Eleventh Hour

Written by M.J. Trow
Review by Kristen McQuinn

Eleventh Hour is the 8th in the Kit Marlowe series. In this installment, Marlowe seeks to find the potential murderer of Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster. Walsingham’s death, while not completely unexpected because of his age, is suspicious because of its manner. Marlowe and his fellow spies feel the Spymaster was poisoned, leaving a huge power vacuum, and they must find the culprit before the killer sets his sights on Elizabeth herself.

I had known that this book was part of a series when I volunteered to review it and decided to take a chance that it wouldn’t matter. That gamble paid off. Trow writes Eleventh Hour in a way that makes it easy to follow without having read the prior seven books. It was engaging enough that I do plan to go read them anyway, though. Marlowe is a fun character, irreverent and witty. I found Trow’s interpretation of Shakespeare (Shaxpere in the novel) to be interesting; I didn’t have as good a sense of some of the others, but they were sketched well enough that they were not flat or one-dimensional. Readers also are gifted with a vibrant depiction of life in Elizabethan London. The plot is intricate, though not action-packed: the focus is more on intrigue and politics, which I enjoyed a great deal. This novel should appeal immensely to fans of Renaissance mystery and theatre.