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The thrilling new novel of intrigue, conspiracy, and rapier-sharp wit that takes William Shakespeare into the deceit and deception of sixteenth century Verona.
Venice, 1586. William Shakespeare is disguised as a steward to the English Ambassador. He and his actor friends, Oldcastle and Hemming, possess a deadly secret: the names of the Catholic spies in England who seek to destroy Queen Elizabeth. Before long the Pope’s agents begin to close in on them, so fleeing the city is the players’ only option. In Verona, Aemelia, the daughter of a Duke, is struggling to conceal her passionate affair with her cousin Valentine. But darker times lie ahead with the arrival of the sinister Father Thornhill, who is determined to seek out anyone who doesn’t conform to the Pope’s ruthless agenda . . . Events will converge in the forests around Verona as a multitude of plots are hatched and discovered, players fall in and out of love, and disguises are adopted and then discarded. Will the brash William Shakespeare and his friends escape with their secrets—and their lives?
Benet Brandreth is an expert on Shakespeare’s language and times, the rhetoric coach to the Royal Shakespeare Company, and a writer and performer whose last one-man show was a five-star reviewed sellout at the Edinburgh Fringe and on its London Transfer. The Spy of Venice is his debut novel.
Buy it now in ebook:
“A playful and inventive debut. The dialogue is wonderful, and Will’s banter with his fellow actors sparkles.” The Times (London) [Praise for The Spy of Venice]
“Entertaining and ebullient. The author knows his Shakespeare backwards (the Venice setting has been carefully chosen), rejoices in its wordplay, loves his allusions, and has a good time with his characters. So did I.” The Daily Mail [Praise for The Spy of Venice]
“This is a clever book. On the level of storytelling alone, this is a good yarn. I also had the distinct impression that Benet Brandreth had a ball whilst writing it. An excellent read.” Crime Squad [Praise for The Spy of Venice]