By REGINA M. ANGELI
Rory Clements, creator of the John Shakespeare series, has released
an e-book novella for the Christmas season, "The Man in the Snow." (Witness Impulse, HarperCollins).
In the days of Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of the notorious Henry VIII and the
ill-fated Anne Boleyn, John Shakespeare (older brother of the Bard) serves as an intelligence agent for the Queen's advisor, Lord Burghley, Sir Robert Cecil.
His friend and associate, Joshua Peace, asks him to investigate the murder of Giovanni Jesu, attendant to the dissolute Earl of Oxford. The murdered man had been shot at close range and a crown of holly was placed on his head.
Rumors swirl about the licentiousness of the Earl of Oxford. Shakespeare, with his assistant Boltfoot Cooper, travels to the nobleman's shabby household in search of the killer.
Was this a mere crime of passion? Or might the Earl of Oxford be a papist and part of a plot which could threaten the Queen?
Set in the Yuletide season, amid the wassail bowls and merriment, there lurks a murderer most foul.
While John Shakespeare is a product of the author's imagination, many of the characters in this intriguing story are real.
With his interesting detective who plies his trade in the dangerous court of Queen Elizabeth I, Rory Clements makes a move for the crown of writers of historical mysteries.