An Honorable Murder


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It is the summer of 1604, many years after the defeat of the Armada, and the Spanish are in London to negotiate a peace treaty. Nick Revill’s theater company- newly promoted to the King’s Men now that James I is on the throne-are given a ceremonial role at the celebrations. But not everybody welcomes this outbreak of peace. Sir Walter Raleigh, imprisoned in the Tower of London, is far from inactive-he has many friends on the outside who may try to sabotage the negotiations. Nick, meanwhile, has been invited by Shakespeare’s rival, Ben Jonson, to take part in a masque at Somerset House, where the Spanish are lodged. He soon finds himself unwillingly caught up in a conspiracy. During a rehearsal, the courtier Sir Philip Blake dies an apparently accidental death when he tumbles from a chair in which he is being lowered to the stage. But this is only the first of a series of suspicious deaths, and Nick must look hard at those around him: the robust Ben Jonson, once imprisoned for killing a fellow player; the embi


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