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Marbeck and the King-in-Waiting (A Martin Marbeck Mystery) Hardcover – November 1, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
The approaching end of Elizabeth I's reign in 1603 creates plenty of drama in Pilkington's second historical featuring intelligencer Martin Marbeck (after 2012's Marbeck and the Double-Dealer). As speculation mounts as to the queen's successor, the spy is anxious that the queen's master secretary and his boss, Sir Robert Cecil, is keeping him at arm's length because Cecil doubts his loyalty. Meanwhile, Marbeck's widowed love interest, Lady Celia Scroop, is worried about the future of her 18-year-old son, Henry, who has abandoned his studies at Oxford to follow a rabid puritanical cleric, Isaac Gow. Marbeck tells Lady Cecilia he'll do all in his power to help Henry, even as he receives word that he's accused of being a Spanish agent. Other Elizabethan mysteries, like those of Rory Clements and Fiona Buckley, may offer more twists, but the fast-moving plot is never dull, making the prospect of more Marbeck welcome. (Nov.)
It’s 1603, and Queen Elizabeth is on her death bed. James, King of Scotland, is generally assumed to be her successor, but certain people are determined to keep that from happening. Meanwhile, Martin Marbeck, an “intelligencer” (spy, in Elizabethan parlance), is asked by an old friend—and sometime lover—to track down her son, who has apparently joined a group led by a notorious “Puritan agitator.” Little does Marbeck suspect that what seems to be a simple job (locate a missing boy) could turn into something altogether more complicated (foil an assassination plot against the king-in-waiting). Written in a lively, faux-Elizabethan style—the occasional phrase like “yon whoreson devil Robert Cecil”—the book is fast paced and suspenseful, with the feel of a contemporary thriller. It’s the second in a new series from the author of the Thomas the Falconer novels (which are set in roughly the same time and place), and if further novels are as good as this one, the series could have a long run. --David Pitt