Secret trysts. Daring dalliances. And a body in the orchard.
It's Midsummer, 1591, at Richmond Palace, and love is in the air. Gallant courtiers sport with great ladies while Tom and Trumpet bring their long-laid plans to fruition at last. Everybody's doing it — even Francis Bacon enjoys a private liaison with the secretary to the new French ambassador. But the Queen loathes scandal and will punish anyone rash enough to get caught.
Still, it's all in a summer day until a young man is found dead. He had few talents beyond a keen nose for gossip and was doubtless murdered to protect a secret. But what sort — romantic, or political? They carried different penalties: banishment from court or a traitor's death. Either way, worth killing to protect.
Bacon wants nothing more than to leave things alone. He has no position and no patron; in fact, he's being discouraged from investigating. But can he live with himself if another innocent person dies?
"Characters that leap off the page." — Karen Harper, NY Times best-selling author.
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Customer ReviewsSee All
Rich in Humanities while sleuthing and of course humorous, all for a great read!
This was my first Francis Bacon book in the series. At first I had a hard time grasping the story, but when I finally read more, it held my attention. This was well done with research in culture, clothing, architecture, need I say more. It got a WOW factor out of me. The information and description was very well done; ie the midwife for the departed. The humour in the characters were well done to pull all this investigative sleuthing together with the trio. Well done, I learned a lot about that period, like a Humanities class. I recd this ARC and providing my honest review.
I have read all of the Bacon series so far. The stories are entertaining though they are improbable. The author combines some historical knowledge with a good imagination. Not all the details about life at that time are accurate, but she is very good with some of the details of people getting dressed, getting ready for bed, etc.
The language is not even remotely Elizabethan, but that is okay. More seriously, sometimes the author presents speculation as fact. (For example, not all historians/biographers see Bacon as gay. He may have been bi, as many were back then.) It would be okay if her historical notes at the end of each novel included more accurate information about when she departs from accepted history.
The biggest weakness in the series, however, is inconsistencies between information and characterization from one novel to the next. (Trumpet’s father is an example.)
On the strong side, the novels do a good job of presenting Elizabethan intrigue, the plots are lively, and the characters multifaceted. The love story is fun, the sex scenes effective though mostly restrained, and the mysteries keep the readers’ attention. Good rainy day reading.
This is my first experience in the Francis Bacon series and I think I've been missing something here. But, not all is lost since I can go back and get the first 4 books and NOT miss out. This was very mysterious until the very end who did the killings and I was very enthusiastic about learning some British history as well, which is one reason I love historical fiction/mysteries.
I was provided an ARC of this book and I am giving my honest opinion of this awesome book.