A Prisoner in Malta

Written by Phillip Depoy
Review by Susan McDuffie

England, 1583:  Brilliant young Christopher Marlowe is recruited by his friend Dr. Lopez and Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, Walsingham, for a secret and important mission. Marlowe and Lopez must travel to Malta to rescue a prisoner with crucial information important to the welfare of Queen Elizabeth. Upon his return to England, Marlowe, falsely accused of murder, struggles both to clear his name and to thwart a plot against the queen herself. Aided by Lopez and by Walsingham’s own daughter, Marlowe battles exotic assassins and home-grown traitors to save Elizabeth and her reign.

DePoy writes a fast-paced mystery. The fight scenes, and there are many, many action scenes, are exceptionally well choreographed. However, although DePoy writes well and has clearly done his research on Marlowe, an authentic feeling for the period did not come through to me in the writing. It could easily have been any time, any place, and I felt that some of the characters, the women in particular, did not ring not true to their era. Still, Marlowe devotees and readers who like action-packed mysteries will no doubt enjoy this one.