The English Agent

Phillip DePoy. Minotaur, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-05843-0
In DePoy’s middling second Christopher Marlowe mystery (after 2016’s A Prisoner in Malta), Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth I’s spymaster, dispatches the playwright to Delft, Holland, to save the life of William the Silent, the “prime mover of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish.” Walsingham has learned of an assassination plot aimed at William, the success of which would have worldwide consequences. Marlowe teams with a formidable ally, Leonora Beak, a relative of the queen, and also Walsingham’s daughter, Frances. Marlowe eventually learns that the murderous plot is but the prelude to a larger one, with an even more significant target. DePoy’s efforts suffer in comparison with more skilled writers dealing with the same period such as Rory Clements. Readers should be prepared for some heavy-handed irony (e.g., Marlowe tells fellow playwright Thomas Kyd that his pre-Shakespeare Hamlet play will be “the definitive version of that story” and that no one is going to pay attention to any other). Agent: Janet Reid, FinePrint Literary Management. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2016
Release date: 02/21/2017
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-1-4668-6259-3
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