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Cover image for Scorpions' nest
Format:
Title:
Scorpions' nest
Author:
ISBN:
9781780290393
Publication Information:
Sutton : Crème de la Crime, ©2012.
Physical Description:
218 pages ; 23 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
bk. 4.
Summary:
October, 1586. Sir Francis Walsingham has despatched Kit Marlowe to the English College in Rheims where he suspects the Catholic traitor Matthew Baxter is hiding, the only one of the Babington plotters to have escaped. Infiltrating the College undercover, Marlowe learns that the community has been rocked by a series of unexplained and violent deaths. With the help of master codebreaker Thomas Phelippes, can Christopher Marlowe unearth a murderer, track down a traitor and extract himself from the scorpions' nest without being fatally stung?
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FIC (M) TROW 2013
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Summary

Summary

Christopher Marlowe investigates a school for exiled Catholic priests in the fourth of this intriguing historical mystery series. October, 1586.nbsp;Sir Francis Walsingham has despatched Kit Marlowe to the English College in Rheims where he suspects the Catholic traitor Matthew Baxter is hiding. Infiltrating the College undercover, Marlowe learns that the community has been rocked by a series of unexplained and violent deaths. With the help of master codebreaker Thomas Phelippes, can Christopher Marlowe unearth a murderer, track down a traitor and extract himself from the scorpions' nest without being fatally stung?


Author Notes

Author M. J. Trow was born in Ferndale, South Wales in 1949. He graduated from King's College, London and Cambridge. He writes the Lestrade Mystery series and the Peter Maxwell Mystery series. He has also written biographies on Kit Marlowe, Vlad the Impaler, Boudicca and Cnut. He also teaches history and politics at Ryde High School. He currently lives on the Isle of Wight.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Early in Trow's workmanlike fourth Elizabethan whodunit featuring Christopher "Kit" Marlowe (after 2012's Witch Hammer), Sir Frances Walsingham, the queen's spymaster, presides over the execution of Anthony Babbington, a Catholic gentleman accused of conspiring against the monarch, who's first hanged until nearly dead, then cut down from the scaffold and dispatched with a billhook. In an effort to root out all of Babbington's colleagues, Walsingham, who's obsessed with unearthing threats to the realm, sends Marlowe, his lead intelligencer and future playwright, to Rheims, France-the site of the English College, "the cradle of every Jesuit assassin" found in England in the last 15 years. But the inherent drama of the setup isn't realized, despite the insertion of several murders for Marlowe to solve. An unexpected distraction is Trow's inordinate fondness for referring to the college as a nest of scorpions-one reference to the significance of the title would more than suffice, but five is not only excessive but also heavy-handed. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

Christopher Marlowe spies on the papists favoring Mary, the Scottish queen. Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth's spymaster, instructs Cambridge alumnus Kit Marlowe, now eking out a living as a playwright, to head for the English College in Rheims, where it's believed that Matthew Baxter, the most recent tried and convicted papal fanatic, has gone to escape the London hangman. Alongside Kit, as he ferrets out information harmful to the crown, are code-breaker Thomas Phelippes, vintner Solomon Aldred and former don Michael Johns. They get help from two harlots, one of whom was in bed with Father Laurenticus when his throat was cut. That made him the third English College victim, soon to be joined by a fourth. A so-called Geneva ring is left by his side, but one of the doxies has secreted a scrap of paper that may hold a coded message. Fortified by much drinking of claret and breakfasting on oats, cast members follow one another through dark alleys and back entrances to the college. They discover a secret crypt housing dead Catholics and make many attempts to decipher substitution codes. Kit is forced to invent several cover stories for himself. When he sets a trap to identify the English traitor, he catches someone he hadn't suspected and ends up offering unexpected thanks to Baxter, who steps in just in time to save his life, allowing him to return to London for another confrontation with rival playwright Robert Greene (Witch Hammer, 2012, etc.), who has stolen his newest work, Tamburlaine. Kit has charm, and the English College full of exiled priests makes for an interesting setting, but there are almost as many conspiracies as hourly Masses.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal Review

Spy Christopher Marlowe infiltrates a college for exiled priests to sleuth out unexplained deaths. Number four (after Witch Hammer) in a most engaging Tudor series. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.