The Princess Of Denmark

Written by Edward Marston
Review by Nicole Leclerc

Life is never a quiet river for Lord Westfield’s Men, an Elizabethan theatre company. A fire burns down the inn where they are contracted to play, killing a young man in the process. Then their patron finds a new bride in Denmark and decides to bring the troupe to Elsinore as a gift for his betrothed. Crossing the North Sea is perilous, and the ship undergoes a lively attack by pirates before reaching its destination. Followed by hired killers, landing amid political conspiracies, the troupe soon becomes suspect when the marriage broker is murdered.

This is one of the better entries in the Nicholas Bracewell series. The social unrest which is apparent in London because of the existence of “strangers” resonates to this day; there is a clever twist when the company itself becomes the “strangers” after they arrive in Denmark. As always, the characters are full of life and believable, except for Bracewell, who is a little too good to be true. The descriptions of the social mores of Elizabethan England and a brief history of Denmark provide a perfect setting for the multiple-stranded plot. Marston is an old pro at storytelling, and no reader should come away from this book bored or disappointed.