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The Marlowe Conspiracy: A Novel Paperback – November 21, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456310968
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456310967
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,626,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A delightful romp... Both Marlowe and Shakespeare are fully realized, very likable characters... Scarsbrook does a masterful job of describing an England on the verge of the seventeenth century." -- Historical Novel Review

"A colorful tale that cleverly coordinates fact and rumor... The story could very well stand on its own, even without the historical tie-in, as a well-written piece of historical fiction." -- Stimulated Outlet Book Reviews

"This story weaves historic details about the life of playwright Christopher "Kit" Marlowe and his contemporaries into a compelling tale of political intrigue." -- Publishers Weekly

"A lively and entertaining adventure tale... most enjoyable." --The Marlowe Society

About the Author

Matthew Graham Scarsbrook is a prize-winning screenwriter and novelist. He recently adapted THE MARLOWE CONSPIRACY into a screenplay and won the nationwide Writers On The Storm Screenwriting Contest, placing first out of 1000 entries. He is also the author of the historical suspense novel POISON IN THE BLOOD: The Memoirs of Lucrezia Borgia. Matthew currently lives in South Gloucestershire, UK and is now at work on a new detective series.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alice Y. Yeh on March 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
In The Marlowe Conspiracy, Scarsbrook draws us into Elizabethan England and the double life of Christopher Marlowe, or Kit. As a spy for his patron, Thomas Walsingham, Kit has given his allegiance to his country and his heart to the stage, in spite of recent jadedness over the limitations of his craft.

As far as conspiracies go, the standard formula goes something like this: innocent hero finds himself in trouble; innocent hero runs away from trouble; hero and confederates uncover an increasingly messy plot; hero saves the day and lives to tell the tale. Scarsbrook turns this step-by-step process on its head, as the suspected plot is actually more intricate than the real one, and the truth behind the conspiracy is revealed to the reader right from the get-go. In spite of this foreknowledge, the storyline remains intriguing, with surprises and stressful situations that are wholly unexpected. Seemingly unimportant information becomes crucial in later scenes, forcing the reader to pay attention. Also, taking a larger view, parts of the tale coincide quite well with the real Marlowe's Hero and Leander.

The author paints Marlowe as a friendly man with a good sense of humor but a terrible temper. As a spy, he has both physical skill and mental resourcefulness, and both prove vital as the situation around him worsens. In spite of his pride and his occasional bouts of arrogance, he is a likable protagonist who makes you urge him to succeed while shaking your fist at the villainy of his enemies. In fact, Scarsbrook's renderings of both Marlowe and Walsingham are delightfully human, and the changes in their characters interesting to behold.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By elwing96 on January 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this book when it was free, but in hindsight I would have paid for it. As a bibliophile and a lover of history, the idea of a behind the scenes look at Marlowe's espionage fascinated me, even though I knew most of it would be false (that I was quite pleased with the historic facts at the end of the book to back up the action). It starts off well, and as a former English teacher, I appreciate the inclusion of Marlowe's poetry. The end gets a little heavy handed with the foreshadowing. It feels like it could have ended much sooner, the final resolution takes too long and focuses on characters most would not care about. I read it in a few days of Christmas break, and it was a welcome diversion from spending time with the family.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Morris on March 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an extremely difficult novel to get all the way through. The only way I could manage it was to start highlighting all the grammatical mistakes (sometimes several per page). At first, I thought, the author, was having, a love-affair, with, the, comma....but later you could go many pages without seeing one even when they would have been helpful.

And nobody ever simply walks anywhere....they stride, they saunter, they tromp and trample and stamp and sidle and proceed and pace....someone take away this man's copy of Roget! Or give him a dictionary to go with it...many of these synonyms were used incorrectly. "They paced through the door" sounds awkward, as does "The three of them paced toward him along the street". Not direct quotes; I removed the book from my reader as soon as I had struggled to the end.

Why, then, did I keep reading? I work in the theatre, and the title led me to expect more from the plot than was there. I kept expecting it to go somewhere, but it never did. There IS a "Marlowe wrote Shakespeare's plays" conspiracy theory, but this book skirts around it to an unsatisfying ending.

Don't waste you time on this one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on January 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The premise was such a good idea that I kept slogging through the book, hoping it would improve. But I had to surrender at 10%. The story is told in the written equivalent of a drone. The characters are two-dimensional. The bottom line is that the author was able to come up with a good idea but wasn't able to write well enough to tell the story.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Linda Pagliuco VINE VOICE on January 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The lives of contemporary poets/playwrights Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare are cloaked in mystery, and it's always fun to read books set in Elizabethan London. The Marlowe Conspiracy is no exception, and particularly interesting is the imaginary, adventurous friendship shared between two of England's most famous authors. What is perplexing, however, is the number of errors in the text that were overlooked by both author and editor. Common misspellings (you're for your) abound. Even more annoying are the verbal anachronisms - The Rose Theater manager Philip Henslowe would never have asked Marlowe to write a "prequel". Overlook those flaws, and what remains is a quick, easy read with plenty of period action and detail. (But I still believe that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare...)
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By Dr. E. on February 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like the writing style; very captivating. The author held his readers spellbound. I will definitely recommend it to friends. I like the genre.
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More About the Author

M. G. Scarsbrook is the author of three novels and the editor of four literary collections.

Since 2011 his books have sold more than 20,000 copies worldwide and been translated into five languages. English editions of his work are sold in paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats at all major online bookstores.

A member of the prestigious Crime Writers' Association and the Society of Authors, he lives in the UK and is working on the next book in the West End Murders series.

To learn more, please visit his website: www.mgscarsbrook.com

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The Marlowe Conspiracy: A Novel
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