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The Marlowe Conspiracy: A Novel [Paperback]

M. G. Scarsbrook
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

21 Nov 2010
1593, Elizabethan England: In a turbulent time of wars, famine, and religious persecution, Christopher Marlowe struggles to balance his life as England's most popular playwright with his duties as a government spy. Suddenly, when he falls under suspicion of atheism, a capital crime, Marlowe fears his many powerful enemies have launched a conspiracy to have him executed... With only a few days to clear his name, he quickly enlists the aid of a young William Shakespeare - one of the few friends he can still trust. Together, they race through Marlowe's tangled life of crime, espionage, and noble connections to expose the conspiracy and save him from the hangman's noose. But will anything save a man as troubled as Marlowe? INCLUDED INSIDE: An extensive Author's Note, detailing the fascinating historical facts behind THE MARLOWE CONSPIRACY; and a sneak peek at M. G. Scarsbrook's latest novel POISON IN THE BLOOD: THE MEMOIRS OF LUCREZIA BORGIA, a mystery thriller set in renaissance Rome during the reign of the scandalous Borgia family!


Product details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (21 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456310968
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456310967
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 528,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M. G. Scarsbrook is the author of three novels and the editor of four literary collections.

Since 2011 his books have sold more than 20,000 copies worldwide and been translated into five languages. English editions of his work are sold in paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats at all major online bookstores.

A member of the prestigious Crime Writers' Association and the Society of Authors, he lives in the UK and is working on the next book in the West End Murders series.

To learn more, please visit his website: www.mgscarsbrook.com

Product Description

About the Author

Matthew Graham Scarsbrook is a prize-winning screenwriter and novelist. He recently adapted THE MARLOWE CONSPIRACY into a screenplay and won the nationwide Writers On The Storm Screenwriting Contest, placing first out of 1000 entries. He is also the author of the historical suspense novel POISON IN THE BLOOD: The Memoirs of Lucrezia Borgia. Matthew currently lives in Southern California and is now at work on a new detective series.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating twist on an old story 3 Mar 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
In The Marlowe Conspiracy, Scarsbrook draws us into Elizabethan England and the double life of Christopher Marlowe, or Kit. As a spy for his patron, Thomas Walsingham, Kit has given his allegiance to his country and his heart to the stage, in spite of recent jadedness over the limitations of his craft.

As far as conspiracies go, the standard formula goes something like this: innocent hero finds himself in trouble; innocent hero runs away from trouble; hero and confederates uncover an increasingly messy plot; hero saves the day and lives to tell the tale. Scarsbrook turns this step-by-step process on its head, as the suspected plot is actually more intricate than the real one, and the truth behind the conspiracy is revealed to the reader right from the get-go. In spite of this foreknowledge, the storyline remains intriguing, with surprises and stressful situations that are wholly unexpected. Seemingly unimportant information becomes crucial in later scenes, forcing the reader to pay attention. Also, taking a larger view, parts of the tale coincide quite well with the real Marlowe's Hero and Leander.

The author paints Marlowe as a friendly man with a good sense of humor but a terrible temper. As a spy, he has both physical skill and mental resourcefulness, and both prove vital as the situation around him worsens. In spite of his pride and his occasional bouts of arrogance, he is a likable protagonist who makes you urge him to succeed while shaking your fist at the villainy of his enemies. In fact, Scarsbrook's renderings of both Marlowe and Walsingham are delightfully human, and the changes in their characters interesting to behold.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fascinating 3 Dec 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Had this book, purely because it was about Christopher Marlowe, but what a surprise it was full of amazing facts and surprises.The story didn't really stop to gather breath, but just kept on surprising me with Marlowes escapades. One disturbing thing I gathered from my reading was just how much the religious authorities hated the very presence of Marlowe in England-very christian!
A fantastic book!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Some of the incidents in this book made me laugh out loud, e.g. Marlowe and Shakespeare having a meal in a "restaurant on a ship" (the Golden Hinde no less!). Restaurants were not really introduced to the UK until the 18th/19th centuries, and floating restaurants did not come along until the 20th. If you wanted to eat outside of the home in the 16th/17th century, your choice was limited to a local inn or tavern or a chop house. The book is poorly edited in that it is full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Not very good at all.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Severe shortcomings 9 April 2012
By Mondoro TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Christopher Marlowe's alter ego as a government spy has inspired a variety of alternative explanations to the official account of his death in a tavern brawl. This novel sets out another, ingenious, scenario for the events at Deptford, revealed in the final pages. The problem is however. that up to this point in Scarsbrook's novel, it was difficult to work out just what Marlowe - and for a time, Will Shakespeare - are trying to achieve. We have an improbable excursion to Leasowe, Lord Derby's seat in the Wirral, very far off in travelling terms in those days,that merely establishes the fact that he was seriously ill; a number of clandestine visits to Scadbury, Walsingham's seat, and the royal palace at Nonsuch; and several episodes of violence, some based on fact, but others entirely fictional and extremely unlikely. I was left with the feeling that the book was simply marking time, putting its main characters through a series of 'action scenes' until the denouement at Deptford was reached. Also annoying were the rather too frequent anachronisms - rhodendendrons, cultivated in gardens, nearly two centuries too early; cranberries served as food a few decades before New England Indians introduced them to the Pilgrim Fathers, a 'restaurant' rather than a 'chophouse' - and one howler, bread 'roles' instead of 'rolls'.

If taken as a light-hearted romp, in which action is all, quite entertaining. If taken as a historical novel, it has many shortcomings.
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