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Book Title: The Counterfeit Crank|
Date of issue: August 1st 2004
ISBN 13: 9780312319496
The author of the book: Edward Marston
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.66 MB
Edition: Minotaur Books
Read full description of the books The Counterfeit Crank:What a splendidly convoluted and complex mystery this is! Edward Marston is a master plotter at work, testing his protagonist Nicholas Bracewell and the troupe of actors, Lord Westfield's Men, to the very limit of endurance. It's a story of many different types of counterfeit cranks.
Several thrilling and complex subplots make this easily the most accomplished of the series I've read so far. I hugely enjoyed reading this, the Elizabethan era conjured up with such ease by the author that one is tempted to believe Mr Marston has got his very own TARDIS and is able to travel back and forth in time. Surely only somebody whose been to 16th century London could portray that great city with such a wealth of detail?
Plot: When their playwright, the lovable Edmund Hood, is struck down by a mysterious illness, his concerned actor friends are relieved to find that a new playwright, Michael Grammaticus, jumps into the breach to help them out with a new play. As Edmund continues to languish at his quarters and a competent doctor, paid for by a grateful usurper Grammaticus, takes over Edmund's treatment, the troupe of actors face yet another challenge:
The lugubrious landlord of the Queen's Head, where they perform all their plays, is called away to his brother's sickbed. As one landlord leaves, his replacement arrives from Rochester. Adam Crowmere is the complete opposite to the miserable landlord Alexander Marwood. A genial host, a generous landlord and a helpful friend, he soon persuades actors and staff that they are all one happy family. The arrival of a mysterious guest, the meek and pious Philomen Lavery, proves yet another challenge to the inmates of the Queen's Head. Lavery is an enthusiastic card player, enticing the actors to join him in a game or two over night.
As one by one actors begin to lose large sums of money and have to beg Nicholas for an advance on their wages, Nicholas becomes convinced that the harmless looking Lavery is not what he seems.
While all this is going on, the main plot thrusts itself upon the reader's attention with the force of a blow into the stomach: two young beggars, the girl Dorothea and the young man Hywel, arrive in London. Their counterfeit crank exploits are soon being exposed and when the two come across Nicholas Bracewell and his actor colleague Owen Elias in a narrow side street, their deceitful ways come to an end - or seemingly so, for they shun the helping hand Nicholas and Owen extend to them and try to make a living as beggars on the streets of London.
Before long, the two are arrested and thrown into the workhouse at Bridewell. Here some truly horrific experiences await them - Bridewell is ruled with an iron fist by two scoundrels who'll stop at nothing to make money, not even rape or murder.
Now Nicholas must solve a multitude of riddles. Who robbed Lord Westfield's Men of their afternoon's takings? Who stole their precious stage costumes? Who is Lavery - a card shark or an honest man? How can be bring justice to the victims of Bridewell?
Told with much bawdy humour and a firm grip on the historical background, the story unfolds with the pace and tension of a tournament at court. Beleaguered from all sides, Lord Westfield's Men must rally and work together, if they are to survive their present difficulties. Old loyalties are tested severely, new ones are questioned. At the very end, they discover, sometimes the devil you know is better than anything new.
Read information about the authorLibrarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. Keith Miles
AKA A.E. Marston
Keith Miles (born 1940) is an English author, who writes under his own name and also historical fiction and mystery novels under the pseudonym Edward Marston. He is known for his mysteries set in the world of Elizabethan theatre. He has also written a series of novels based on events in the Domesday Book, a series of The Railway Detective and a series of The Home Front Detective.
Series contributed to:
. Malice Domestic
. Crime Through Time
. Perfectly Criminal
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