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Summary

For fans of C J Sansom and S J Parris, Holy Spy features the Queen's Intelligencer John Shakespeare in the latest of Rory Clements' acclaimed and best-selling series of Tudor spy thrillers.

Clements, winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, "does for Elizabeth's reign what C.J. Sansom does for Henry VIII's" (Sunday Times).

In London's smoky taverns, a conspiracy is brewing: a group of wealthy, young Catholic dissidents plot to assassinate Elizabeth, free Mary Queen of Scots - and open England to Spanish invasion. But the conspirators have been infiltrated by Sir Francis Walsingham's top intelligencer, John Shakespeare. Shakespeare, however, is torn: The woman he loves stands accused of murder.

In a desperate race against time, he must save her from the noose and the realm from treachery. And then it dawns that both investigations are inextricably linked - by corruption very close to the seat of power....

©2015 Rory Clements (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

Critic reviews

"Clements has the edge when it comes to creating a lively, fast-moving plot." ( The Sunday Times)
"Enjoyable, bloody and brutish." ( Guardian)
"Real quality...faster moving than C. J. Sansom...very, very well done." ( Front Row, BBC Radio 4)

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dublin, Ireland
  • 15-03-15

Excellent as always

Any additional comments?

This is a prequel to the other John Shakespeare books but no less enjoyable for that. The story is satisfyingly complex, combining a murder mystery with affairs of state. The characterisation and evocation of the sense of Elizabethan England is superb. The narration is very good for almost all the characters, but unfortunately slightly colourless for Shakespeare himself. I highly recommend this book.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Nearly but not quite.

It's not bad it's just that the character of Shakespeare never develops enough to actually care what happens to him. Somehow the plot and the other characters also don;t become three dimensional either. It feels like it should work and be an Elizabethan Brother Cadfael but it falls short.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Latest Rory Clements Shakespeare series

I enjoyed this book. It as usual evoked the period well and mixed true events with the fictional to good effect.

However if I was recommending this series to others I would recommend that they read The Queens Man " first this second then the others in their published order so the story as a whole is chronological. At the start of this book I was confused as I had not realised that it was part of a prequel so it took me a while to get into it.
Once I had realised that however it was easier to immerse myself into this story of the Babington plot.
It is well worth a read.

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Holy Spy?

This is Book 7 of the series.

Holy Spy tells a story of the conspiracy to assassinate Queen Elizabeth & place Mary Queen of Scott's on the throne of England.

John Shakespeare is the spy.

In the taverns of London & abroad, a conspiracy grows amongst a group of wealthy, young Catholic dissidents.

Really enjoyed this one.

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Tedious, boring, neverending.

Probably the biggest dissappointment so far since I joined Audible. (100+books).
If it was half length it might be bearable but the author loves to repeat himself hence the the volume.
There is no wit in it, everyone is soo seeeerious and booooring....