#BlogTour #BookReview The Serpents Mark by S. W. Perry
My Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩
Series: Nicholas Shelby 2
Available: 6 June 2019
Genre: Fiction / Crime / Historical
With thanks to Anne Cater of #RandomThingsTours, the Author S W Perry and Publishing company Corvus for my advance copy of #TheSerpentsMark I adored every page! Book one in this series was great, book two is even better!
A smart and gripping tale of conspiracy, murder and espionage in Elizabethan London, ideal for fans of CJ Sansom, Rory Clements and SG MacLean.
Treason sleeps for no man…
London, 1591. Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy, returns to his old haunts on London’s lawless Bankside. But, when the queen’s spymaster Robert Cecil asks him to investigate the dubious practices of a mysterious doctor from Switzerland, Nicholas is soon embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not just the life of an innocent young patient, but the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth herself.
With fellow healer and mistress of the Jackdaw tavern, Bianca Merton, again at his side, Nicholas is drawn into a dangerous world of zealots, charlatans and fanatics. As their own lives become increasingly at risk, they find themselves confronting the greatest treason of all: the spectre of a bloody war between the faiths…
Although this is the second book in a new series, this is easily readable as a standalone story. The author introduces the Characters well and gives enough background that the reader isn’t left wondering who people are or why they are being included.
I read and adored the previous book “The Angels Mark” and found this to be just as enjoyable for many of the same reasons, but in case you didn’t catch that review I will explain.
This isn’t an entirely new type of story for me but is one I am always on the lookout for. One which mixes two of my favourite things, History, specifically the Elizabethan Era and a Crime/Mystery Fiction. The two are things which many have attempted to mesh, and I often find lacking in certain areas, not so from this Author.
The crimes being solved are realistic to the era, as are the stalls and issues, the processes and procedures along the way. This is clearly an Author who knows a lot about the topic he has taken to writing about, as opposed to somebody who read sherlock holmes or similar and decided to go from there. I often find these kinds of stories lack the depth of societal and political intrigue which effected every day life and various ‘professional’ areas. I use the term loosely, as the professionals of the time were not as we would consider such today, but were considered to be at the time.
I adore how the Author has been honest in this regard, both to the hazards and complications which could be caused by such things, but also how the various nuances allowed for some steps to be taken, for example access to certain areas.
I love the imagery, the author again has clearly done his homework and seems to have a passion for the era. You can almost feel the atmosphere, the smells and tastes in those times, the hostility and double meanings behind words.
The characters we came to enjoy in the first book have been further developed in this book, and another thing I particularly enjoyed is that in keeping with the time, we have two characters of opposing Gender who have formed a liking to one another, but have not fallen straight into a relationship. They are gradually building what may become one, but as is expected from the time they live in, this is a slow process with quite a bit of subtley. Definitely an up side to the story! It maintains a pace which is fun and interesting, but also in keeping with the place and time we have been immersed in.
If you enjoy Crime Fiction with a bit of a twist, or Historical Fiction that stays true to various facts of the time, then this series is not one that will disappoint! Add in those gorgeous covers, and what’s not to like?
About The Author:
S. W. Perry was a journalist and broadcaster before retraining as an airline pilot. He lives in Worcestershire with his wife.