Crime Thriller Book Log: Parris, Clements, Hogan & Fox

This week our Crime Thriller Book Log is mostly sporting a doublet and hose, and a very fine ruff indeed.

Unknown-1Treachery is the new historical novel by SJ Parris. It features her Elizabethan spy and heretic Giordano Bruno. As a heretic, I imagined Bruno would be unlikely to make many friends back in the day. However, it transpires he was a real-person, a charismatic former monk who was much in demand for dinner parties. Parris – the pseudonym of  author and journalist Stephanie Merritt – has put him to work as the protagonist of a series of books — Heresy, Prophesy, Sacrilege and now, er, this one.

Gadzooks, before I forget. The blurb:

 Perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom and The Name of the Rose, the fourth historical thriller featuring Giordano Bruno, heretic, philosopher and spy.

August, 1583. Giordano Bruno, a heretic fleeing the Inquisition, finds a new life working as a spy for Sir Francis Walsingham. Along with his friend, Sir Philip Sidney, Bruno travels to Plymouth on the Queen’s behalf. There, they meet Sir Francis Drake, who is preparing to launch a daring expedition against the Spanish, which could turn the tide of war.

Unbeknownst to Bruno, however, Sidney plans to stowaway with Drake’s fleet and return a hero – dragging Bruno with him to the New World. But when a murder occurs aboard Drake’s own ship, fear and suspicion grip the fleet and threaten to abort the expedition before it begins.

Navigating the jealousies and loyalties of the crew, Bruno learns that someone with a deadly grudge is shadowing his investigation. Tracking the killer through Plymouth’s menacing backstreets, he uncovers some of the darkest secrets the city is harbouring. Failure will come at the highest cost – not just for Bruno, but all of England…

Bruno is at odds with conventional Tudor dogma in hardcover and kindle.

Stay with me, if you will, in Elizabethan times. But be careful of people throwing their toilet water out of the window, and I think you should know, you’re wearing your codpiece inside out.

queensmanRory clements has his own mystery series, which also features that clever fellow Sir Francis Walsingham and a cast of famous historical characters. The Queen’s Man once again features John Shakespeare, the young spy and brother of William, a playwright, it is said, of some potential.

Here’s the blur—no, wait, just to tell you a Shakesepare series is in development, apparently. No, not like Will’s plays and stuff, but John’s proper mysteries. Right, here’s the blurb:

England is a Judas nest of conspiracy

It is 1582, and the conflict between Protestant and Catholic threatens to tear the country in two. While Queen Elizabeth I holds the reins of power, there are those whose loyalty lies with her imprisoned cousin, Mary Queen of Scots.

On his first major mission for Sir Francis Walsingham, the young John Shakespeare is ordered to discover a conspiracy to free the Stuart queen from Sheffield Castle. All too soon, he realises that the tentacles of the plot reach deep into his native Warwickshire and threaten his own friends and family. His duty lies with Elizabeth – but how far will he go to protect those he loves?

Clements has a website, and it’s worth mentioning. One of the ways authors can really engage with their readers is to provide a platform where people can get to know their characters. Clements does that on his site, which features a facts and details about Shakespeare’s world and the people in it. If you’re going to write a series of novels, think about the kind of deep content you can provide to pull potential new readers in. The Queen’s Man is available on kindle and in hardback.

I for one am happy to leave Tudor England. The stench, let me tell you. And, my god, the teeth. The teeth.

Unknown-3Journalist and author Phil Hogan’s latest book is set in suburbia. A Pleasure And a Calling has a terrifically creepy conceit and has getting some nice reviews

The blub is walking up your garden path:

You won’t remember Mr Heming. He showed you round your comfortable home, suggested a sustainable financial package, negotiated a price with the owner and called you with the good news. The less good news is that, all these years later, he still has the key.

That’s absurd, you laugh. Of all the many hundreds of houses he has sold, why would he still have the key to mine?

The answer to that is, he has the keys to them all.

William Heming’s every pleasure is in his leafy community. He loves and knows every inch of it, feels nurtured by it, and would defend it – perhaps not with his life but if it came to it, with yours…

A Pleasure And A Calling is available in all the formats. Kindle, paperback, hardback.

Unknown-4Forensic pathologist. Now there’s a job. I can see some potential for crime in that. Patricia Cornwell did, and she didn’t do too badly. And nor has Kathryn Fox, either. She’s now on her seventh Anya Crichton book, Fatal Impact.

The blurb is delivered to you on a gurney:

When forensic pathologist Dr Anya Crichton finds a dead child in a toy box and a room covered in blood the answer is like nothing she has come across before. The post mortem reveals that the girl died from a deadly bacterial infection brought on by food poisoning. But does that mean there isn’t a murderer?

Anya was only meant to be in Tasmania for a conference and to visit her mother, but when more people fall sick, including her father’s cousin, Anya becomes intimately involved in the case. At the same time, her mother – with whom Anya has always had a difficult relationship ever since her little sister Miriam went missing thirty years ago – is acting strangely, talking about conspiracies and exhibiting classic signs of dementia.

As Anya deals with her increasingly paranoid, intractable mother, she is also racing to discover the source of the fatal bacterial infection before more people die. But Anya’s investigations into the close-knit Tasmanian agricultural community where the contaminated food originated soon put her in grave danger as someone tries to kill her. As the deaths pile up, Anya’s search leads her to an old murder case, and soon it becomes clear that her own family is closer to danger than ever before. But will Anya be able to discover the truth behind the poisoning and unmask the killer in time to save them, and herself?

Fatal Impact comes to you in hardcover format.

All these books came out at the end of last week, by the way.


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