dragging me through the pages, I do want to find out what happens but have found myself skipping some of the narrative in an effort to get on with it.
Maureen Lipman is one of the UK's favorite actresses and also the author of several humorous books: "How Was It For You?" (1985), "Thank You For Having Me" (1990); "You Can Read Me Like a Book" (1996) and "Lip Reading" (1999). "Something To Fall Back On" (1987), a collection of random stories about her chaotic lifestyle is one of my favorites.
Ms. Lipman reminds me of a British version of Erma Bombeck. Like Bombeck, Maureen writes about what she knows best - her life and the pursuit of happiness. She revels in the perils of deflowering her garden; her jewels; the Tory Party; her career in the theater, and a friend's King Charles Cavalier puppy - "Now what do nine inches of silky, tumescent fun mean to you??" It is really difficult to get through a page without laughing out loud.
Maureen was married to playwright Jack Rosenthal for over thirty years, until his death in 2004. They have two children - Amy, who is the writer-in-residence at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theater, and Adam, a Cambridge graduate. In 1999 Maureen was awarded a CBE, (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), by the Queen for meritorious achievement. She was the second person in her family to receive this honor. Husband Jack was presented with his award in 1993.
It is very funny and ideal for picking up and reading a quick chapter whilst having a cup of tea.
WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.