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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare ,simply the Best.
This is the 6th outing of Rory Clements intelligencer John Shakespeare and for me he is back to his sizzling best,after four cracking outings I found that Heretices was a little bit flat and lost it direction,so I was looking for a return to form with the Queen's Man and I am glad to report he is back on track with this cracking plot full of twists and turns right up to...
Published 12 months ago by james eves

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as his previous books
The Queen's man

By Rory Clements

“The Queen’s man” is the 6th book in the John Shakespeare thriller series. However, instead of continuing from where “The Heretics” (the 5th book) left off we are whisked back to 1582 when John Shakespeare is young lawyer and is enticed away from a legal career into the secret service of...
Published 1 month ago by E Thomas


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare ,simply the Best., 27 Feb. 2014
This is the 6th outing of Rory Clements intelligencer John Shakespeare and for me he is back to his sizzling best,after four cracking outings I found that Heretices was a little bit flat and lost it direction,so I was looking for a return to form with the Queen's Man and I am glad to report he is back on track with this cracking plot full of twists and turns right up to the last page.The Queen's Man takes us back and introduces us to John Shakespeare as a young intelligencer on his first major mission for Sir Francis Walsingham. It is 1582 and the conflict between Protestant and Catholic threatens to tear the country in two.While Queen Elizabeth 1 holds the reins of power,there are those whose loyalty lies with her imprisoned cousin Mary Queen of Scots. Order to discover a conspiracy to free the Stuart Queen from Sheffield Castle,all to soon Shakespeare realises that the tentacles of the plot reach deep into his native Warwickshire and threaten his own friends and family-above all his beloved younger brother,Will. Once again Rory Clements had me page turning into the early hours of the morning with this cracking tale of John Shakespeare intelligencer for Sir Francis Walsingham.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fifth in the series, but first in time, 27 Feb. 2014
By 
Jill Meyer (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
British author Rory Clements has returned with his fifth in his "John Shakespeare" series, "The Queen's Man". However, inexplicably, the novel is actually first in sense of time. For everyone who's read the adventures of John Shakespeare, the "intelligencer" to Francis Walsingham, here's the back story. It also includes more about brother Will than have any of the previous books.

Rory Clements has placed this Shakespeare novel in the early 1580's, when the queen, Elizabeth I, was trying to maneuver her country's way to worship the "new faith" - Protestantism, Church of England, Anglican - no matter what it was referred to, it was not the "old faith", that of the Roman Catholic Church. The Queen was beset by low-grade but constant problems both at home and abroad and she employed Sir Francis Walsingham as her "spymaster". He, in turn, employed "intelligencers" to do his bidding in trying to discern plots against the crown. One such man was "John Shakespeare", a character Rory Clements has made up, and has taken his readers on adventures in his previous book. (William Shakespeare did not have an older brother called "John", at least according to the bio on Wikipedia, but his father was "John Shakespeare".)

In "Queen's Man", Walsingham - who is always stingy with information his "intelligencer" SHOULD know before sending them on their way - is concerned with the presence of Mary, Queen of Scots, who is imprisoned in a castle in England. She is guarded - supposedly well - but there is a question of plots by the French and some home-grown Catholics, to free her and send her to France. Walsingham wants to ferret out the truth and the names of the conspirators. He's also interested in finding out the extent of "recusancy" in the Stratford area. "Recusancy" was the state of those who refused to attend Anglican services and were considered "Popish recusants". Poor John Shakespeare is sent off to investigate this all, and eventually, by book's end, most of the loose ends are tied up in a very satisfactory fashion. (Except, of course, for those murdered in heinous ways).

Rory Clements' novels can almost be considered history texts. The reader learns so much about court politics, national politics, social issues, methods of war, etc, of the 1580's and 1590's, that we are educated by his work. This book, "The Queen's Man", is such a good book and would be the best way for a first-time Rory Clements reader to begin begin looking at Elizabethan England.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo for this new book of the John Shakespeare' saga, thrilling and scholarly alike!, 6 July 2014
By 
Victor Asensi Alvarez (OVIEDO, ASTURIAS Spain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In this new book Mr Clements fills the gaps regarding the early years (1582-3) of John Shakespeare activities as a spy under Sir Francis Walsingham. The book has different interestingly twinned plots. The main one is the failed plan to free Mary, Queen of Scots from her captivity in Sheffield Castle under George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury. Other plots go in parallel and make the book reading more and more thrilling through the pages. Mr Clements gives us a very good glimpse of the Shakespeare family activities and its connections with other Strafford families. It also offers a wonderful description of the younger son, the playwright William Shakespeare, courtship and wedding to Ann Hathaway. In addition Mr Clements gives us a sound description of the Catholic recusant families (Ardens, Throckmortons, Catesbys) life and activities in XVI century Warwickshire, and the extremely difficult walk between Faith and treason they were pushed to thread. Please do not miss the scholarly historical notes added at the end, and the impressive Spiritual Testament of John Shakespeare, father of the Bard. This book accentuates even more my Clements addiction and makes me urge the author for a quick delivery of the next book of these wonderful Shakespeare episodes.
Dr. Victor Asensi
Oviedo, Spain
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Elizabethan Tale of Intrigue, 15 April 2014
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I am a fan of the author and I am always on the look-out for his latest book but this one was a bit of a surprise, though none the less welcome. The book is set at a time when the main character John Shakespeare (yes the older brother of William) has first been recruited by Sir Francis Walsingham in the hope that he, Walsingham, can mould Shakespeare into a future spymaster for Elizabeth I.

It is a little strange after having read the other books in the series Martyr (John Shakespeare, Book 1) to be taken back by the author to virtually the start of his original storyline. In fact to a time when Shakespeare has little or no experience of the role he is being groomed for by Walsingham. Perhaps it is because the current book in the series, "The Heretics" (John Shakespeare 5) is bringing the reader towards the end of Elizabeth I reign and he saw this as a way to extend the life of the plots. Whatever Clements reasons the book certainly does not suffer because of the step back in time.

Shakespeare is given the task of uncovering a plot to free Mary Queen of Scots. It is 1582 and Mary is still a thorn in the side of Elizabeth. Although under guard at Sheffield Castle, moves are afoot to free the Queen of Scots and her mere presence is fomenting religious disharmony between Protestants and Catholics in Elizabethan England.

The book moves along at a pace and certainly does no favours as regards the character and appearance of the Scots Queen . Whether this is historically correct I am not sure. Maybe she is portrayed in this way to sway the reader onto the side of Shakespeare and his attempts to foil the people trying to free Mary.

For followers of Rory Clements books, this is as good as any of them and is a stand alone work. For first time readers of the author, this book can be read before others in the series without spoiling the reading of other titles at a later date.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as his previous books, 29 Jan. 2015
The Queen's man

By Rory Clements

“The Queen’s man” is the 6th book in the John Shakespeare thriller series. However, instead of continuing from where “The Heretics” (the 5th book) left off we are whisked back to 1582 when John Shakespeare is young lawyer and is enticed away from a legal career into the secret service of spy master to Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham.

The first mission of Walsingham’s latest recruit will take him into the heart of the murky world of Catholic conspirators and plots to free Queen Elizabeth’s greatest enemy Mary, Queen of Scots. A world that is threating to draw in the closet members of John’s family and test the loyalty of John to Queen Elizabeth to the limits.

This book wasn’t like the previous 5 books – all the other books have gripped me until the end but this one didn’t. Characters seemed to be clumsily introduced and there was too much irrelevant detail about the Shakespeare family – William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway’s romance etc. If this had been the first John Shakespeare book I had read then I am not sure I would have continued reading the series. If you are reading the book in chronological order then please persevere as the subsequent books in the serious are totally different to this book and are much better written. I wonder if this was the first book Rory Clements ever wrote but realised it wasn’t good enough so hasn’t been published until now.

I was also rather annoyed to find that in the print edition that I read there was a ‘free’ short story – “The man in the snow” which I purchased on Kindle last year under the impression that it would only be available on Kindle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Shakespeare : Origins, 17 Mar. 2014
By 
M. J. Luckett (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Queen's Man: John Shakespeare - The Beginning (Kindle Edition)
When I first started reading this and realised it was a prequel I was a bit concerned that the author had run out of ideas. However, the story of John Shakespeare's early missions with Mr Secretary turned out to be well done and the I quite enjoyed the bit of Shakespeare family history.

I was interested to see how he dealt with the interception and decryption of Mary, Queen of Scots' correspondence as that was done at another time and has been written about in several other novels but it all worked out coherently (I think).

I hope the author continues in the prequel setting and shows the development of the relationship between Shakespeare and Cooper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally spell binding, 15 Mar. 2014
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I really don't know how Rory Clements does it, producing each time a book which is impossible to put down. I love the way history is weaved into what is a complex murder (or murders) mystery, with useful references at the back. Let's face it, if there were more works like this for each period, history would be the most popular subject at school.
I suppose most of us hesitate in reading a prequel but trust me, you will not be disappointed!
I got this on my Kindle, so I got it as quickly as possible, but there were problems with the Kindle text, words and sentences wrongly spaced which was ever so slightly annoying and nothing to do with Rory Clements
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5.0 out of 5 stars Conspiracy and Sedition in Tudor England, 9 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Queen's Man: John Shakespeare - The Beginning (Kindle Edition)
I am quite set in my reading habits and had never heard of Rory Clements. I am so glad that I have discovered him. The Queen's Man is very enjoyable. Mr Clements certainly knows how to create the atmosphere of Tudor England, the sights, sounds, smells. It's all there. This book is the start of how John Shakespeare becomes one of Francis Walsingham's intelligencers. Anyone who knows anything about Tudor history will know that Walsingham had a fearsome reputation as a spymaster. He had a vast network of spies to uncover plots and sedition against the Crown. In this book John Shakespeare is sent to root out traitors who are trying to oust Elizabeth I off the throne in order to put her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, who in political speak is her "dear cousin and guest in England" but who in reality is her prisoner. His mission takes him to his own home in Stratford on Avon and to his dismay he discovers that his own dear family in the shape of his brother, Will Shakespeare and his fiancé, Anne Hathaway are unwittingly embroiled in one of the plots. Along the way, he also has a troublesome journey in which he is not sure whom he can trust. A number of families with Catholic sympathies are involved, some of whom are his own cousins from his mother's side. Highly recommended read. If you like Tudor history, you will enjoy the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 17 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Queen's Man: John Shakespeare - The Beginning (Kindle Edition)
In this, book five of the series, we join John Shakespeare at the outset of his career as an 'intelligencer' for Sir Francis Walsingham, as his own family is caught up in the murderous plots of Elizabethan England. Impeccably researched and brilliantly written in the venacular of the times like its predecessors, Rory's latest thriller puts us directly in the scene as our young hero weaves a careful path round the ghastly heretic hunter Richard Topcliffe to thwart a plot to rescue Mary Queen of Scots. It is tense and exciting throughout. I can't wait for the next one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beginnings, 17 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Queen's Man: John Shakespeare - The Beginning (Kindle Edition)
Interesting in this book we get to meet the younger John Shakespeare and his family including Will
The story centres around Mary queen of scots and moves at a good pace. We also meet Johns nemesis as he first met him.
If you have enjoyed Rory Clements earlier Shakespeare books you will not be disappointed and if you haven't read them you could easily use this as a way in to them as it gives you all the background .
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