Extremely delighted to be the latest stop on the fabulous blog tour for THE SERPENT’S MARK by S.W.PERRY – my thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for putting it all together and letting me be part of it all to share my thoughts!
ABOUT THE BOOK
A smart and gripping tale of conspiracy, murder and espionage in Elizabethan London, ideal for fans of CJ Sansom, Rory Clements and SG MacLean.
Treason sleeps for no man…
London, 1591. Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy, returns to his old haunts on London’s lawless Bankside. But, when the queen’s spymaster Robert Cecil asks him to investigate the dubious practices of a mysterious doctor from Switzerland, Nicholas is soon embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not just the life of an innocent young patient, but the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth herself.
With fellow healer and mistress of the Jackdaw tavern, Bianca Merton, again at his side, Nicholas is drawn into a dangerous world of zealots, charlatans and fanatics. As their own lives become increasingly at risk, they find themselves confronting the greatest treason of all: the spectre of a bloody war between the faiths…
Published by Corvus Books
Amazon UK £11.74
Goldsboro Books – signed, first edition £14.99
Praise for The Serpent’s Mark
“No-one is better than S. W. Perry at leading us through the squalid streets of London in the sixteenth century.” – Andrew Swanston
“The writing is of such a quality, the characters so engaging and the setting so persuasive that, only two books in, S.W. Perry’s ingeniously plotted novels have become my favourite historical crime series.” – S G MacLean
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
S. W. Perry was a journalist and broadcaster before retraining as an airline pilot. He lives in Worcestershire with his wife.
Nicholas and Bianca are back and I adored spending time with them both again as they’re thrust into the world of espionage, conspiracy and murder once more! Set in the 16th Century, the sights and sounds are brought thrillingly to life by the writing of S.W.Perry and I’m already eager to escape back into their world if this fabulous series continues!
There is a slow start to this book as the scene is being set of the changing times of Elizabethan England – the history, the politics, the religion – and all this against the backdrop of Dr Nicholas dealing with the grief that has consumed him after losing his family. When he is summoned back to London he has to explain his conduct to Robert Cecil , who sets him out to ‘investigate’ an overseas physician and with the distrust of foreigners that was gripping the country at the time, this request doesn’t seem too out of the ordinary for Nicholas, although he is well aware of Cecil and his dodgy background.
Bianca has been continuing to live and work in London while Nicholas had gone to ground, and she’s now a licensed apothecary but the appearance of a cousin from overseas, and a brutal attack on him brings her back into trying to figure out what he might have been involved in and has her in the thick of the action.
The strength of these characters is that they can conduct their own investigations independent to one another, but still combine their inquisitiveness when needed! They trust one another implicitly and that clearly comes through when they’re facing tough and bleak times.
I loved the attention to detail throughout, the look behind the politics of the time and the lengths people would go to get their own way for what they saw as the greater good. It was rather graphic at times too which just added to the reality of the brutal treatments used at the time by those with rather unpleasant intentions.
An intoxicating, gripping, and thrilling piece of historical fiction – more please!!!