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Traitor: John Shakespeare 4
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on 2 November 2017
It’s a complicated plot, but so was the original on which it was based. This is Elizabethan England, warts and all, with bloodshed and war thrown in. A very enjoyable read but you have to keep your wits about you to be amply rewarded. Each character is finely drawn. More please!
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on 18 January 2014
Boltfoot Cooper is tasked with protecting a spyglass and the man who can use it. John Shakespeare is sent to Lancashire to protect the man who made it. His adopted son, Andrew Woode, runs into trouble at Oxford university. All three are brought together in Northern France to defend England's realm and the good name of the Queen.

This is the fourth book in the series and Clements has really hit his stride in terms of the writing. As most of the characters are now known by readers there is little filling in of previous story lines, for example the background to the death of Shakespeare's wife is completely omitted as that was an integral part of the previous book. I found it hard to see how the various parts of the plot were going to come together, indeed I found the whole bit about Andrew Woode and the vagabonds a bit annoying, but come together they did. I particularly like the double conclusion - the battle which brought to an end the bigger plot but the concluding few chapters which tied up some plot lines and left enough to make me await the next book.
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on 8 July 2012
The latest outing for John Shakespeare centres around the guardianship of an 'optical glass' which will be our 'secret weapon' now that another 'Armada' involving Spain and France is iminent. Shakespeare is send to the County of Lancashire to bring back the Queen's fortune teller and alchemist - Dr Dee along with his protege for it is felt that the knowlege Dr Dee has regarding the spy glass, he could use for monetary gain now that he is penniless! On arrival in Lancashire at the home of Lord Derby skulduggery is afoot with the possibility of him being poisioned and the book then gains pace and we come into contact once again with Boltfoot Coooper whose supreme task to aprehend the criminal who is trying to steal the spy glass.
Running alongside this storyline we are introuduced once again to Shakespeare's adoptive son Andrew Woode, who is currently studying at Oxford and who is (falsely) accused of a tresonable act of defacing a portrait of Queen Elizabeth with red paint. He absconds from Oxford and on his travels meets up with Reaphook and Ursula Dancer and vagabonds - an Elizabethan style of the Dickensian Bill Sykes/Nancy and the Artful Dodger!
Once again Rory Clements has delivered an excellent fast paced Elizabethan mystery together with Elizabethan theatrical entertainment provided by his brother Will and an Elizabethan romp style of romance with the 'mysterious woman' in the form of Lady Eliska.

If you love historical fiction Rory Clements once again has ticked all the right boxes - read and enjoy!.
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on 23 May 2013
This is another wonderful historical thriller from the pen of Rory Clements featuring the adventures of John Shakespeare.

The author has one again wtitten a firecracker of a novel, which fizzes along, turning the reader this way and that. With well-drawn characters, a great story and plenty of tension, this tale grips the reader from begining to end.

While other historical writers get bogged down in their descriptions of time and place, Clements allows us to experience the life and experiences of those involved, but never lets it detract from the storytelling, which is excellent. This is one well-constructed story.

Another hugely enjoyable novel - I can't wait for more from Elizabethan England. Bravo
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VINE VOICEon 19 September 2015
This is another well written and absorbing read in the John Shakespeare series , and it carries on the story of an intelligencer (or secret agent ) in the time of Queen Elizabeth the first .This is the fourth novel in the series and our hero has to pretend to be a traitor . It is probably best to read the books in order. Suffice it to say I love these stories and you are transported to Tudor England with the fine writing . I highly recommend all in the series .
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VINE VOICEon 28 October 2014
This is the fourth novel in the author's series of Elizabethan murder mysteries featuring John Shakespeare. I have felt fairly lukewarm about this series compared to the other Tudor mystery series I have followed. While it had its moments and aspects of interest (the vagabond sub-culture, for example), the plot rather dragged and I found it too convoluted. I warmed only slightly to John and his associate Boltfoot Cooper, who are not for me in the same league as Matthew Shardlake and Jack Barak. Shakespeare's adopted son Andrew Woode impressed, though. 3.5/5
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on 21 December 2017
Lots going on. A complicated plot with lots of characters inter-acting together with a couple of side plots which become parts of he main storyline. The main characters are very engaging which is more than can be said about Tudor England.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 August 2016
This book was the next on my list for reading, as I have been following the stories from the beginning, the author is very well informed, and I enjoy his particular style of historical crime fantasy, I would rate him up there with Sansom definitely. Looking forward to getting down to reading this one and its sequel too.
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on 23 January 2014
I enjoyed this book on Kindle and agree with much of what has gone before. My comment about soap operas is to do with the way that, unless a particularly "heavy" topic is being treated, in soap operas the action usually moves very quickly from scene to scene in an attempt, I have always assumed, to ensure that all story lines are kept as up to date as possible. Similarly in this book, the action often moves very swiftly from scene to scene within the same chapter and this heightens the sense of drama and tension. On to The Heretics!
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on 11 October 2017
This only arrived yesterday, but I have read quite a few of the books in this series with mr Shakespeare as one of Queen Elizabeth's spies and they are totally enthralling, so I am looking forward to reading his.
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