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An Honorable Murder: A Shakespearean Murder-mystery Featuring Nick Revill [Hardcover]

Philip Gooden


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Book Description

1 Mar 2005 Shakespearean Murder Mystery
It is the summer of 1604, many years after the defeat of the Armada, and the Spanish are in London to negotiate a peace treaty. Nick Revill's theater company newly promoted to the King's Men now that James I is on the throneare given a ceremonial role at the celebrations. But not everybody welcomes this outbreak of peace. Sir Walter Raleigh, imprisoned in the Tower of London, is far from inactivehe has many friends on the outside who may try to sabotage the negotiations. Nick, meanwhile, has been invited by Shakespeare's rival, Ben Jonson, to take part in a masque at Somerset House, where the Spanish are lodged. He soon finds himself unwillingly caught up in a conspiracy. During a rehearsal, the courtier Sir Philip Blake dies an apparently accidental death when he tumbles from a chair in which he is being lowered to the stage. But this is only the first of a series of suspicious deaths, and Nick must look hard at those around him: the robust Ben Jonson, once imprisoned for killing a fellow player; the embittered and satirical playwright Martin Barton; the smooth courtier Giles Cass; and Maria More, devoted companion to the bereft Lady Blake.

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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gooden stages another triumph! 27 April 2008
By Billy J. Hobbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Philip Gooden's sixth "Shakespearean Murder Mystery Featuring Nick Revill," appears to be the best crafted yet of this series. In "An Honorable Murderer," Gooden uses his knowledge of Shakespeare (and the time) to present another very-readable historical adventure.

Nick Revill, a young player with the King's Men, Shakespeare's theatre company, finds himself once more embroiled in a complicated situation, involving murder, mayhem, and mystery. It is now 1604 and the new king (James I) is on the throne. There is a distinctive change in atmosphere and political posturing. After decades of rule by Elizabeth I (most citizens knowing no other monarch), the power chain is shifting. The war with Spain is over and a lasting peace is on the horizon. A peace settlement ceremony is the foundation of the story. Gooden cleverly and adroitly weaves the various aspects of post-Elizabethan (now Jacobean) society into his story, but, of course, the foundation for the book is murder. And soon as Nick finds out, it's more than one death.

"For sure, these two deaths were connected," he surmises as he surveys the aftermath. "One was murder intended to look like an accident, while the other was murder plain and simple." He adds that he has "a conviction because I was as sure as anyone could be without any evidence or logic to support the idea that the deaths...were all linked."

Thus, with all the convolutions of an intricate puzzle, "An Honorable Murder" proceeds to its conclusion. Nick is able to rely upon his friend Abel Glaze and periodically, for emphasis, William Shakespeare himself (although the author deftly does not let the Bard overshadow either the story or Nick himself). Nick seems to be maturing gracefully (he's still quite young) as Gooden continues to develop his characters and even his plots.

Each of the Revill stories has a Shakespearean play as the basis for the story. In "An Honorable Murderer" he utilizes "Othello." The similarities of the story and elements of the original play make for interesting reading, although readers need not have a Shakespearean background in order to enjoy the story. Complexities of "Othello" do enter the stage periodically, and with lots of side plots and "extras."

Gooden, however, isn't pedantic in this series as he creates his stories with the idea that background knowledge isn't the key to the narrative, although, of course, it helps. The historical "elements" may or may not be exacting (after all, this is fiction), but that doesn't stand in the way of a very good, and very exciting, read.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful! 8 Feb 2007
By L. J. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
King James and Queen Anne are now on the throne, the Spanish are coming to London to sign the treaty ending the war with Spain and Burbage's company of players, the King's Men, have been asked to perform a Masque as part of the celebration. Actor Nicholas Reville has been hired by a man he believes part of the King's Privy Council, to watch those who are being part of the Masque, as it will include players, Royals, and members of both the English and Spanish parties, for anything unusual. Unusual events do take place; particularly when a prop breaks killing a noble. Was it an accident?

Nick Reville is a very likable character, a bit bumbling, both in his investigative skills and his romantic ones. Told in Nick's voice, the story provides a realistic picture of Elizabethan/Jacobean London. The narration and dialogue has flavor of the period and the puns for which I've come to know Gooden's writing. Gooden mixes his fictional and historical characters seamlessly, but using the historical characters, such as Shakespeare, in secondary roles. The mystery is a classic mystery, a death has occurred, there are a number of possible suspects and it's up to Nick to determine the killer. Each book in this series focuses on one of Shakespeare's plays. In this case, it is "Othello," and the connection is wonderfully done. I found this a delightful book in a very good series.
5.0 out of 5 stars ? 4 Dec 2012
By ........Sylvia Christmas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Have not read yet and I'm tired of all these reviews...tired tired tired tired tired tired tired tired tired tired
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