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The Quality of Mercy [Kindle Edition]

Faye Kellerman
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $8.00
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

Rebecca Lopez enjoys a life of privilege in Elizabeth's England -- yet she guards secrets she dares not reveal. The beautiful, tempestuous daughter of the queen's own physician, Rebecca is also a converso -- a Jew who practices her prohibited religion clandestinely -- helping others of her banned faith escape persecution and death. And her insatiable hunger for excitement often takes her to the bustling streets of London in male garb to experience the kind of adventure available only to men. But one such outing is leading her into a dangerous viper's nest built of intrigue and foul murder in the company of a dashing young actor who inflames her romantic passions, even as he escorts her toward peril, a charming and fearless would-be playwright who calls himself Will Shakespeare.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kellerman's ( Sacred and Profane ) first departure from her series featuring Detective Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus is a tour de force that shouldn't be missed. The story is brilliantly original and breathtaking in its scope. The beautiful and intelligent heroine, Rebecca Lopez, and her family are conversos : Spanish Jews, posing as Anglicans in Elizabethan England, who practice their faith in secret. Rebecca's father, Roderigo, the queen's personal physician, leads a clandestine movement committed to smuggling Jews out of Spain. Rebecca's betrothed has just died during a mission and, though she mourns him, she yearns to be independent, to remain unmarried. Meanwhile, the young actor-playwright William Shakespeare is seeking revenge for the murder of his mentor, Harry Whitman. He decides to retrace his friend's last days in hopes of discovering clues to the killer's identity. Intent on different endeavors, Will and Rebecca eventually cross paths, changing their lives forever. Deft characterization and dazzling prose evoke the ambiance of the period. More than just a mystery, the novel is a spectacular epic--romantic, bawdy, witty and abounding with adventure. It's a stellar performance.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Rebecca Lopez and William Shakespeare first encounter each other in a London graveyard where she is burying her betrothed and he his mentor and best friend. Their paths cross again as they seek to avenge these untimely deaths, she joining in her family's mission to rescue fellow Jews from the Spanish Inquisition, he searching for the murderer among London's criminals. Shakepeare offers excitement and intellectual stimulation to the brilliant, adventurous Rebecca, stifled by the restricted life of an Elizabethan woman, but political and religious events overtake them and doom the relationship. Lack of development in both plot and characters renders many events gratuitous and makes the characters seem one dimensional. For avid historical fiction buffs only. Kellerman is the author of two well-received mysteries, The Ritual Bath (LJ 5/1/86) and Sacred and Profane (LJ 6/1/87) . -- Cynthia Johnson Whealler, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, Mass.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 610 KB
  • Print Length: 593 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061582514
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000W93BFA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,453 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea, but book is a bit trashy at times December 21, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Quality of Mercy encompasses many genres. It is a murder mystery, thriller, romance and a partial history.

Rebecca Lopez and her family are conversos, Jews who practice their religion secretly and help others escape persecution. She meets and becomes romantically involved with Will Shakespeare, a struggling playwright who is trying to put together the pieces of his best friend's murder. While Will longs to find the clues to discover Harry's killer, Rebecca longs for the excitement of being an independent person who can love the one she truly is attached to. Rebecca's father, who is Queen Elizabeth's physician, leads a secret mission to help Jews escape out of Spain.

While Faye Kellerman's novel is quite unique, intertwining historical and fictional elements, it came across as being a bit too trashy. There are many times Kellerman goes into great detail when describing something graphic or less than appealing (honestly, do we need a one page description about Queen Elizabeth's old wrinkled skin or health problems). The sex scenes are quite frequent and overdone throughout the novel, and there is a good deal of profanity (I didn't know they used the "f" word so often during Elizabethan times). Perhaps these sections of the novel could have been less blatant and repulsive, as they seemed to diminish much of the quality of the plot.

While the novel irked me on certain levels, there were also aspects I found refreshing. Kellerman's ability to bring forth all of the Shakespearean and Elizabethan background, all the while telling a murder mystery, was remarkable and not an easy task to accomplish. She is able to take many aspects of Shakespeare's life and insert them into her character Will Shakespeare, making many of the connections accurate.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had no idea what I was getting into when I first opened "The Quality of Mercy." I had wanted a historical mystery to satisfy my burgeoning thirst for the genera but was utterly surprised to find a book that was sublimely well written, a true love story and a novel that even made me, a half Jew with no ties to the community feel honored to be part of such an extraordinary race that struggled so much through out history.

This is the story of William Shakespeare, out to find his friend Henry Whitman's murderer and Rebecca Lopez, daughter to the Queen's physician. They spot each other across a graveyard when Henry and Rebecca's fiancé are buried on the same day and later meet when Rebecca, seeking to escape the confines of her house wanders the city dressed as a man. Soon the two fall in love.

But Will is being stalked by daggers as he comes closer to the truth behind Henry's death and Rebecca is a converso- a secret Jew that even in one of the most religiously tolerant countries of the time is not free to practice her faith. And to add to the danger her family is actively involved in paying the King of Spain to smuggle Jews out of the country and away from the arms of the inquisition.

Out of love Will aids Rebecca's family when they are in need even though she is soon engaged to another cousin (though her betrothed has and never will have a sexual or romantic interest in the union.) However all is not well for the Lopezes have a powerful enemy at court in the form of Lord Essex, who will do anything to bring down Roderigo, Rebecca's father, and colluding with Spain, an enemy state, is treason....

Will Shakespeare find the foul fiend who murdered his dear friend? Is there any hope for him and Rebecca?
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, enjoyable read, a bit too long October 6, 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kellerman has written an enjoyable mystery featuring a young detective named...Will Shakespeare? Yes, it's a surprising adventure with a young Will searching for his mentor's killer, and romancing a lovely young lady named Rebecca Lopez who has problems of her own (she's a secret Jew, in hiding from the Inquisition). You may also notice some interesting similarities to the film "Shakespeare in Love" and Kellerman's book came first!
While it's a good read, the book does go on a tad too long (a sometime failing of Kellerman's), and the revelation of the killer seems a bit tacked on, as Rebecca's story takes center stage late in the book. Still, this is a very entertaining novel, and well worth a look.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating reading experience.... May 5, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While I enjoyed the plot -- I did not care for Faye Kellerman's delivery. Now don't get me wrong - I love a good mystery, good historical fiction, and a good romance, but this book just didn't deliver. Ms. Kellerman's dialogue between our lovers was often overkill and would go on for pages and seemed rather unrealistic. There was no warmth between the characters. I was intrigued enough to get to the end of the story - but the who-done-it answer made me feel like I had wasted a lot of energy looking for the killer in the book. Just a frustrating experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gave up half way through. November 1, 2012
By PDamon
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoy Shakespeare. This book sounded like it might be an interesting little mystery that involved him.

Every once in a while I would get a little thrill of Hamlet, MacBeth, the Merchant of Venice. Was the author going to tie Will's experiences to the writing of these plays? Sadly not.

The mysterious death of Will's friend continued to be mysterious with very little plot movement.

I found the portrayal of Queen Elizabeth to be deplorable and the author's attempts at Elizabethan bawdiness to be a complete failure. One must leave something to the imagination unless one just wants to write trashy novels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The only thing I would like more than her Rina Lazrus/Peter Decker...
Faye Kellerman writes with her usual flair. The only thing I would like more than her Rina Lazrus/Peter Decker mystery stories would be a Rina Lazrus cookbook
Published 6 days ago by cuz Pat
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by Betty M. Thompson
1.0 out of 5 stars ... finished this book only because Faye Kellerman is a best selling...
I finished this book only because Faye Kellerman is a best selling author and I was hoping to find out why. I did not. Read more
Published 4 months ago by SandyC
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous book!
This is my 3rd time reading this great historical novel. I'm crazy about the idea of Shakespeare being the love interest for the main character. Read more
Published 7 months ago by mzfitzMA
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
As usual, Faye Kellerman always writes a great book. If you like history, this is a must for you to read.
Published 8 months ago by Patricia D Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars hurry
I need this book so I can continue with the series, it was my mistake that I missed this one, need to keep my list up to date
Published 8 months ago by msbetty
3.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare....really?
I love this author but I can't get passed her using Shakespeare as a character in this story. I will keep reading but it is not her best work.
Published 10 months ago by Marsha
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh so boring!!!
This was either the worst or one of the worst books I have ever picked up. Everytime I read it I was bored to tears. It rambled on and on. I was not able to finish it.
Published 13 months ago by Adrienne Shearer
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprising read
I bought this book without looking at the synopsis expecting it to be the latest Decker novel

As a reader of historical fiction I was pleasantly surprised to find it a... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quality of Mercy
This is a delightful romantic novel that includes revolves around and includes some historical facts. I found some fascinating tales told by the heroin's grandmother. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Donald Sheridan
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More About the Author

Faye Kellerman is the author of twenty-six novels, including nineteen New York Times bestselling mysteries that feature the husband-and-wife team of Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. She has also penned two best selling short novels with her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman, and recently has teamed up with her daughter, Aliza, to co-write a teen novel, entitled PRISM. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.


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