Traitor's Storm: A Tudor Mystery Featuring Christopher Marlowe

Crème de la Crime: Severn House. Aug. 2014. 220p. ISBN 9781780290621. $28.95. M
OrangeReviewStarThe enmity between Spain and England reached a crescendo in 1588, the year the Spanish Armada attempted to attack English shores. For Christopher Marlowe and his fellow spies, these are the nervous weeks before the real confrontation. No one is to be trusted, and an intelligencer has gone missing on England's key watch point, the Isle of Wight. Sir Francis Walsingham sends Marlowe over to investigate. Once there, Marlowe wonders about the sanity of the locals. The governor behaves oddly, his wife is an unabashed adulteress, and the pirate industry is thriving. Meanwhile, tension builds as sailors, both British and Spanish, curse the weather and pray for wind.
VERDICT Trow successfully combines adventure, wit, and history (and, yes, a mystery) in this winning historical series featuring the real-life playwright in his undercover role as an intelligencer for Queen Elizabeth I. The dashing spy makes it all look so easy. This entry (number six after Crimson Rose) is particularly engaging and would be no problem for readers new to the series.

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