cover image Eleventh Hour: A Kit Marlowe Mystery

Eleventh Hour: A Kit Marlowe Mystery

M.J. Trow. Crème de la Crime, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-78029-093-5

Set in 1590, Trow’s delightful eighth Kit Marlowe mystery (after 2015’s Secret World) finds the playwright, poet, and spy looking into the death of Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth I’s spymaster. Marlowe suspects poisoning, the only clue a scant trace of residue in the goblet that Walsingham drank from just before his demise. Marlowe juggles the demands of theater owners for new material with his investigations, which often entail galloping around the country to meet with the outstanding minds of the period, including John Dee (famed occultist, mathematician, and sometime advisor to the queen) and Henry Percy, ninth Earl of Northumberland (aka the Wizard Earl). Many other real people sashay though the book, including Sir Walter Raleigh, impresario Philip Henslowe, poet Thomas Watson, and Will Shaxsper, “a second-rate actor and a fourth-rate playwright.” Insights into political chicanery, the rise of science over magic, and atavistic theatrical bitchery propel readers ever onward. (July)