Saturday, 6 February 2010

Review – J L CARRELL – “The Shakespeare Secret”

(Also published as "Interred with Their Bones")
Year Published: - 2007
Where the book was from:- My own copy
ISBN: - 978 0 7515 4035 2
Pages: - 479pp
Genre: - Thriller; Shakespeare
Location:- Across the globe
How I came across it: - I’ve forgotten
Rating: - ***** ****
One sentence summary:- A first class, globe-trotting thriller which uses Carrell’s extensive research to put forward theories about whether Shakespeare wrote the plays that are in his name.

Describe the plot without giving anything away:- A Shakespearian researcher who has altered her career to direct a Shakespearean play gets caught up in a deadly hunt to identify whether Shakespeare wrote the plays with which he is credited. Corpses are left behind left, right and centre as the action wanders across the globe. This is well worth reading for the arguments about the various potential authors. Add a clever and non-stop thriller with a background mystery as to who is the serial killer and you have a first class story.

General comments:-
The big book at the 2005 Frankfurt Book Fair - with rights now sold in seventeen countries. Jennifer Lee Carrell's Shakespearean thriller (also sold under the title "Interred with Their Bones") was the most eagerly anticipated debut thriller of 2007.
Here are some of the reviews :-
'Plot twists worthy of The Da Vinci Code dominate this agile first novel from Carrell...this spirited and action-packed novel delivers constant excitement.' Publishers Weekly ;
"A gripping page-turner, an erudite account of contemporary Bard scholarship and the plays and poems that made Mr Shakespeare, whoever he was, the man he is today. Perfect" Daily Express;
"A hide-and-seek chase of murder and mayhem...Carrell omits [Dan Brown's] ridiculous howlers but follows his penchant for twists, turns and incessant violence" The Times;
"Her extensive research is both accurate and impressive" RTE Guide

JENNIFER LEE CARRELL (born 1962) holds her Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Harvard University, as well as other degrees in English Literature from Oxford and Stanford Universities. She won three awards for distinction in undergraduate teaching at Harvard, where she taught in the History and Literature Program and directed Shakespeare for the Hyperion Theatre Company. Jennifer is the author of The Speckled Monster, a work of historical nonfiction about battling smallpox at the beginning of the eighteenth century, which USA Today praised as being written "in a compelling, almost novelistic voice." She has also written a number of articles for Smithsonian magazine. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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