The Bones of Avalon: Being Edited from the Most Private Documents of Dr. John Dee, Astrologer and Consultant to Queen Elizabeth

Phil Rickman, Author
Phil Rickman. Minotaur, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-312-67238-6
Reviewed on: 04/18/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Elizabeth I's controversial astrologer, John Dee, takes center stage in this serviceable thriller set in 1560 from British author Rickman (To Dream of the Dead and nine other Merrily Watkins mysteries). Sir William Cecil, the monarch's chief adviser, dispatches Dee to Glastonbury, to find King Arthur's bones and bring them back to London. Intended to bolster the young queen's standing, the relics are to be housed in a new, elaborate shrine. Soon after arriving in Glastonbury, Dee's team, which includes the man rumored to be Elizabeth's lover, must deal with a gruesome murder. Unfortunately, Rickman's portrayal doesn't do justice to the intriguing Dee, who was also a mathematician. In addition, the story line is less compelling than those of other recent Elizabethan historicals by Rory Clements and S.J. Parris. (June)
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