Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Saracen’s Mark by S.W.Perry.
S. W. Perry was a journalist and broadcaster before retraining as an airline pilot. His debut novel, The Angel’s Mark, was listed for the CWA Historical Dagger and was a Walter Scott Prize Academy Recommended Read 2019. He lives in Worcestershire with his wife.
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About the book
The third instalment of The Jackdaw Mysteries. A tale of conspiracy, murder and espionage in Elizabethan London and dazzling Marrakesh.
Betrayal has many guises…
London, 1593: Five years on from the Armada and England is taking its first faltering steps towards a future as a global power. Nicholas Shelby – reluctant spy and maverick physician – and his companion Bianca Merton are settling into a life on Bankside. But in London there is always a plot afoot…
Robert Cecil, the Queen’s spymaster, once again recruits Nicholas to embark on a dangerous undercover mission that will take him to the back alleys of Marrakech in search of a missing informer. However, while Nicholas hunts for the truth across the seas, plague returns once more to London – ravaging the streets and threatening those dearest to him.
Can Bianca and Nicholas’ budding relationship weather the threats of pestilence and conspiracy? And will Nicholas survive the dangers of his mission in a hostile city to return safely home?
This is the third book in the Jackdaw Mysteries series, all of which can be read as standalone novels, however I highly recommend reading The Angel’s Mark and The Serpent’s Mark because they are both cracking reads. If you enjoy Sansom’s Shardlake and historical crime fiction then Perry is an excellent choice.
Once again Nicholas Shelby is at the beck and call of Robert Cecil, the notorious spymaster of Elizabeth I. He is driven from his bed in the middle of the night by soldiers, which has his landlady and neighbours doubting his loyalty to the Crown. Robert Cecil does enjoy keeping his minions on their toes.
Cecil wants Shelby to travel to Morocco to learn about the healing and advances in the medical field from fellow physicians. The Muslim physicians hold the secrets of Eastern healing, which combined with Western science could open up a world of different healing. Sounds convincing, right? Yeh, we all know Cecil better than that. In reality he wants Shelby to help find a master spy who disappeared in Marrakech.
It’s a spectacular historical crime read, which I have come to expect from this author.
This time Shelby and Bianca Merton get equal opportunity to shine at detecting, which gives them both greater depth as characters. Perry uses historical facts to drive the crime fiction forward. As a reader you become so immersed in the time period and surroundings that it is easy to forget where you are, which of course is the sign of a great writer. Pulls you in and refuses to let you go.
Although Perry is already receiving plenty of accolades for his work I am certain he is just getting started.
Buy The Saracen’s Mark on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Corvus; pub date 2 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.
Read my reviews of The Serpent’s Mark and The Angel’s Mark by S.W. Perry.