John Shakespeare becomes embroiled in the Babington Plot to free the exiled Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, to assassinate her Protestant cousin Queen Elizabeth I and to put Mary in the English throne.
We enjoy subplots galore, weaving around fishing fleets and family dynasties, a criminal mastermind, his thugs and hideouts, ensnaring highborn and low in a web of connections Shakespeare has to unravel in a race against time to save his former lover, Kat, from the hangman’s noose.
My first encounter with John Shakespeare, brother of Will, in this crime novel set in Elizabethan England.
He’s a spy-cum-sleuth working for Sir Robert Cecil, Queen Elizabeth’s Secretary of State. In this fourth book in the Shakespeare series, the plot revolves around a new invention, the English Navy’s new secret weapon in the war against Spain – a spyglass. With England still working through the ramifications of the Reformation, and in the decade after the Spanish Armada, the potential for Catholic plots against the protestant Queen is plenty.