a few months ago

An historical spy thriller in the Elizabethan Age

Britain during the reign of Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was wracked by turmoil and intrigue rooted in doctrinal differences between the newly independent Church of England and the deeply entrenched forces of Catholicism. To root out the many conspiracies mounted by her foreign and domestic enemies, the Queen’s principal private secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham (1532-90) operated […]

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a few months ago

A worthy murder mystery set in the court of Queen Elizabeth I

Nearly a quarter-century ago, an English technical journalist and industrial editor named Valerie Anand (1937-) sat down to write a series of mystery novels set in the court of Queen Elizabeth I. To Shield the Queen, published in 1997 under the pen name Fiona Buckley, was the first of what to date is a series […]

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a few months ago

Down the rabbit hole of Nordic noir

Wendy Lesser reads more Nordic noir than I do, and that says a lot. As she notes in her charming new book, Scandinavian Noir, she’s been addicted to the stuff for nearly forty years. It all started for her when someone (she can’t remember who) recommended the ten-book Martin Beck series of police procedurals by […]

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6 months ago

A diabolically clever thriller about corporate espionage

In the early days of detective fiction, investigators such as Poe’s Auguste Dupin and Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes solved cases through sheer deductive brilliance. Later came the tough guys of the hardboiled school of detective fiction (Hammett’s Sam Spade, Chandler’s Philip Marlow, more recently Child’s Jack Reacher). They were all more inclined to use their […]

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6 months ago

British spies and the Nazi V-2 rocket

Alex Gerlis is the author of four outstanding standalone World War II spy novels (The Best of Our Spies, The Swiss Spy, Vienna Spies, and The Berlin Spies), all of which I enjoyed enormously. I can’t quite say the same about his most recent novel of espionage in that era, Prince of Spies—a tale about […]

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