On May 30, 1593, London's most popular playwright was stabbed to death. The royal coroner ruled that Christopher Marlowe was killed in self-defense, but historians have long suspected otherwise, given his role as an "intelligencer" in the queen's secret service.
In sixteenth-century London, Marlowe embarks on his final intelligence assignment, hoping to find his missing muse, as well as the culprits behind a high-stakes smuggling scheme.
In present-day New York, grad student turned private eye Kate Morgan is called in on an urgent matter. One of her firm's top clients, a London-based financier, has chanced upon a mysterious manuscript that had been buried for centuries -- one that someone, somewhere is desperate to steal. What secret lurks in those yellowed, ciphered pages? And how, so many years later, could it drive someone to kill?
As Kate sets off for England, she receives a second assignment. An enigmatic art dealer has made an eleven-million-dollar purchase from an Iranian intelligence officer. Is it a black-market antiquities deal, or something far more sinister? Like Marlowe, Kate moonlights as a spy -- her P.I. firm doubles as an off-the-books U.S. intelligence unit -- and she is soon caught like a pawn in a deadly international game. As The Intelligencer's interlocking narratives race toward a stunning collision, and Kate closes in on the truth behind Marlowe's sudden death, it becomes clear that she may have sealed a similar fate for herself.
Propelling us from the shadows of the sixteenth-century underworld to the glitter of Queen Elizabeth's court, from the dark corridors of a clandestine American op-center to the cliffs of Capri, The Intelligencer is at once a murder mystery, a tale of poetic inspiration, and a richly detailed foray into parallel worlds of espionage and political intrigue separated by centuries.
Silbert brings hands-on experience as a private eye to her entertaining debut thriller, which shifts deftly between the present and the late 16th century. In 1593 Christopher Marlowe, temporarily bereft of his artistic muse, takes on his final espionage assignment for the nascent intelligence agencies of the time a smuggling case that may involve high-level individuals. In contemporary New York, Kate Morgan, English Renaissance scholar turned PI, is directed by her firm which doubles as an undercover U.S. intelligence unit to look into the attempted burglary from the home of a dashing London financial whiz of a leather-bound volume of 16th-century intelligence reports written in cipher. As she begins to decode the yellowed pages of the old volume, she is about to discover the truth behind Marlowe's sudden and puzzling death. Meanwhile, a mysterious Italian multimillionaire, who has had run-ins with Kate's father, a U.S. senator, is plotting his revenge. Even at its most belief-straining moments (and there are more than a few), the tale moves at a refreshing clip, and Silbert provides plenty of engaging backstory about Elizabethan history, ciphers, Iranian jails, the poison of the Australian blue-ringed octopus and much more.
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Intelligent, sexy and cool
Adored this story...fun and witty with fantastic attention to detail, MORE please!