Secret World: A Tudor Mystery Featuring Christopher Marlowe

Written by M.J. Trow
Review by Ilysa Magnus

In this installment of Trow’s Marlowe-as-detective series (which I admittedly had not encountered prior to this entry) set in June 1589, Marlowe has returned to visit his family in Canterbury. In what can only be described as a horrid homecoming, Marlowe is not merely denigrated by his father but discovers that a spinster family friend has been brutally bludgeoned to death. Despite his father’s absurd conclusions, Marlowe believes that the wrong person has been accused of the crime, and he sets out to discover why she was murdered and by whom. When other murders occur, Marlowe begins to see the connections – all having to do with certain jeweled globes owned by each victim.

A whirlwind of events occurs, spearheaded by Sir Francis Walsingham, the Queen’s spymaster, who believes that the globes have a political connection. As Marlowe is drawn deeper into the investigation, he is targeted, threatened, almost killed. Not merely a highly feted playwright and poet, Marlowe is a spy.

This is a fast, engaging and recommended read – and now I have to go back and read more of this series.